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Biomedical Engineering student at Técnico Lisboa

What do our ancestors reveal about the gender roles of the modern day?

In our society, a gender binary is instilled in us since birth, restricting us to set paths in life. But has this always been so? In what way did sex and gender identity impact the social and labor duties of our distant ancestors? And how, from these past societies, did we arrive at the gender asymmetries of today?

This article was originally published in Diferencial in Portuguese.

San women gathering for food. Traditionally women are the gatherers within the tribe. Ghanzi, Botswana. — Anna’s Scholarship Entry 2012 — Walk with the San people — Botswana

Among the hunter-gatherer peoples of the Arctic, we find the Inuit, whose way of life is radically different from ours. Despite sometimes gathering tubers and berries, the main source of sustenance for these…

Why Neuroethics Matters To Artificial Intelligence

In 1950, Alan Turing devised a test to determine whether a machine has human-like intelligence, which he dubbed the ‘imitation game’: a human tester is tasked with determining which one of two different ‘players’ is human and which is a computer, using only written responses to written questions. [1] Today, intelligent machines like GPT-3 — which can have text conversations, write articles, and even develop functioning computer code — show that we are getting eerily close to developing machines that can pass the Turing test. [2] While in the short term we may disregard fears of a singularity — the…

A demystification of the biology of sex, gender, and those who do not conform with the sex assigned at birth

The topic of gender identity is still the source of controversy in the public discourse and often leads to skepticism about the existence and legitimacy of people who do not conform to the sex they were assigned at birth. In the midst of this, the idea that this subject has no scientific integrity and, even worse, that biology is on the side of those who defend the binary essentialism of sexuality, has somehow prevailed. However, the complex variability of the biological world is inherently opposed to this idea.

This article was originally published in Diferencial in Portuguese.

Arthur K. Wheelock Jr., “Hendrick Goltzius/The Fall of Man/1616,” Dutch Paintings of the Seventeenth Century, NGA Online Editions, (accessed December 03, 2020).

The existence of…

Why reductionism is incompatible with everyday life.

How do televisions work? There are small people in small sets inside the TV. How does our mind work? There is a homunculus inside our head controlling our thoughts, actions and emotions. How did the Universe come to be? God created it.

The interesting thing these naive answers have in common is that they all lead to an infinite regress. If God created the universe, who created God, and who created that creator? Does the homunculus have another homunculus inside its own head, with another homunculus inside it as well? What if there is a TV on the set inside…

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