|The Early Days of a Better Nation|
Thursday, February 19, 2009
'Why should all our children be at risk because a few middle-class idiots have conspiracy theories against the medical establishment?' asks a column in the Daily Mail, the paper arguably more responsible than any other for this public health disaster.
The Telegraph runs a fascinating autobiographical account of the early years of neuropsychiatry, by the son of one pioneer. Lithium works but can't be patented, because it's a mineral.
The first nanobot with two arms has been built from DNA. The annual conference of the AAAS has heard papers on clues from synthetic biology to the origin and evolution of life and the evolutionary history of modern humans in Africa.
Richard Dawkins reviews Jerry Coyne's Why Evolution is True. Oddly enough, I think you'll find Dawkins tends to agree with Coyne.
Even if we bend over backwards to concede that scientific truth is no more than that which enables you to pilot your way reliably, safely and predictably around the real universe, it is in exactly this sense that – at the very least – evolution is true. Evolutionary theory pilots us around biology reliably and predictively, with a detailed and unblemished success that rivals anything in science. The least you can say about evolutionary theory is that it works. All but pedants would go further and assert that it is true.Finally, a nice example of what selfish genes can do: carry out their own genetic engineering.