Why are you looking at me like that?

Photo by Karsten Winegeart on Unsplash

I like how it sounds when dogs die.

In fact, I like it so much that I have dogs killed just so I can listen to them dying.

It’s a form of sensory pleasure to me.

Don’t ask me why, it just is.

The sound of a dying dog is a part of nature.

And I’m willing to pay a fair wad of cash for the privilege of hearing it.

You probably think I’m sick, don’t you?

Like I’m some psychopath, who doesn’t care about their feelings.

Quite the contrary: the money I pay to hear them die means they…


Here are three reasons why.

Gross. Photo by Gabriella Clare Marino on Unsplash

There are special occasions in everyone’s life that call for a big fancy roast. I don’t eat any animal products, but even I can’t deny that.

As long as you’re talking about roasted nuts and vegetables and not, I dunno, a hog.

But let’s not get dogmatic about this, eh?

After all, murdering the family pet for a few sandwiches isn’t everyone’s cup of tea — but it is for some, and we aren’t ones to judge.

Certain situations do genuinely call for people — even vegans — to eat animals, and I don’t think we should shy away from…


Why we can never answer every question in mathematics, science, or philosophy.

Photo by Roman Mager on Unsplash

There are some questions in life you just can’t answer. Is there a God? Is time a construct? What happens at the edge of the Universe, and what is beyond that? What came first, the chicken or the egg?

(It’s definitely the egg.)

Deeper questions about the nature of science, reality, and the (non)existence of some deity (or deities) can form exactly these sorts of unanswerables. …


The multiverse conjecture gets nowhere. Has the time come for it to die?

Photo by Greg Rakozy on Unsplash

A (very simplistic) summary of quantum theory

Quantum mechanics says we are living in a world of tennis balls and not baseballs.

Okay, that’s a crap analogy.

Even as far as quantum mechanics analogies go, it’s a bad one — I can accept that. But I use it for a reason.

According to classical mechanics — everything that came before the quantum theory/relativity theory revolution of the early 20th century — the world is made of solid particles (like baseballs) that move around and collide with each other. …


Yale scientists resurrected a pig’s brain hours after decapitation. Could that lead to the most unethical brain experiments in history?

Photo by Laura Anderson on Unsplash

I’ve discussed bioethics on this blog before plentifully, as I think the field has so much to offer the modern world. In fact, I have even argued that bioethics should be taught in mainstream education because it is the only subject so far the bridges the gap between science and the real world — ethics, policy, behaviour, philosophy, politics — in ways that are really crucial to us. Take, for instance, animal suffering, the climate crisis, the COVID-19 pandemic, doctor-patient relations, or even researcher-research subject relations; all of these topics are fundamentally bioethical, and all are of immense importance.

This…


A gift from me to you. :-)

Photo by Eugene Zhyvchik on Unsplash

You weren’t there, so how can you know?” they ask.

Imagine you’re walking through a forest. You come across a tree lying, charred, almost flat against the floor. At the base of the trunk is an almighty split, revealing the innards of the tree. It’s all splintered and broken. Ask yourself: did the tree grow like this? Or was it toppled by a lightning strike?

You weren’t there — nobody was — so how can you possibly know?

The answer is simple:

Evidence.

Evolution is perhaps the best-attested theory in all of science. Evolution is both fact AND theory. There…


I attended a state-funded, non-selective school, but even I can see the issue with discriminating against privately-schooled students.

The University of Cambridge. Centre-right is King’s Chapel. Towards the left, you can just see St Catharine’s College — my home! Photo by Jean-Luc Benazet on Unsplash

Disclaimer: I have no skin in this game.

I didn’t go to a fee-paying school, nor even a selective school. In fact, I was the first person from my school to ever attend the prestigious Oxbridge (Oxford or Cambridge) duo for university, and I believe I may have been the first (as far as I know — at least, certainly one of the first) to go to a Russell Group uni.

The Russell Group, for those who aren’t aware, is a bit like the British Ivy League: a non-exhaustive list of the universities commonly thought to rank in the highest few dozen spots in the country.

I don’t…


How sex, gender, and menstruating men were perceived by doctors in eighteenth-century Europe.

Photo by Birmingham Museums Trust on Unsplash

The postmodern world is either healing or going mad, depending on who you ask. “To be a man” is now defined such that a man can get pregnant, have periods, and have biological female chromosomes. To different people, this is either an exceptional mark of progress or a symptom of rabid social and/or linguistic deterioration. Regardless of what you think, the idea of menstruating men certainly strikes us as a pretty new one.

The history of medicine gives an interesting account on this front. The Italian historian of science and medicine, Gianna Pomata, has given a fascinating account of menstruating…


If it could, I might be interested.

Photo by Stephen Leonardi on Unsplash

Seventy million years ago, a Tyrannosaurus rex is chowing down on a juicy Triceratops.

Unfortunately for the Triceratops, it has not yet died. In unspeakable (literally: the Earth is still 69 million years from hosting any words to be spoken) agony, it thrashes around, attempting desperately to right itself. The process is in vain as the razor-sharp teeth of T. rex continue to remove flesh and organs from the exposed flank of its victim; life drains from the poor creature.

The agony of this Triceratops must have been truly unimaginable. Unless you are unfortunate enough to have been viciously attacked…


The pandemic has inadvertently brought scientists into the political fray — and that’s a dangerous game to play

Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash

You’ve read enough articles about COVID-19 that everything I have to say by way of introduction has already crossed your mind.

So here are the three ways in which the present pandemic has irreparably scarred the face of science.

1. “Science” is either gold dust or a dirty word… there is no in-between

Paradoxically, science is important in politics because science is meant to be totally separate from politics.

That means that when politicians say they are “following the science,” what they mean to say is “I am not acting with any ulterior motive or political agenda.”

As we have come to learn, this is oh so rarely the case.

Not only can scientists…

Rory Cockshaw

I write about science, philosophy, and society. Occasionally whatever else takes my fancy. Student @ University of Cambridge, Yale Bioethics alum.

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