Download PDF by M. Hanlon: 10 Questions Science Can't Answer (Yet)

By M. Hanlon

ISBN-10: 0230517587

ISBN-13: 9780230517585

From the writer of the bestselling The technology of the Hitchhiker's consultant to the Galaxy comes one other superb journey to an excellent extra mysterious terrain. Michael Hanlon identifies ten medical questions that we easily can not seem to resolution and explains why those compelling mysteries will stay unsolved for years to comeHow did lifestyles commence? Why are there sexes? the place did language originate? In Hanlon's frequently witty variety, he ponders the methods those questions have persevered in complicated the easiest minds and asks what will be had to resolve all of it. From politics to loss of expertise, each one query has its personal set of conditions keeping it again. through exploring those unanswerable questions, Hanlon exposessome of science's maximum failings and missteps--andcharts a hopeful course for buying technological know-how again at the street to discovery.

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Extra info for 10 Questions Science Can't Answer (Yet)

Sample text

The crow’s brain is also particularly well developed in those areas thought to be responsible for ‘higher’ thought processes, a region of the brain dubbed the ‘avian prefrontal cortex’ as it is thought to be analogous to the structure seen in mammals. Not only have crows been seen making hooks in captivity, their behaviour in the wild shows some extraordinary abilities. For instance, they cut pandanus leaves into a series of sawtooth spikes and use these to impale grubs and insects gathered from under vegetation.

Chimpanzees have, in similar experiments, shown themselves incapable of grasping the principle of bending a pliant piece of wire to make a hook and retrieve food. Some people would probably have trouble. The fact that at least some birds are so clever comes as a surprise, partly because birds are so distantly related to humans. They are not even mammals. But of course there is no reason to suppose that ‘IQ’ (whatever that means in an animal context) should have any relationship to evolutionary closeness to Homo sapiens.

If it is right to take a chimp’s life to save a human then it may also be right, under certain circumstances, to take a human’s life to save a chimp. To argue otherwise is simply wrong and makes one guilty of arbitrary speciesism. The Great Ape project (the name of which, ironically, indicates a certain amount of arbitrary speciesism itself) is a loose group of scientists and philosophers which argues that we should extend certain legal rights to at least the ‘higher’ primates, our closest cousins, as a first step.

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10 Questions Science Can't Answer (Yet) by M. Hanlon

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