Massimo Pigliucci

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Massimo Pigliucci is an Italian American biologist turned philosopher, formerly specializing in ecology and evolution and currently holding a post as a philosopher of biology at the City University of New York, Lehman College.[1] He was born in Monrovia, Liberia, raised in Rome, and eventually emigrated to the United States.

Contents

[edit] Rationally Speaking/Scientia Salon

Pigliucci wrote a long-running column for the Skeptical Inquirer called "Rationally Speaking." His columns there now go under the name of "Thinking About Science." The column spawned a spin-off blog and podcast of the same name, which he hosts along with Julia Galef. As of 2014, the Rationally Speaking blog has been discontinued (although the archives are still available and the podcast continues on) in favor of Pigliucci's new project, Scientia Salon. Scientia Salon is an online magazine edited by Pigliucci that publishes articles by him and other scholars on a wide range of issues, though there is a concentration on science and philosophy.

[edit] Evolutionary theory and creationism

[edit] Debating creationists

Pigliucci has laid the smackdown on a number of prominent creationists, including Duane Gish (a total of five times!),[2] Jonathan Wells,[3] and Kent Hovind.[4] However, he also charges some defenders of evolution with scientism, putting partial blame on them for the denial of evolution due to their smuggling philosophy into science.[5]

[edit] Extended Synthesis and Pigliucci's view of evolution

Pigliucci is a proponent of approaches to evolutionary theory that have come to be known as the "Extended Synthesis," which he distinguishes as being not a replacement of the "Modern Synthesis," but merely a modification (albeit a rather major one) to it. The Extended Synthesis seeks to incorporate new findings from fields such as evolutionary-developmental biology and epigenetics.[6] The concept of the Extended Synthesis has generated some controversy in the field of evolutionary biology -- its critics include some well-known scientists such as Richard Dawkins and Douglas Futuyma. Critics generally contend that the current Modern Synthesis can accommodate this new research without modification or that some phenomena, such as epigenetic inheritance, are transient enough not to have a large impact on evolutionary theory.[7]

[edit] Debating atheists

Pigliucci has been critical of "New Atheists" including Richard Dawkins, Jerry Coyne, and Sam Harris on a number of topics.[8] He has variously accused them of mixing atheism with scientism.[9] Specifically, he has criticized Dawkins' concepts of the "selfish gene" and memes,[10] Harris' claims about science and morality in The Moral Landscape,[11] and Coyne's arguments against free will.[12]

[edit] Publications

  • Phenotypic Evolution (with Carl Schlichting) (1998)
  • Tales of the Rational (2000)
  • Phenotypic Plasticity (2001)
  • Denying Evolution: Creationism, Scientism, and the Nature of Science (2002)
  • Phenotypic Integration (2003)
  • Making Sense of Evolution (with Jonathan Kaplan) (2006)
  • Rationally Speaking: Skeptical Essays on Reality as We Think We Know It (2009)
  • Nonsense on Stilts: How to Tell Science from Bunk (2010)
  • Evolution: The Extended Synthesis (editor, with Gerd B. Muller) (2010)
  • Answers for Aristotle (2012)
  • Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem (editor, with Maarten Boudry) (2013)

[edit] See also

[edit] External links

[edit] References

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