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Apparently francophone students also begin their essays with "À l'aube de l'humanité..."

Some cultural universals really are universal

Ongoing thread over on Twitter and paper (from one of my favorite scholars out there right now) about a subject that I think lots of people here will be interested in: twitter.com/CT_Bergstrom/statu

(I know there's not a huge community interested in HPS/philosophy/history of biology on the fedi yet, but hey, if you build it, they will come, right?)

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This is the first "side project" paper to come out of my history of the period that's almost entirely submitted to the publisher – for more details, check out this paper, a hopeful two further articles to come, and the book! blog.pencelab.be/2021/the-rise 8/8

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My tendentious claim here is that this shift mirrors a recent philosophical debate over causation in natural selection. How should we understand the relationship between physiological details and population-level statistical parameters?

Weldon starts out convinced that those physiological details don't matter (everything is a question of arithmetic, remember!), but when confronted with a real evolutionary situation, he realizes he has to support that with causal, physiological detail. 7/

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But he doesn't! He goes out and builds a massive physiology experiment to try to test his hypothesis that the silt is clogging up their filtering apparatus. Here's a bunch of crabs living in jars, with different degrees of silt, etc... (Imagine daily feeding time!) 6/

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But by the late '90s, Weldon realizes that – as the sound is silting up – one feature of them is changing *very* rapidly. What's weird about this is his response. A guy who just argued that this is only a statistical problem should just go get more stats, right? 5/

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These little guys are all over Plymouth Sound. And in the early-mid '90s, Weldon and Pearson are convinced that just collecting a lot of statistical data about them is enough to demonstrate the action of natural selection. 4/

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In this paper, I get about as close as I'm comfortable doing to Whiggish history. In short: Weldon is grappling with something *very* similar to a contemporary debate over causation in natural selection between 1893 and 1906. It's all about these crabs, Carcinus mænas. 3/

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This is all about WFR Weldon (1860–1906), British invertebrate zoologist and one of the pioneer theorists of mathematical biology, developing with Francis Galton and Karl Pearson the first mathematical approaches to natural selection. (also: Western movie stock character) 2/

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New article alert! "W. F. R. Changes His Mind," now out in European Journal for Philosophy of Science. What am I on about now? Read on to find out. You can find the paper here: rdcu.be/cmRMW or feel very free to e-mail me or check my website for a PDF. 1/

Upgrading immune system:
▓▓▓▓▓▓░░░░░░░░░ 40%
Estimated time remaining: six weeks

I've had a new doctoral student for eight months, and today for the first time we spent three hours in person, hanging out and talking philosophy (and everything else) not in the framework of a dedicated meeting about some text or other.

I've missed being a professor.

Linus Torvalds, anti-vaxx response 

Ha, Linus responding in length to an anti-vaxx post on #linux kernel discussion list.

/dev/log 

New post over at my development log! Go check it out: devlog.charlespence.net/

As I wait for my iPad to update iOS for the millionth time, wondering about recommendations: who's building cool, open tablets out there? At least Android, maybe even a crazy Linux distro, on something light and vaguely iPad-shaped?

I'm going to use this until it falls apart, of course, for sustainability reasons, but last I looked at non-Apple tablets it was pretty disappointing...

A poll (my first!). Is Google your email provider? I just want to get a general feeling how much of a monopoly it is in a relatively tech-savvy world of Mastodon.

Boosts are welcome!

/dev/log 

New post over at my development log! Go check it out: devlog.charlespence.net/

Come work with the Logic Group at the Philosophy Department, University of Milan! Postdoc in Logical Foundations of AI – Deadline 30th June 2021
filosofia.unimi.it/logic/open-

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