The aquatic ape hypothesis is still supported by groups of anti-intellectuals. Professional anthropologists consider it pseudoscience because there is no evidence to support it. We are not, and never have been, aquatic apes.
The coelacanth is often referred to as a “living fossil”. This is because many evolutionary scientists believe that it has not changed much in the past 300 million years. Is this possible? Does evolutionary change occur at variable time scales?
The technological singularity is a concept that refers to a future period in time when superintelligence emerges through technological means. However, is this concept a useful representation of what we mean by singularity? Or should we redefine it?
A few days ago biologists Alexei Sharov and Richard Gordon published a paper that sent shock waves throughout the academic community. In their paper titled Life Before Earth they propose that life originated before the formation of our planet. But just in case that wasn’t radical enough, they further state that: adjustments for potential hyperexponential effects would […]
The origin of life. If there is a more controversial (or complex) scientific problem I have yet to encounter it. Will we ever have a deep understanding of the transition from non-life to life?
A new evolutionary concept has been proposed that explain how complex structures evolves in nature: complexity by subtraction. Is this a useful concept to debunk pseudoscientific claims? Does this concept force us to change our understanding of evolutionary theory?
Last week my friend and I had an interesting discussion on the nature of “revolutions”. We both agree that when historians look back at our era (1990-2010) they will say that we were living through the “internet revolution.” However, did it feel like we lived through a revolution? Well, even though the internet fundamentally changed […]
Astronomers now estimate that there are 100 billion Earth-like planets in the Milky Way. What implications does this estimate have on our search for intelligent life in our galaxy?
I frequently meet people who think that overpopulation will lead to some future disaster (i.e., a “population bomb”). This is frustrating mostly because fear mongering about overpopulation has been a favourite past-time of many academics for more than two centuries now. The two most famous examples of overpopulation fear mongering came from Thomas Malthus in the 19th […]
As I have stated before, fewer potential civilization-ending natural disasters exist today when compared to our evolutionary past. For example, before we emerged from sub-Saharan Africa 100,000 years ago, an earthquake, tsunami, volcano, famine, or even animal competition could have ended the human experiment. Today, those risks may be locally disruptive, but they do not threaten collective […]