VIDEO: Naomi Oreskes – Why we should trust scientists

I wonder if any creationists (including ID proponents), climate change deniers, or anti-vaxxers will bother to listen to this great talk from historian of science Naomi Oreskes. Doubtful.


BOOK: Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life

A new title from Princeton University Press might be of interest to readers of this blog:


Cells to Civilizations: The Principles of Change That Shape Life

by Enrico Coen

Princeton University Press, 2012, ISBN 978-0691149677

Cells to Civilizations is the first unified account of how life transforms itself–from the production of bacteria to the emergence of complex civilizations. What are the connections between evolving microbes, an egg that develops into an infant, and a child who learns to walk and talk? Award-winning scientist Enrico Coen synthesizes the growth of living systems and creative processes, and he reveals that the four great life transformations–evolution, development, learning, and human culture–while typically understood separately, actually all revolve around shared core principles and manifest the same fundamental recipe. Coen blends provocative discussion, the latest scientific research, and colorful examples to demonstrate the links between these critical stages in the history of life.

Coen tells a story rich with genes, embryos, neurons, and fascinating discoveries. He examines the development of the zebra, the adaptations of seaweed, the cave paintings of Lascaux, and the formulations of Alan Turing. He explores how dogs make predictions, how weeds tell the time of day, and how our brains distinguish a Modigliani from a Rembrandt. Locating commonalities in important findings, Coen gives readers a deeper understanding of key transformations and provides a bold portrait for how science both frames and is framed by human culture.

A compelling investigation into the relationships between our biological past and cultural progress, Cells to Civilizations presents a remarkable story of living change.

Consilience Conference: Evolution in Biology, the Human Sciences, and the Humanities


Consilience Conference: Evolution in Biology, the Human Sciences, and the Humanities
April 26-28, 2012 | St. Louis, MO

For details, see conference website:

About the Conference:

Speakers at this conference are all top researchers in biology, the social sciences, or the humanities. All the speakers know the level of consensus in their fields and can recognize major changes taking place, identify the major unsolved problems, and point toward future directions of research. They can all also discuss relations among at least two of the three areas (biology, the social sciences, and the humanities).

The conference features morning and afternoon sessions for each of three days. Each session contains one speaker from biology, one from the human sciences, and one from the humanities. We’re aimed at maximizing the interaction among the three areas.

Graduate students and postdoctoral fellows are invited to submit poster proposals.

E. O. Wilson will deliver the Keynote address.