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  • Profile of Steven Weinberg: from The End of Science

    By John Horgan | May 4, 2015 |

    In my last post Steven Weinberg, one of history’s greatest physicists, answers questions about progress—or the lack thereof–in particle physics, cosmology and politics . He comments on, among other topics, strings, multiverses, the anthropic principle, religion, evil, nuclear weapons and human progress. […]

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  • Nobel Laureate Steven Weinberg Still Dreams of Final Theory

    By John Horgan | May 1, 2015 |

    One might think that success in science requires seeing through your own bullshit as well as the bullshit of others. But in my experience, this quality is quite rare. I’ve met only a few scientists who seem immune to wishful thinking. Francis Crick was one. […]

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  • Can a Hole in Your Head Get You High?

    By John Horgan | April 27, 2015 |

    Of the weird conversations I’ve had in my life, many of the weirdest took place while I was researching my 2003 book Rational Mysticism , which explores religious experiences and other exotic states of consciousness. And one of the weirdest of all involved a British aristocrat, Amanda Feilding, a.k.a. […]

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  • How to Handle Doubts about Evolution, Global Warming, Multiverses: Teach the Controversy!

    How to Handle Doubts about Evolution, Global Warming, Multiverses: Teach the Controversy!

    By John Horgan | April 20, 2015 |

    I’ve been blabbing a lot about free speech lately–in posts here and here , on New Hampshire Public Radio and the online chat show Bloggingheads.tv , in my classes. I’ve defended the right of all citizens to challenge scientists and other “experts,” who are often wrong. […]

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  • Was I Wrong about “The End of Science”?

    Was I Wrong about “The End of Science”?

    By John Horgan | April 13, 2015 |

    One of the coolest–and most stressful–moments of my career took place November 7, 1996, when I was a staff writer for Scientific American . That evening, the New York Academy of Sciences sponsored a “Sneak Preview of Science in the 21st Century” featuring a panel of seven scientific luminaries. […]

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  • Journalist Chris Mooney Is Wrong, Again, about “Experts”

    Journalist Chris Mooney Is Wrong, Again, about “Experts”

    By John Horgan | April 8, 2015 |

    I recently knocked science journalist Chris Mooney for asserting that “ You Have No Business Challenging Scientific Experts .” Non-experts have the right and even the duty, I retorted, to question scientific experts, who often get things wrong . […]

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  • How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Beat Rival Treatments?

    How Does Alcoholics Anonymous Beat Rival Treatments?

    By John Horgan | April 4, 2015 |

    Alcoholics Anonymous, the 80-year-old self-help program, has always had critics, who fault it for being too religious and unscientific. Journalist Gabrielle Glaser revives both these charges in her April Atlantic article, “ The False Gospel of Alcoholics Anonymous .” She claims that “researchers have debunked central tenets of A.A. […]

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  • Steven Pinker, John Gray and the End of War

    Steven Pinker, John Gray and the End of War

    By John Horgan | April 1, 2015 |

    Fisticuffs have broken out in The Guardian between two intellectual big shots, philosopher John Gray and psychologist Steven Pinker. The fight, which features lots of rhetorical flourishes and high dudgeon, addresses a serious issue: Is humanity achieving moral progress? […]

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  • Steve Fuller and the Value of Intellectual Provocation

    Steve Fuller and the Value of Intellectual Provocation

    By John Horgan | March 27, 2015 |

    Philosopher Daniel Dennett once asked : Would you rather be remembered for being right about something, or for being “original and provocative”? A scholar recently called sociologist Steve Fuller "one of the few wild intelligences that I've seen in decades of being around academics." I’ve been mulling over Dennett’s question in the aftermath of sociologist Steve Fuller’s recent visit to my school, Stevens Institute of Technology. […]

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  • Sociologist Steve Fuller: Scientists Aren’t More Rational Than the Rest of Us

    Sociologist Steve Fuller: Scientists Aren’t More Rational Than the Rest of Us

    By John Horgan | March 23, 2015 |

    In a column last week, I argued that journalists and other non-scientists have the right and even in some cases the responsibility to question the authority of scientific experts ; after all, “even the most accomplished scientists at the most prestigious institutions often make claims that turn out to be erroneous or exaggerated.” Steve Fuller: "Make no mistake: it is not that scientists are less rational than the rest of humanity; rather, they are not more rational." Photo: University of Warwick. […]

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