August 27, 2008

Links for Your Lunchbreak

Teaching full time AND doing graduate work. Whew. I won't quit blogging, but I may end up doing more posts like this with more links in them.

First up, Just think: it's important (from the Sydney Morning Herald via Norm):

"The result is kids who are critical thinkers and informed citizens. It's a big call to say the world would be a better place if everyone was taught philosophy young, but what you'd certainly get is a more informed and critical population, which can only be a good thing. This is incentive enough to see philosophy subject taught in other states."

Personally, I think cruises sound boring. Except maybe one to the Galapagos Islands with a bunch of awesome scientists like Phil. How cool is that? You'd get to hear inspiring and toughtful talks like this one from PZ which he posts as Fragments of a Shipboard Talk. A small taste:

"The similarities between life here and on the mainland were the product of a simple explanation: they were related. Animals and plants from mainland South America had colonized the islands shortly after they'd formed. Accounting for the differences was the clever, tricky part. That species might change over time was not a new idea — among others, Lamarck had postulated that in the 18th century — but Darwin's new contribution was that he provided a mechanism, an explanation for HOW that change occurred. It was a mechanism that required no guidance, divine or otherwise, and that used a brutal sorting, rather than planning to generate new forms.

That mechanism is what made him famous. Natural selection is such a clear, simple idea that biologists around the world were wacking themselves in the forehead when they read his book, saying, "Of course! Why didn't I think of that!" He laid out the facts as everybody already knew them, with simple and irrefutible logic leading to an undeniable conclusion."