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

By M. Hanlon

ISBN-10: 0230517587

ISBN-13: 9780230517585

From the writer of the bestselling The technological know-how of the Hitchhiker's advisor to the Galaxy comes one other very good journey to a good 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 start? Why are there sexes? the place did language originate? In Hanlon's ordinarily witty variety, he ponders the methods those questions have persevered in troublesome the simplest minds and asks what should be had to unravel all of it. From politics to loss of expertise, each one query has its personal set of situations retaining it again. by way of exploring those unanswerable questions, Hanlon exposessome of science's maximum failings and missteps--andcharts a hopeful path for buying technology again at the street to discovery.

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But how much of this is scientific and how much mere anthropomorphizing? And, most importantly, how much data do we have? Not a lot. One recent anecdotal report claimed to confirm that jealousy can be experienced by dogs. The research, carried out at the University of Portsmouth in the UK, involved 1000 pet dogs and their owners across southern England. The 30 10 questions science can’t answer yet owners reported many instances of jealousy, where dogs would become upset when affection was bestowed upon people or other animals.

And earthworms have been spotted doing differential calculus (just kidding). Cleverness is not self-awareness. The fact that crows can make tools out of wire does not necessarily mean that they are sentient. But intelligence may well be linked to consciousness. That the brains of mammals, reptiles, birds amphibians and even fish share common structures and genetic backgrounds suggests quite strongly that our self-awareness is almost certainly not unique. Because not to draw this conclusion would be to assume something very strange indeed, something along Cartesian lines – that somehow, at some point in the evolution of Homo sapiens, and Homo sapiens alone, something magical invaded our skulls in the Pleistocene and set up home.

It still doesn’t tell us much about what it is like to be a bat, a beagle or a badger. What other criteria could we use to determine whether animals are conscious or zombies? There are a range of emotions that seem to depend on a sophisticated sense of one’s place in the world and one’s relation to it. Emotions like jealousy, sarcasm or humour seem to demand a sophisticated sense of self (less sophisticated emotions like love and hate, or fear and rage may not require anything like the same degree of mind).

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