In standard Wheeler-Feynman electrodynamics advanced waves from any source are absolutely canceled by the advanced waves from the absorber responding to that source. The present work shows this cancellation fails over cosmic distances in a steady-state universe. A test of the view proposed earlier, in a paper which assumed failure of cancellation and hoc, that zero-point fluctuations of the electromagnetic field are such emergent advanced waves, is posed. The view entails anomalous slowing of spontaneous transition rates at longer emission wavelengths; (...) available data go against this, furnishing additional argument against the suspect assumption that the universe is steady-state. (shrink)
The experience of newborn screening for Krabbe disease in New York State demonstrates the ethical problems that arise when screening programs are expanded in the absence of true understanding of the diseases involved. In its 5 years of testing and millions of dollars in costs, there have been very few benefits, and the testing has uncovered potential cases of late-onset disease that raise difficult ethical questions in their own right. For these reasons, we argue that Krabbe screening should only be (...) continued as a research project that includes the informed consent of parents to the testing. (shrink)
Recent experimental findings reveal dissociations of conscious and nonconscious performance in many fields of psychological research, suggesting that conscious and nonconscious effects result from qualitatively different processes. A connectionist view of these processes is put forward in which consciousness is the consequence of construction processes taking place in three types of working memory in a specific type of recurrent neural network. The recurrences arise by feeding back output to the input of a central (representational) network. They are assumed to be (...) intemalizations of motor-sensory feedback through the environment. In this manner, a subvocal-phonological, a visuo-spatial, and a somatosensory working memory may have developed. Representations in the central network, which constitutes long-term memory, can be kept active by rehearsal in the feedback loops. The sequentially recurrent architecture allows for recursive symbolic operations and the formation of (auditory, visual, or somatic) models of the external world which can be maintained, transformed and temporarily combined with other information in working memory. Moreover, the quasi-input from the loop directs subsequent attentional processing. The view may contribute to a formal framework to accommodate findings from disparate fields such as working memory, sequential reasoning, and conscious and nonconscious processes in memory and emotion. In theory, but probably not very soon in practice, such connectionist models might simulate aspects of consciousness. (shrink)
The paper uses questionnaire responses provided by a sample of ethical investors to investigate willingness to sacrifice ethical considerations for financial reward. The paper examines the amount of financial reward necessary to cause an ethical investor to accept a switch from good ethical performance to poor ethical performance. Conjoint analysis is used to allow quantification of the utilities derived from different combinations of ethical and financial performance. Ethical investors are shown to vary in their willingness to sacrifice ethical for financial (...) performance, and hence to display more heterogeneity than the all-encompassing ‘ethical’ label implies. Because of the existence of sub-groups of ethical investors with different attitudes towards financial reward, an attempt has been made to associate observable investors’ characteristics with their level of willingness to trade-off morality for cash. One sub-group of investors in particular appears highly resistant to the idea of accepting higher financial return as compensation for poor ethical performance. This unwillingness casts doubt on Jensen and Meckling’s widely reported claim that trade-off behaviour is ubiquitous in all areas of life. (shrink)
Beginning with an overview of Galileo's earliest work on free fall, the paper examines the relationship between experiment and theory in his study of motion in the period immediately before and after 1604. The possible role of experiment is assessed in relation to the manuscript evidence and by means of reconstructed experiments.
The existence of consciousness in animals may have been overlooked. Continuity in consciousness between humans and animals is predicted by evolutionary theory. However, there are specific methodological difficulties associated with investigating such a phenomenon: it cannot be directly measured; animals, unlike humans, cannot directly tell us about their conscious experience; experiments which have made comparisons to human consciousness cannot detect consciousness of a different form; application of the law of parsimony in science has traditionally led to the conclusion that it (...) does not exist. (shrink)