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Profile: Stefaan Blancke (University of Ghent)
  1. What Makes Weird Beliefs Thrive? The Epidemiology of Pseudoscience.Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke & Massimo Pigliucci - 2015 - Philosophical Psychology 28 (8):1177-1198.
    What makes beliefs thrive? In this paper, we model the dissemination of bona fide science versus pseudoscience, making use of Dan Sperber's epidemiological model of representations. Drawing on cognitive research on the roots of irrational beliefs and the institutional arrangement of science, we explain the dissemination of beliefs in terms of their salience to human cognition and their ability to adapt to specific cultural ecologies. By contrasting the cultural development of science and pseudoscience along a number of dimensions, we gain (...)
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  2. How Not to Attack Intelligent Design Creationism: Philosophical Misconceptions About Methodological Naturalism. [REVIEW]Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke & Johan Braeckman - 2010 - Foundations of Science 15 (3):227-244.
    In recent controversies about Intelligent Design Creationism (IDC), the principle of methodological naturalism (MN) has played an important role. In this paper, an often neglected distinction is made between two different conceptions of MN, each with its respective rationale and with a different view on the proper role of MN in science. According to one popular conception, MN is a self-imposed or intrinsic limitation of science, which means that science is simply not equipped to deal with claims of the supernatural (...)
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  3. Evolutionary Approaches to Epistemic Justification.Helen de Cruz, Maarten Boudry, Johan de Smedt & Stefaan Blancke - 2011 - Dialectica 65 (4):517-535.
    What are the consequences of evolutionary theory for the epistemic standing of our beliefs? Evolutionary considerations can be used to either justify or debunk a variety of beliefs. This paper argues that evolutionary approaches to human cognition must at least allow for approximately reliable cognitive capacities. Approaches that portray human cognition as so deeply biased and deficient that no knowledge is possible are internally incoherent and self-defeating. As evolutionary theory offers the current best hope for a naturalistic epistemology, evolutionary approaches (...)
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  4.  6
    Bringing Darwin into the social sciences and the humanities: cultural evolution and its philosophical implications.Stefaan Blancke & Gilles Denis - 2018 - History and Philosophy of the Life Sciences 40 (2):29.
    In the field of cultural evolution it is generally assumed that the study of culture and cultural change would benefit enormously from being informed by evolutionary thinking. Recently, however, there has been much debate about what this “being informed” means. According to the standard view, an interesting analogy obtains between cultural and biological evolution. In the literature, however, the analogy is interpreted and used in at least three distinct, but interrelated ways. We provide a taxonomy in order to clarify these (...)
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  5. Grist to the Mill of Anti-Evolutionism: The Failed Strategy of Ruling the Supernatural Out of Science by Philosophical Fiat.Maarten Boudry, Stefaan Blancke & Johan Braeckman - 2012 - Science & Education 21 (8):1151-1165.
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  6. Creationism in the Netherlands.Stefaan Blancke - 2010 - Zygon 45 (4):791-816.
    Recent events indicate that creationists are becoming increasingly active in the Netherlands. This article offers an overview of these events. First, I discuss the introduction of intelligent-design (ID) creationism into the Dutch public sphere by a renowned physicist, Cees Dekker. Later, Dekker himself shifted toward a more evolution-friendly position, theistic evolution. Second, we see how Dekker was followed in this shift by Andries Knevel, an important figure within the Dutch evangelical broadcasting group, the Evangelische Omroep (EO). His conversion to ID, (...)
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  7. From Ends to Causes by Metaphor: The Paradox of Natural Selection.Stefaan Blancke, Tammy Schellens, Ronald Soetaert, Hilde Van Keer & Johan Braeckman - 2014 - Science & Education 23 (4):793-808.
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  8.  13
    Evolved to Be Irrational?: Evolutionary and Cognitive Foundations of Pseudosciences.Stefaan Blancke & Johan De Smedt - 2013 - In Massimo Pigliucci & Maarten Boudry (eds.), Philosophy of Pseudoscience: Reconsidering the Demarcation Problem. University of Chicago Press.
  9.  3
    Understanding Science, Naturally.Stefaan Blancke - 2017 - Science & Education 26 (7-9):1059-1062.
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    Islamic Modernity and the Challenges for Secular Liberalism.Stefaan Blancke - 2018 - Zygon 53 (1):274-287.
    In his recent book Islam Evolving: Radicalism, Reformation, and the Uneasy Relationship with the Secular West, Taner Edis discusses Islamic responses to the modern world and how the West deals and should deal with them. He argues convincingly that the biggest threat to secular liberalism is not fundamentalism but an Islamic form of modernity. He attributes some of the latter's success to Western neoliberalism and to the failure of secular liberals to come up with persuasive arguments. He thus puts part (...)
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  11.  21
    Why Do Irrational Beliefs Mimic Science? The Cultural Evolution of Pseudoscience.Stefaan Blancke, Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2017 - Theoria 83 (1):78-97.
    Why do irrational beliefs adopt the trappings of science, to become what is known as “pseudoscience”? Here, we develop and extend an epidemiological framework to map the factors that explain the form and the popularity of irrational beliefs in scientific garb. These factors include the exploitation of epistemic vigilance, the misunderstanding of the authority of science, the use of the honorific title of “science” as an explicit argument for belief, and the phenomenon of epistemic negligence. We conclude by integrating the (...)
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  12.  1
    The Implications of the Cognitive Sciences for the Relation Between Religion and Science Education: The Case of Evolutionary Theory.Stefaan Blancke, Johan De Smedt, Helen De Cruz, Maarten Boudry & Johan Braeckman - 2012 - Science & Education 21 (8):1167-1184.
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  13.  67
    Het 'Universele Zuur' van de Evolutionaire Psychologie?Maarten Boudry, Helen De Cruz, Stefaan Blancke & Johan De Smedt - 2011 - Tijdschrift Voor Filosofie 73 (2):287-305.
    In a previous issue of Tijdschrift voor Filosofie, Filip Buekens argues that evolutionary psychology (EP), or some interpretations thereof, have a corrosive impact on our ‘manifest self-image’. Buekens wants to defend and protect the global adequacy of this manifest self-image in the face of what he calls evolutionary revisionism. Although we largely agree with Buekens’ central argument, we criticize his analysis on several accounts, making some constructive proposals to strengthen his case. First, Buekens’ argument fails to target EP, because his (...)
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  14.  36
    A Fascinating Guide to Creationist Minds: Review of Among the Creationists. Dispatches From the Anti-Evolutionist Frontline by Jason Rosenhouse. [REVIEW]Stefaan Blancke - forthcoming - Metascience.
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  15.  78
    Simulation of Biological Evolution Under Attack, but Not Really: A Response to Meester.Stefaan Blancke, Maarten Boudry & Johan Braeckman - 2011 - Biology and Philosophy 26 (1):113-118.
    The leading Intelligent Design theorist William Dembski (Rowman & Littlefield, Lanham MD, 2002) argued that the first No Free Lunch theorem, first formulated by Wolpert and Macready (IEEE Trans Evol Comput 1: 67–82, 1997), renders Darwinian evolution impossible. In response, Dembski’s critics pointed out that the theorem is irrelevant to biological evolution. Meester (Biol Phil 24: 461–472, 2009) agrees with this conclusion, but still thinks that the theorem does apply to simulations of evolutionary processes. According to Meester, the theorem shows (...)
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    Why Do Irrational Beliefs Mimic Science? The Cultural Evolution of Pseudoscience.Stefaan Blancke, Maarten Boudry & Massimo Pigliucci - 2016 - Theoria 82 (4).
    Why do irrational beliefs adopt the trappings of science, to become what is known as “pseudoscience”? Here, we develop and extend an epidemiological framework to map the factors that explain the form and the popularity of irrational beliefs in scientific garb. These factors include the exploitation of epistemic vigilance, the misunderstanding of the authority of science, the use of the honorific title of “science” as an explicit argument for belief, and the phenomenon of epistemic negligence. We conclude by integrating the (...)
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    Metarepresentational Ability and the Emergence of Figurative Cave Art.Eveline Seghers & Stefaan Blancke - unknown
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  18.  11
    Barking Up the Wrong Darwin: Creationist Appropriation of Evolutionary Theory.Stefaan Blancke - unknown
    Creationists argue that 'Darwinism' hardly deserves the label of science. By employing a whole range of tactics, they downplay its scientific merit. Firstly, they set up definitions of science and claim that evolutionary theory cannot live up to them. Science, they claim, is based on observation and experimentation. As no scientist ever witnessed one species evolving into another, evolutionary theory remains 'just a theory'. Secondly, they convert evolutionary theory into a concept no evolutionary biologist would ever defend. For instance, they (...)
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  19.  10
    A Fascinating Guide to Creationist Minds.Stefaan Blancke - 2013 - Metascience 22 (2):435-437.
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