'anthropic-principle.com' is an internet resource dedicated to the provision of materials and information relating to a wide range of subjects in the philosophy of science. In particular it focuses on anthropic reasoning, the Doomsday argument, observational selection effects, and related issues in cosmology and evolutionary biology. It is maintained by Professor Nick Bostrom from the Department of Philosophy at Oxford University, and will be of relevance to both students and academics. The site includes an archive of preprints (written by Bostrom and others) on the aforementioned topics as well as other areas. In addition to the archive, there is a bibliography on relevant topics and links to other anthropic resources on the internet. Visitors can also download without charge Bostrom's book on Anthropic Bias. This is a well-designed, informative site that is easily navigable.
The Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota aims: "to advance and disseminate knowledge concerning ethical issues in health care and the life sciences." The Center organizes and sponsors various research projects ranging from a Genetics and Identity project to an African Genealogy and Genetics project. The excellent website is divided into sections on: the Center's Research; Education (giving details of the University of Minnesota's many graduate programmes in bioethics); details of the many Publications of Center and Faculty staff; and a Resource Center containing bibliographies and details of how to access the University's materials on bioethics. Also contains news features and recently published articles of interest to those working in the field of bioethics. This high quality resource is an extremely useful conduit of information for those working at an advanced level in the field of bioethics.
Cognition, Biology, and Idealist Philosophy is an academic dissertation by philosopher Axel Randrup. The work can be downloaded from the website of the Oxford Text Archive (formerly part of the Arts and Humanities Data Service (AHDS)) in HTML format. It is freely available, although users are required to agree to a brief terms and condition statement. The work argues that materialist philosophy contains a contradiction (namely that it assumes a material world independent of human observation, but also says that all our thoughts and cognitions, including the assumption of a material world, are dependent on our cognitive apparatus in its present stage of evolution), and offers an alternative account of natural science, biological evolution, and cognition, based on an idealist philosophy.
'Darwin 200' is the website of a national event in the UK, which aims to celebrate the 200th birthday of the scientist Charles Darwin. The website has been created by the Natural History Museum and has a full description of the project, its aims, and partner events such as a BBC 'Darwin season' on television. There is also an events listing which is searchable by keyword or can be filtered by place. Visitors to the website can create their own customised programme of events. The website also has a guide to online Darwin resources, and an interactive map of "Darwin's Britain". This may be a useful website for those studying media coverage of science, public understanding of controversy in scientific history, and the role of the arts in contemporary science education.
'The definition of life' is an online essay by Joseph Morales. He discusses and rejects several possible ways of distinguishing between the living and the non-living, before finally proposing, expounding and defending his own solution. Although Morales does not appear to have any formal academic credentials (or at least not ones he advertises either here or on the site of which this is part), the tone of the essay is scholarly, and the arguments seem thoroughly researched and well reasoned. The other views that are quoted in the text are always attributed, though unfortunately specific details such as page numbers are not usually given. The work is unfinished, and while the author ends by promising that it is to be continued, the site does not appear to have been updated since 1998. Nevertheless, there is still enough material here to make this an interesting and thought-provoking read.
A handsomely planned and produced educational website to accompany the seven part PBS television series on evolution first broadcast in 2001 and based around Karl Zimmer's highly acclaimed book 'Evolution : The triumph of an ideal'. In addition to offering a guide to individual episodes of the television series, based around key themes such as Darwin and the history of the debate about evolution, evolutionary change, survival and extinction of animals, sex, human origins and religion (including video clip previews), there is an extensive library of hundreds of additional essays, images and weblinks to complement the contents of the broadcast series and an impressive glossary. Hypertext links are used throughout, though in a way which does not distract the reader from following a linear course through the text, though the website will make demands on your browser in the form of QuickTime or RealPlayer video plug-ins. The website is multi-layered and richly textured to appeal to a wide audience from the general public to college undergraduate level in a broad spectrum of studies from biology, biological anthropology, archaeology and the history of science and religion. It is also aimed at teachers in the form of an extensive series of FAQs and excellent educational and professional resources such as online lessons (with video clips from classroom situations) addressing issues raised by each programme. The fact that some of the educational aids address directly the on-going debate in the US between evolutionists and creationists adds an extra interest for readers from Europe interested in the relationship between science, religion and politics.
Humanimalia is a full-text peer-reviewed ejournal, freely available online and published from DePauw University. Humanimalia aims to publish three times per year, and the first issue was published in August 2009. This online journal publishes HTML papers and reviews on the topic of human-animal encounters, covering fields such as contemporary philosophy, cultural studies, sci-art, and storytelling. Example articles available in the first issue include: 'Animal Farm's Lessons for Literary (and) Animal Studies'; 'Naming names - or, whatís in it for the animals?'; and 'At the Heart of the Home: An Animal Reading of Mikhail Bulgakovís The Heart of a Dog', with reviews of such books as 'What Animals Mean in the Fiction of Modernity' (2008). The website also contains a 'Humanimalifesto', and a Calls for Papers page where one can find the details of the Editorial Board. This unique journal may be of interest to scholars working in a variety of fields.
This website, hosted by the University of Iowa, offers the images from 'Anatomia Universa', by Paolo Mascagni (1755 - 1815). This seminal work on the lymphatic system, particularly famous for the exquisite quality of its plates, is exceptionally rare, with only three or four copies thought to exist in the United States. Therefore, the site is likely to be of use to researchers of this field at all levels. The images from the plates may be accessed from the home page in sections headed: 'skeleton', 'front', 'back', 'special', 'viscera I' and 'viscera II'. The site includes a detailed biography of Mascagni, with full reference to the different stages of his work and discussion of his challenges to contemporary beliefs about the workings of the lymphatic system. There are also details on the construction of this Web project to make his work accessible, and a link to the Hardin Library for Health Sciences. QuickTime plug-in VR (QCVR) components are available on the site which add the ability to zoom in and pan across images for more detail. However, they may also be viewed without this facility. The only negative feature about this site is that the home page offers very little information, so that researchers who are unfamiliar with the text may not immediately realise what is being offered.
This collection of Web pages from Literature.org - the Online Literature Library offers access to the seminal writings of Charles Darwin on his theory of evolution and the journeys that formed the foundation of his thesis. 'The Voyage of the Beagle' (1848), two editions of 'The Origin of Species' (1859), and 'The Descent of Man' (1871), are all available as transcripts, with the original references included and accessible through highlighted links. There is very little additional information, aside from the Web-editor's occasional detail on the texts, such as the note that the 6th edition of 'The Origin of Species', which is the second of the two available on the site, is considered to be the definitive version. This is a straightforward resource, of use to any researcher across a range of disciplines needing easy access to Darwin's work, with the added bonus of the two editions useful for comparative study. They are transcripts, however, not scanned originals, so should not be considered definitive in themselves and full publication details for all the original texts would add value to the resource.
Palaeontologia Electronica, published biannually since 1998, is the first exclusively electronic journal devoted to palaeontology. Its attractive and innovative layout is designed to appeal to a wide constituency from professional palaeontologists and research students to school teachers and the general public. While it publishes technical academic papers, it also offers a range of summaries, letters, news items and reviews (of technical books, popular works and items of interest to children and teenagers) which will appeal to anyone with an interest in fossils. One important feature of this online journal is the inclusion of abstracts not only in French, German, Italian and Spanish but also in a 'plain English' version for non-specialists and, in some cases, an audio summary. Each issue also features a selection of online teaching resources which will be of use to teachers of all didactic levels. These sections, which features themes such include as climate change, dating, dinosaurs, palaeoenvironments, and the relationship between evolution and the philosophy of science, have been validated by the editors as scientifically accurate though the reader will have to judge for themselves the value of the didactic presentations of individual weblinks. The website is hosted by a series of worldwide archives; it is necessary to choose one.
This is the home page of Quirks and Quarks, a long-running and award-winning popular science radio programme produced by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC). There are archives of past shows on the site with excellent transcripts, links, images, and sound files. Archives go back to 1989, although audio files are no longer available for older shows, and the earliest entries provide programme logs only. Recent shows are available in MP3 or Ogg format, and a podcast of the current show is updated weekly. The site covers an enormous range of topics related to technology, medicine and science and their connections to social issues. Quirks and Quarks has addressed subjects of interest to philosophers such as animal consciousness. The site's extensive bibliographies may appeal to those working in philosophy as well as the history and philosophy of science, since they include references to relevant biographies, books on cosmology and evolution, the human place in the environment, and problems in understanding the biological aspects of perception. The site has a newsletter, its own search engine, and a questions section which allow users to ask questions of the site's host, who then posts his answers. The friendly tone and accessibility of the site will also make it useful and informative for teachers, students and members of the public.
This website is a bibliography of texts on evolutionary epistemology, and is a revised electronic version of a print edition by Gary A. Cziko and Donald T. Campbell. Very simply, evolutionary epistemology (or selection theory) investigates the way in which organisms find a 'fit' with their environment. Many scientists now believe that evolutionary assimilation is not simply a question of organic change, but that it implies a kind of knowledge. The bibliography is arranged alphabetically according to author. It also has a quote index - a very useful and interesting feature. Representative quotes by important scholars in the field are available alphabetically. The site is text-based and fast loading, although it does not appear to have been updated since the end of 1997.
'The Vital Science: Biology and the Literary Imagination, 1860-1900' is the online full text of Peter Morton's 1984 work. Morton, an Associate Professor in English at Flinders University, South Australia, writes that the confusion and chaos in the biological sphere following the publication of Darwin's 'The Origin of Species', proved fertile ground for writers such as: H. G. Wells; Thomas Hardy; W. H. Hudson; and Samuel Butler. Morton examines their imaginative responses to such theories as: evolutionism; degeneration; eugenics; and ideas of heredity. The online layout is very easy to navigate, via chapter headings, with notes and references listed separately. Unfortunately there is no index or search facility. An impressive bibliography on Darwinism and literature is appended to the book. This site would interest students of English and also of history of science.