Saturday, 10 September 2016

The Meaning of Human Existence (not)

I read chapter 6 of Edward O Wilson's "The Meaning of Human Existence" from 2014.

This is the chapter on 'inclusive fitness theory'. It was a jaw-dropping experience. If we are to believe Edward's account, he helped to lead a valiant crusade against a long-established theory and succeeded in overturning it in 2010. Of course, the reality is that the 2010 paper in question was an embarrassing scientific farce, which had no useful new results and just paraded the authors' own misconceptions.

I think that the lesson here is that the egos of famous elderly scientists can get out of control, leading to delusions of grandeur. Other famous elderly scientists should take note: don't let this happen to you.

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