“Natural selection” and the early career of a metaphor

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“Metaphors, as we all by now know, aren’t just ornamental linguistic flourishes—they’re basic building blocks of everyday reasoning. And they’re at their most potent when they recast a difficult-to-understand phenomenon as something familiar.” So writes cognitive scientist Kensy Cooperrider. In giving the backstory of Darwin’s choice of “natural selection” for evolution, he provides a short article for any Theory of Knowledge […]

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Big lies, clever cons, and TOK ways of knowing, Part 2: What does storytelling do to knowledge?

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Stories have power. In the scams of con artists, they have the power to “get you emotionally transported enough that you stop asking questions, or at least the questions that matter.” So warns Maria Konnikova, whose recently published book The Confidence Game prompted my post last week, and this week. At the same time, however, […]

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Real Scientific Literacy for TOK

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What an excellent summary of how science works! You’ll be missing out on a splendid resource if you don’t read these two articles on “Real Scientific Literacy” offered just last week (free, on his blog) by neurologist and science writer Dr. Steven Novella: Real Scientific Literacy , The Ness, Neurologicablog, January 12, 2016. Real Scientific Literacy, Part II , The Ness, Neurologicablog, January […]

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“Really? You don’t know what MATTER is?”: Nobel Laureate in physics uses doughnuts to explain.

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In just a minute and a half on a comedy show, Nobel Laureate Arthur McDonald explains the discovery in physics that made him a co-winner of a Nobel Prize this month. Well, actually…..no, he doesn’t. But he does provoke a laugh, perhaps especially for Canadians who recognize the popular chocolate Timbits (doughnuts) he resorts to […]

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