Category Archives: Causation

Why I worry about climate change

In recent discussions, several friends have described why current events make them deeply pessimistic about the future. I usually respond that I’m an optimist; for example, I believe that our democratic institutions are strong enough to withstand assault from partisans … Continue reading

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“This is a sad day for the children of the U.S.”

Howard Mielke is a toxicologist at the Medical School of Tulane University in New Orleans. He described March 21, 2017 as “a sad day for the children of the U.S.” in response to news that the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) … Continue reading

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Monarch butterflies, milkweed, and migration: The law of unintended consequences

I described the magic of migration by monarch butterflies in Chapter 1 of Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology. These tiny animals fly from breeding areas in the northern US and Canada to overwintering sites in high-elevation forests in central … Continue reading

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Medical use of marijuana revisited

I described two experimental studies of the use of marijuana to reduce pain in Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology and discussed two technical reviews of the medical value of marijuana in a subsequent blog posting. The gist of these … Continue reading

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Careful readers are a writer’s best friends

Writing for publication entails many drafts and many reviews of these drafts by friends, colleagues, copyeditors, and critics. The credibility of science depends on peer review, as explained by Frederick Grinnell in The Everyday Practice of Science and by me … Continue reading

Posted in Causation, Correlation & Causation, Ecology, Ethics, Evaluating evidence, Evolution, General material, Probability & Statistics, Twins | Comments Off on Careful readers are a writer’s best friends

Brownie, you’re doing a heckuva job

I discuss several examples of the complexity of causation in Tools for Critical Thinking in Biology, ranging from interactive effects of genes and environments on humans and other organisms to webs of relationships connecting predators and prey such as killer … Continue reading

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