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Critical views of science in the news

Ethicist Peter Singer Critiques Roe v. Wade, Obamacare, Romney

Last week the man whom The New Yorker called "the most influential living philosopher" came to my school, Stevens Institute, to talk about "Ethics and the Election." Peter Singer, who was raised in Australia and now teaches at Princeton and the University of Melbourne, espouses utilitarianism, an ethics that seeks to minimize suffering and maximize wellbeing.Singer's work is challenging, not because his writing is difficult to understand but because it is all too clear...

October 22, 2012 — John Horgan

Comrades, Join the "Peer Progressive" Movement!

Fed up with Obomney? Sick of both Democrats and Republicans? Do you see the parties' similarities—their cowardly hawkishness and craven obeisance to deep-pocketed donors--as more significant than their differences?...

October 8, 2012 — John Horgan

Is Cosmos a "Piece of Light Verse" Tossed Off by a Bored God?

Last spring, I offered a harsh assessment of A Universe from Nothing (Free Press, 2012), in which physicist Lawrence Krauss proposed that physicists have finally, probably, maybe, sort of, answered The Question of All Questions: Why is there something rather than nothing?...

September 21, 2012 — John Horgan

Did the U.S. Overreact to the 9/11 Attacks?

Last year, on the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001, attacks by Al Qaeda on the United States, I posted a column arguing that the U.S. overreacted to these horrific acts of terrorism...

September 10, 2012 — John Horgan

How William Thurston (RIP) Helped Bring About "The Death of Proof"

William Thurston, who died on August 21 at the age of 65, would have hated this post's headline. Let me tell you why it's justified.In 1993, when I was a full-time staff writer for Scientific American , my boss, Jonathan Piel, asked, or rather, commanded me to write an in-depth feature on something, anything, mathematical...

August 24, 2012 — John Horgan

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The Essential Guide to the Modern World