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How much stock should we put in mathematical models of evolution that have not been validated by rigorous empirical data?

Evolutionary stories like the grandmother hypothesis are easy to construct from mathematical models, but how well do they reflect reality?

The all-too-intuitive picture of a straight arrow going from cause to effect is far too simplistic to describe the real world.

If a forest is burning and we don’t know what’s responsible, does it have a cause?

Computer code serves as a useful analogy for what our genes do, but the complexity and messiness of life go well beyond simple analogies and mathematical models.

Can a set of simple instructions produce complex, three-dimensional living structures?

When our brains don’t have a good intuition for reasoning with numbers, explicit probabilistic thinking can lead to improved decision-making.

When faced with a difficult decision, should you go with your gut or carefully calculate the attendant risks?

A method for estimating distances in sailing and astrophysics helps explain why riding on buses and boats can make us nauseous.

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