Re-Launching The Art of World-Making

More than a year ago, I started planning this blog and “launched” it with a post explaining a bit about what I’ll be doing. Then I didn’t post anything. No excuses, but here’s to second chances.

I have an About page and am working on two posts for the coming week, but here are keywords that describe the blog:

  • Evolution
  • Cognitive neuroscience
  • Genetics/genomics
  • Science in the news, especially biology
  • Nature of science

Common contexts will be creationism and other forms of science denial, but I shall write on evolution and related things whenever I am suitably moved by something I read.

The title was inspired by this paragraph from David Hume’s Dialogues concerning Natural Religion:

But were this world ever so perfect a production, it must still remain uncertain, whether all the excellencies of the work can justly be ascribed to the workman. If we survey a ship, what an exalted idea must we form of the ingenuity of the carpenter, who framed so complicated, useful and beautiful a machine? And what surprise must we feel, when we find him a stupid mechanic, who imitated others, and copied an art, which, through a long succession of ages, after multiplied trials, mistakes, corrections, deliberations, and controversies, had been gradually improving? Many worlds might have been botched and bungled, throughout an eternity, ere this system was struck out: much labour lost: many fruitless trials made: and a slow, but continued improvement carried on during infinite ages in the art of world-making. In such subjects, who can determine, where the truth; nay, who can conjecture where the probability, lies; amidst a great number of hypotheses which may be proposed, and a still greater number, which may be imagined?
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