Doubts about Brain Death

Gary Greenberg raises doubts about “brain death” as a definition of death. The standard was introduced largely to facilitate organ donation and transplant, and it has become a fixture of bioethics. Greenberg points out that “brain death is not quite as certain as these bioethicists . . . . Continue Reading »

Be the bee

Bacon compared different sorts of scientists to varieties of insect: “those who have handled sciencehave either been men of experiment or of theory. The men of experiment are like the ant; they only collect and use. Thetheorists are like the spiders who make cobwebs out of their own substance. . . . . Continue Reading »

Mice Memory

Virginian Hughes reports at National Geographic that researchers at Emory have discovered that mice inherit the memory of certain smells from parents: They recognize smells “even when the offspring have never experienced that smell before,andeven when theyve never met their father. Whats . . . . Continue Reading »

Modern World Picture

The great change in the modern world picture was not the abandonment of the Aristotelian and Ptolmaic cosmology. That, argues David Hart (The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss, 58-9) was only a ripple on the surface. The really big change came in the idea of causation:“The loss of . . . . Continue Reading »

Future Sex

Turkle (Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other) was shocked when a Scientific American reporter accused her of standing in the way of same-sex marriage. She doesn’t oppose gay marriage, but the reporter was unhappy that Turkle objected to “mating and . . . . Continue Reading »


Sherry Turkle’s Falling for Science: Objects in Mindis a fascinating collection of testimonials from engineers and scientists about the childhood experiences and objects that inspired their love for science. Turkle concludes (273-4) acknowledging that we cannot predict or measure what will . . . . Continue Reading »