Science And Reason Resources
Latest Update 11/06/2003
Critical thinking is the ability to think about one's thinking in such
a way as to recognize its strengths and weaknesses and, as a result, to
recast the thinking in improved form.
Guide to Critical Thinking
The Critical Thinking
The forces of pseudoscience and mysticism would have us believe all
of ludicrous (but exciting) claims. Maintaining a skeptical attitude
claims of the paranormal is our only defense.
Robert T. Carroll's Skeptic's
Dictionary is a great source for definitions of terms in both
and pseudoscientific thinking.
The Committee for the Scientific
of Claims Of the Paranormal is dedicated to uncovering the truth
paranormal claims. It's a thankless job. Write them email and thank
"In the broadest sense, evolution is merely change, and so is
galaxies, languages, and political systems all evolve. Biological
... is change in the properties of populations of organisms that
the lifetime of a single individual. The ontogeny of an individual is
considered evolution; individual organisms do not evolve. The changes
populations that are considered evolutionary are those that are
via the genetic material from one generation to the next. Biological
may be slight or substantial; it embraces everything from slight
in the proportion of different alleles within a population (such as
determining blood types) to the successive alterations that led from
earliest protoorganism to snails, bees, giraffes, and dandelions."
- Douglas J. Futuyma in Evolutionary Biology, Sinauer Associates
The Talk.Origins Archive.
The ongoing Search for
The National Center for
Human knowledge evolves by mechanisms similar to biological evolution:
over the long run, by blind variation, accurate replication, and
elimination. The term which encapsulates this metaphor with genes is
The World of Richard Dawkins,
originator of the concept of memes.
Complexity And Chaos
There are many different complex phenomena in each field of science.
now it has been difficult to compare phenomena between fields of
such as physics, chemistry, biology, anthropology, and economics, in a
systematic manner because it has appeared that the properties and
of these phenomena are radically different. However, there does seem to
be some similarity between the evolution of radically different complex
phenomena such as stars, planets, and life. The science of complexity
beginning to shed some light on this similarity, and it appears there
some important commonalty between the sciences.
The Santa Fe Institute is the
world's leading center for Complexity studies.
Nanotechnology is the term used to describe the precision manufacture
materials and structures of molecular dimensions. Many of the goals of
nanotechnology were expressed nearly 40 years ago by the physicist
P. Feynman. Molecular-scale robots currently exist only in the
of nanotechnologists and the artists who depict their ideas. But some
visionaries, led by K. Eric Drexler, think that the dream will soon
a reality that will transform everything from health care to food
(Drexler's ideas are outlined in his book Engines of Creation).
The Foresight Institute's
is to guide emerging technologies to improve the human condition.
focuses its efforts upon nanotechnology, the coming ability to build
and products with atomic precision, and upon systems that will enhance
knowledge exchange and critical discussion, thus improving public and
Dr Ralph Merkle on
Artificial Life ("AL" or "Alife") is the name given to a new discipline
that studies "natural" life by attempting to recreate biological
from scratch within computers and other "artificial" media. Alife
the traditional analytic approach of traditional biology with a
approach in which, rather than studying biological phenomena by taking
apart living organisms to see how they work, one attempts to put
systems that behave like living organisms.
Artificial Life Online
Cryonic suspension is an experimental procedure whereby patients who no
longer can be kept alive using today's medical technology are preserved
at low temperature for treatment in the future.
The Alcor Foundation, a
of cryonics services.
The CryoNet Home Page.
A Cryonics FAQ.
The Life Extension Society.
Longevity-Science.Org - a scientific and educational website on human longevity from the Center on Aging,
NORC/University of Chicago.
Transhumanism & Extropianism
Transhumanism is a philosophy that humanity can, and should, strive to
higher levels, both physically, mentally and socially. It encourages
into such areas as life extension, cryonics, nanotechnology, physical
mental enhancements, uploading human consciousness into computers and
Extropy is a measure of intelligence, information, energy, vitality,
experience, diversity, opportunity, and growth (the metaphorical
of 'entropy'). Extropianism is a transhumanist philosophy concerned
Much of the Extropian movement is politically Libertarian. I'm not,
though I sympathize with their motivations. Many Extropians favor some
degree of decriminalization for recreational or mind-altering drugs. I
am skeptical about the notion that these drugs have any practical
The World Transhumanist
A page of Transhuman Resources
The Extropy Institute
The Hedonistic Imperative
outlines how third-millennium nanotechnology, genetic engineering and
will eradicate the biological substrates of aversive experience in
life. I've been thinking about this, and it seems to me that the total
elimination of all suffering, from severe pain to nagging annoyances,
be about the same as non-existence. No worries, no motivations, right?
Still, I *am* in favor of a more limited and cautious assault on
so I'm leaving this link in.
The Project's aim is the computer-supported collaborative development
an evolutionary-systemic philosophy. Put more simply, PCP tries to
age-old philosophical questions with the help of the most recent
theories and technologies.
The Church Of Virus, a
engineered atheistic religion.
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