Helene Guldberg¹s recently published Just Another Ape? is essential reading for anyone who wants to understand the world from a truly humanist perspective. She makes a convincing case that, despite the superficial similarities, there are enormous differences between humans and apes. For example, she argues that humans have the unique abilityof participating in collective cognition […]
Gideon Rachman’s regular weekly column in the Financial Times (FT) argues that it is time to: Sweep economists off their throne (registration required). He writes as an historian determined to prick the scientific pretentions of economists. For him economics lacks the scientific rigour of physics while its predictive record is particularly awful. To me Rachman’s […]
Progressives against progress, City Journal, by Fritz Siegel. How American liberals have turned against progress since 1970. Genome breakthrough heralds dawn of new era for agriculture, Independent, by Steve Connor. The isolation of the genome of the wheat plant could have hugely positive implications for agriculture. Growth in a Buddhist economy, Project Syndicate, by Jeffrey […]
“Food security: feeding the world in 2050” is the theme of the September 27 issue of The Philosophical Transaction of the Royal Society B (biological sciences). The full text of this comprehensive review of the subject, including numerous articles by leading scientists, is freely available.
The speech by Prince Charles in Oxford last week on Islam and the environment was essentially an attack on the Enlightenment notion that humans should strive to dominate nature. That is they should mould the environment to meet human needs rather than live in harmony with nature. Instead the prince would prefer to go back […]
For how long can Malthusians and even mainstream greens keep on making the absurd claim that any discussion of population is a taboo? Martin Rees became the latest to make the suggestion in the second of this year’s BBC Reith lectures on “scientific horizons”. Yet Sir Martin is at the pinnacle of the British establishment: […]
Although Matt Ridley’s The Rational Optimist has received many positive reviews the overwhelming weight of books published today remains sympathetic to the green perspective. Pandora’s Seed by Spencer Wells looks like the antithesis of Ridley’s work: bemoaning prosperity from the agricultural revolution 10,000 years ago onwards. According to the publisher: “Although this decision to control […]
Matt Ridley, the Rational Optimist, rebuts an attack by George Monbiot in the Guardian. Monbiot does not even attempt to tackle the meat of Ridley’s argument. Much of Monbiot’s article is a personal attack – mocking Ridley for his involvement in the collapse of Northern Rock bank – and the rest consists of sniping at […]
“The Kitchen Debate” on food policy, Bloggingheads.tv, Corby Kummer (The Atlantic) versus Robert Paarlberg (author of Food Politics). A cooling trend, Boston Globe, Kerry Emanuel versus Richard Lindzen. Is it OK to be optimistic? WNYC, radio interview with Matt Ridley. Other articles by Ridley this week include Cheer up: life only gets better in the Sunday […]
Raymond Tallis, writing in yesterday’s Times (London), sounds a cautionary note over last Thursday’s claims of the creation of artificial life in the laboratory: “The challenge of creating genuinely artificial life is much greater than that of getting new DNA to hitch a ride in existing cells. The enormous complexity of living cells — with […]
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