Sunday, April 17, 2011

Weekend Rebel Science Excursion - 4

The only stock market recommendations Dredd Blog has made is that investments in text books is a good play, but that of course is tongue-in-cheek.

We point out in several posts along the way that there is controversy in scientific circles (see also: Mystery Bubble Galaxy, or Mystery Hexagon The Great), that is, not every scientific notion is well settled, even though there is an authoritarian push to make it that way from time to time, even to the point of establishing the science police.

In other words, we must admit that we do not know everything, so Dredd Blog points to mysteries in science from time to time.

Why not?

With that in mind, there is a current and ongoing academic war about the origin of good, in the context of evolutionary eusociality theory:
His new argument, in a nutshell, amounts to a frontal attack on long-accepted ideas about one of the great mysteries of evolution: why one creature would ever help another at its own expense ...

“Kin selection is wrong,” Wilson said. “That’s it. It’s wrong.”

He most recently argued this point of view in a rhetorically unsparing paper that ran on the cover of Nature last August, saying that kin selection theory simply doesn’t explain altruism. It is that paper, co-written with the Harvard mathematicians Martin Nowak and Corina Tarnita, that is now being broadly and dramatically challenged in the form of letters, blog posts, and rebuttals published in other journals.
(Where Does Good Come From?, The Evolution of Eusociality, PDF). That maelstrom inexplicably includes prominent scientists hurling logical fallacies back and forth at each other.

Such decadent episodes do not keep Dredd Blog from wondering about the origin of the opposite side of the coin, the toxins of power, at the Toxins of Power Blog.

Nor will they stop us from wondering about the virgin lizard species, as well as other interesting mysteries, all in the fun of wonder.

Three-fourths of species are not even named yet. Recently an entire order was "discovered" ... it had been assumed to be something else, so remember tenet four.

So where do "good and bad" originate, and where do they end up eventually?

MYSTERY! ... it's not just for science anymore.

The next post in this series is here, the previous post in this series is here.

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