Lecture on Emergent Properties of the Universe and Tour of Hybrid Sciences

This is a rough script for the first half of a presentation I gave to a group of 12~17 y/o at the British School in Tokyo near the end of 2013. I have pasted some of the slides I used into the script for illustration. I gave it a provocative title in an attempt to maximise attendance!: "Everything they don't teach you at school because they are afraid it will blow your mind!" ***************** I want to take you on a whirlwind journey through time, from the big bang to the present, and across science, from astro-physics to evolutionary biology, and along the way highlight some of the discoveries, ideas and unanswered questions that have thrilled me in my explorations since leaving education and that I do not believe are on the school syllabus yet. Try to note the subjects that I skim … [Read more...]

The explosion of hybrid humans, and what it means for us

I recently discovered this little gem of a video describing Japan's trend towards greater ethnic diversity. It is interesting to note the not inconsiderable numbers of immigrants living in Japan, around 2.3m out of a population of 127m as of 2010, the vast majority of which are Asian. Taking the UK as a yardstick, like Japan an island nation that was never colonised by immigrants in the way that say North America was, at least since prehistorical times, but which started its journey of multi-culturalization a good century or two before Japan did, in its 2001 census 85% of the population described themselves as "white british". So Japan still has a long way to go, but it is on its way. All immigrants contribute to the cultural diversity of a country, but not necessarily to the … [Read more...]