Metaphysics

The cover story of the New Scientist this week is Metaphysics, which they sub-title “How science answers philosophy’s deepest questions”. I think that the New Scientist is a very interesting magazine, and I’m pleased that they tackle these sorts of topics, although I do find how they approach them somewhat frustrating sometimes!

Ecclesiastes as experiment

What does Ecclesiastes look like from a scientist’s point of view? People have long struggled with how best to understand Ecclesiastes and the approach of R J Berry provides a refreshing change to some of the theologian’s arguments over whether it is ‘pessimistic’ or ‘optimistic’. On another note, Ecclesiastes has also provided the inspiration for…

Chance or Constraint?

The results of evolution (including us!) are the results of chance. That’s the standard view anyway. The great, late Stephen Jay Gould wrote engagingly about this in his fascinating book, Wonderful Life.  But, this view has been challenged by Simon Conway Morris, particularly in his book Life’s Solution. In this he argues that, once life…