On our greater intelligence

“If our greater intelligence is the hallmark of our species then we should use it, as all other beings use their distinctive advantages, to help ensure that our offspring prosper, and their heredity is passed on, and that the fabric of nature that sustains us is protected. Human intelligence is imperfect, surely, and newly arisen. The ease…

Christmas Through the Microscope

I’d like to share with you a video produced by the Natural History Museum of the University of Oxford. I usually don’t like this kind of thing, but I really loved the last couple of verses. I, too, wish you all curiosity for Christmas and the new year :). Hekanibru

¿Cómo interpretar el resultado de un estudio médico?

Si sales positivo en un estudio de una enfermedad muy poco común, no te alarmes demasiado: incluso si el estudio fuera muy bueno, la probabilidad de que efectivamente tengas la enfermedad puede ser sorprendentemente baja.

La seductora (y traicionera) evidencia anecdótica

Acabo de ver un fragmento de la entrevista que le hizo Richard Dawkins a Michael Baum—un profesor emérito de cirugía del University College London—en el contexto del documental ‘The Enemies of Reason’. Una anécdota de Baum sobre la efectividad de la acupuntura me gustó bastante. Me encontraba en Florencia, dirigiendo una reunión sobre el rol…

The first law of thermodynamics

“I like to think about the first law of thermodynamics. That no energy in the universe is created and none is destroyed. That means that every bit of energy inside us, every particle, will go on to be a part of something else. Maybe live as a dragon fish, a microbe, maybe burn in a…

Papadimitriou shows P != NP

One of the most important problems in computational complexity has been finally closed. The proof looks quite involved, but I think Papadimitriou’s draft is worth checking out. I’m speechless. Hekanibru

10 Mandamientos para los Maestros

El filósofo, matemático, historiador, y activista social británico Bertrand Russell se mantiene como uno de los más intelectualmente diversos e influyentes pensadores modernos; en particular, su filosofía sobre religión ha tenido un enorme impacto en pensadores contemporáneos tales como Christopher Hitchens, Daniel Dennett, y Richard Dawkins. En el tercer tomo de su autobiografía aparece este…

He is everywhere

He is everywhere, in the heavens and Earth. He makes the stars shine yet He cannot be seen. He is noble, abundant, and fills the universe. He can lift you into the sky and bring you gently down. He can take many forms. He can help heal. He can help kill. He can help create…

Schopenhauer’s Porcupine Dilemma

A number of porcupines huddled together for warmth on a cold day in winter; but, as they began to prick one another with their quills, they were obliged to disperse. However the cold drove them together again, when just the same thing happened. At last, after many turns of huddling and dispersing, they discovered that…

Phaedrus’ Break

Phaedrus’ break occurred when, as a result of laboratory experience, he became interested in hypotheses as entities in themselves. He had noticed again and again in his lab work that what might seem to be the hardest part of scientific work, thinking up the hypotheses, was invariably the easiest. The act of formally writing everything…

Two kinds of faith

Saying that science, like religion, rests on faith is no more than a cheap trick. As Richard Dawkins explains: “There is a very, very important difference between feeling strongly, even passionately, about something because we have thought about and examined the evidence for it on the one hand, and feeling strongly about something because it…