Articles by Charles Murtaugh

Mankind Version 2.0?

A recent University of Michigan survey brings dismaying news: despite abundant press coverage, the public knows so little about genetics that, as blogger Kevin Drum observes, untrained chimps would have done better at answering five simple true-false questions on. Read More

Abundant Goodness

In his famous Natural Theology of 1800, English theologian William Paley advanced the so-called argument from design on behalf of the existence of God: if I should come across a watch, lying in a field, would I not know... Read More

The Adaptable Animal

CAMBRIDGE - The heat wave of the past week-and-a-half has finally ended here in the Northeast, giving city health officials the chance to tally up the heat-related deaths. As Slate and The New Yorker recently pointed out, excessive heat kills... Read More

An Aging Epidemic

As if skin cancer and wildfires weren't enough to worry about, the past few years have given Americans a new summertime fear, one whose name conjures up the very dangers of the dark continent. In its characteristically cautious style, New... Read More

Cloning, Dignity and Politics

Man is a political animal. It is in his nature to care about what the neighbors are doing, and to compel their behavior even in cases where it doesn't directly affect him. Not all such compulsions are justifiable, but neither... Read More

Divided On Cloning

Nobody following the therapeutic cloning debate could have been shocked to hear that the Bush administration relies on opinion polling to sell unpopular policies. As Nick Schulz has discussed, the strongest argument against therapeutic cloning, and in support of.. Read More

Political Science

Some scientific controversies have deep meaning for the field, but relatively little impact on daily life. Last month, for instance, the New York Times reported that three separate groups of scientists were unable to repeat an observation of "dark matter"... Read More

It's the Treatment, Stupid

Not long ago, many biologists could get by on two rules of thumb. On the one hand, it was said, "the first time your experiment works, it's a mistake; the second time, it's an artifact; the third time, it's a... Read More

Commoner's Cause

In 1994, when I started graduate work in biology, PhD theses were still being awarded for the isolation and study of single genes. Today, it is now almost routine to analyze the activity of thousands of genes in a... Read More

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