Tag Archives: science

5-HTTLPR: A Pointed Review

In 1996, some researchers discovered that depressed people often had an unusual version of the serotonin transporter gene 5-HTTLPR. The study became a psychiatric sensation, getting thousands of citations and sparking dozens of replication attempts (page 3 here lists 46). … Continue reading

[PARTIALLY RETRACTED] Cortical Neuron Number Matches Intuitive Perceptions Of Moral Value Across Animals

[EDIT: No longer confident in this post, see here.] Yesterday’s post reviewed research showing that animals’ intelligence seemed correlated with their number of cortical neurons. If this is true, we could use it to create an absolute scale that puts … Continue reading

Neurons And Intelligence: A Birdbrained Perspective

Elephants have bigger brains than humans, so why aren’t they smarter than we are? The classic answer has been to play down absolute brain size in favor of brain size relative to body. Sometimes people justify this as “it takes … Continue reading

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Highlights From The Comments On Kuhn

Thanks to everyone who commented on the review of The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions. From David Chapman: It’s important to remember that Kuhn wrote this seven decades ago. It was one of the most influential books of pop philosophy in … Continue reading

Book Review: The Structure Of Scientific Revolutions

When I hear scientists talk about Thomas Kuhn, he sounds very reasonable. Scientists have theories that guide their work. Sometimes they run into things their theories can’t explain. Then some genius develops a new theory, and scientists are guided by … Continue reading

Is Science Slowing Down?

[This post was up a few weeks ago before getting taken down for complicated reasons. They have been sorted out and I’m trying again.] Is scientific progress slowing down? I recently got a chance to attend a conference on this … Continue reading

SSC Journal Club: Dissolving The Fermi Paradox

I’m late to posting this, but it’s important enough to be worth sharing anyway: Sandberg, Drexler, and Ord on Dissolving the Fermi Paradox. (You may recognize these names: Toby Ord founded the effective altruism movement; Eric Drexler kindled interest in … Continue reading

Adult Neurogenesis – A Pointed Review

[I am not a neuroscientist and apologize in advance for any errors in this article. A recent study came out contradicting some of the claims mentioned here. See here for study, this comment for some discussion, and entry #20 on … Continue reading

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Are The Amish Unhappy? Super Happy? Just Meh?

I. Recently on Marginal Revolution: Are the Amish unhappy? The average levels of life satisfaction [among the Amish] was 4.4; just above the neutral point…the Amish fall lower than members of many other groups. In a study of more than … Continue reading

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The Dark Rule Utilitarian Argument For Science Piracy

I sometimes advertise – the Kazakhstani pirate site that lets you get scientific papers for free. It’s clearly illegal in the US. But is it unethical? I can think of two strong arguments that it might be: First, we … Continue reading

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