Ed Yong - Suicidal Wasps, Zombie Roaches & Other Parasite Tales

By its very nature, philosophy is an iconoclastic discipline, dedicated to questioning and dissecting the basic assumptions we use to make sense of our experience, in order to get a better understanding of reality and of the human condition. It was the ancient Greeks who first posed the question about whether the nature of determinism and fate might preclude the possibility of free choice. The answer to this question, in my mind at least, cannot be completely answered either by philosophy or by science alone, but by a cross-disciplinary collaboration of the two, so that the empirical evidence discovered by the natural and social sciences can be properly interpreted in light of philosophical concepts, theories and arguments that cannot be settled scientifically (things like consciousness, intentionality, whether reasons can count as causes, etc.).

One of my favorite tags in this blog is the one on Mind Control. There's just something morbidly fascinating and interesting about the prospect that, at least some of the time, we may be little more than automatons or zombies blindly doing the bidding of forces that we might not even be aware of, and which may actually go against our own personal and collective interests. And as one of my favorite science journalists, Ed Young, argues in the following TEDTalk presentation, biologists are continuing to find instances of parasitic mind control that will make you want to put yourself under a microscope...




Bow down to our parasitic overlords...
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