Richard Dawkins’ Inconsistent Reliance On Pragmatism

A very popular video on YouTube featuring Richard Dawkins is titled ‘Science Works, Bitches.’ It periodically makes the rounds on social media; as it does, Dawkins acolytes–in the video and on social media–applaud him as he ‘smacks down’ a questioner who inquires into the ‘justification’ for the scientific method. (A familiar enough question; for instance,Continue reading “Richard Dawkins’ Inconsistent Reliance On Pragmatism”

Richard Feynman on Philosophy of Science and Ornithology

Richard Feynman is supposed to have said, in his usual inimitable style, that “Philosophy of science is about as useful to scientists as ornithology is to birds.” Cue chuckles from scientists and grumbles from philosophers. Science is useful! Philosophy is useless! Go back to counting angels. Or something like that.  The persistent disdain that distinguished scientists–likeContinue reading “Richard Feynman on Philosophy of Science and Ornithology”

How Best to Introduce Scientific Reasoning

A couple of days ago on Facebook, by way of crowd-sourcing syllabi preparation for an undergraduate critical thinking course that includes a unit–three to six class sessions–on scientific reasoning, David Grober-Morrow threw out the following query What do you most wish that undergraduates (science and non-science majors) understood about scientific reasoning? This is a veryContinue reading “How Best to Introduce Scientific Reasoning”