Author Archives: John Horgan

Why I Won’t Get a PSA Test for Prostate Cancer

Physicians are still recommending the blood test for prostate cancer even though it harms far more men than it helps

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How Quarks Turned into Cultures

Big-picture biologist Tyler Volk talks about his book on “How We Came to Be” 

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Second Thoughts: Did Thomas Kuhn Help Elect Donald Trump?

Scholars debate filmmaker Errol Morris’s attack on Kuhn’s influential philosophy of science

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Second Thoughts on Whether Self-Knowledge Is Overrated

Intellectuals defend the value of being intellectuals.

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Did Thomas Kuhn Help Elect Donald Trump?

Filmmaker Errol Morris claims Kuhn’s critique of science paved the way for a post-truth presidency

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Is a Popular Theory of Cosmic Creation Pseudoscience?

Physicists battle over whether the theory of inflation is untestable and hence not really scientific.

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Why String Theory Is Still Not Even Wrong

Physicist, mathematician and blogger Peter Woit whacks strings, multiverses, simulated universes and “fake physics”

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David Chalmers Thinks the Hard Problem Is Really Hard

Consciousness will still mystify us even if we scientifically solve it, philosopher predicts

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Will Neuroweapons, Micro-Drones and Other Killer Apps Really Make Us Safer?

Americans should have a more vigorous debate over Pentagon’s relentless pursuit of “disruptive” innovations

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Polymath Stephen Wolfram Defends His Computational Theory of Everything

Creator of Mathematica and A New Kind of Science remains confident that he can transform science and other realms of knowledge

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Why Freud Still Isn’t Dead

Psychoanalysis still attracts adherents in spite of relentless criticism and the rise of psychopharmacology and other alternatives

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What Is Philosophy’s Point?, Part 4. Maybe It’s Poetry with No Rhyme and Lots of Reason

The line between philosophy and the arts can get awfully blurry

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What Is Philosophy’s Point?, Part 3. Maybe It Should Stick to Ethics

Philosophers keep giving us moral advice in spite of their doubts about all ethical systems

 

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Dear Anti-Trump Protestors, Please Renounce Violence

Protesters who smashed windows and punched police on Inauguration Day are mirroring the violence they supposedly abhor

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What Is Philosophy’s Point?, Part 1 (Hint: It’s Not Discovering Truth)

Philosophy can still serve many purposes, even if it can’t compete with science as a method of accumulating knowledge

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Seeing the Miracle of Existence in the Darkest of Times

A winter solstice ritual helps a faithless science writer appreciate life’s infinite improbability

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Astrophysicist Says Experiments Might Soon Reveal Dark Matter’s "True Nature"

In a Q&A, Priyamvada Natarajan takes multiverses seriously but not cosmos-as-simulation idea

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How Donald Trump Can Become the Greatest Leader Ever

A science writer urges the President-elect to make world peace his number-one mission.

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Thanksgiving and the Myth of Native American "Savages"

Prominent scientists exaggerate the violence of Native Americans, whom European invaders ravaged.

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Donald Trump and the Problem of Evil

Can a psychedelic theology explain Trump’s ascendance?

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Yes, Trump Is Scary, but Don’t Lose Faith in Progress

In spite of occasional backward lurches, like Trump’s election, humanity should keep getting healthier, wealthier, more peaceful and more free.

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The Rise of Neo-Geocentrism

Prominent scientists are propagating new versions of the old idea that reality revolves around us

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What Would a Machine as Smart as God Want?

The field of “scientific theology” ponders the ultimate purpose of mind

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How Would AI Cover an AI Conference?

An artificial reporter might not take concerns about superintelligent, sentient machines very seriously

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What Happens When a Skeptical Science Writer Meets a Cult Leader

Was the Spiritual Leader Andrew Cohen enlightened or a “Super-egomaniac”?

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Was Civilization the Cure for Primordial Human Violence?

A new study challenges the popular claim that lethal violence declined after our ancestors settled down

 

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My Doubts about Deepak Chopra and the Monetization of Meditation

Has the holistic-health mogul overstated the health benefits of meditation and other spiritual practices?

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My Bunk-Bashing Diatribe at a Deepak Chopra Conference

A skeptical science writer critiques strings, multiverses, meditation, the Singularity and “neo-geocentrism.”

 

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World’s Smartest Physicist Thinks Science Can’t Crack Consciousness

String theorist Edward Witten says consciousness “will remain a mystery”

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Could Olympians Be Tweaking Their Genes?

“Gene doping” remains unlikely, but if scientists can safely boost athletic performance by manipulating genes, that should be cause for celebration

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