I sometimes use the handle “Thinking Meat” on a call-in quiz show on the local public radio station; my pseudonym was once read on the air as “Stinking Meat.” I can’t blame the announcer; the concept of thinking does not always seem to go with the concept of meat. We humans are both, though, thinking beings and meat: animals who are capable of thought and who are also bits of matter subject to all the physical forces and limitations that affect other bits of matter (not to mention the fact that we sometimes overrate or misunderstand our own thought processes). This blog is about the ways we understand and deal with ourselves as matter that can look at and think about itself.
This site covers a wide range of subjects, including evolutionary biology, psychology, cognitive science, linguistics, astrobiology, history, and literature. The emphasis is generally on the subjective experience or interpretation of what we have learned so far about ourselves and the universe that gave birth to us.
I use the concept of meat somewhat figuratively here, of course.
(One consequence is that I occasionally get requests from advertisers who want to tout their steaks and chops here.) Years after I started using the phrase “thinking meat” to loosely describe the theme uniting the topics I cover on this web site, I discovered Terry Bisson’s wonderful short story They’re made out of meat, which also uses the term “thinking meat” to capture pretty much the same idea, from a unique and amusing angle.
I’m a freelance science editor and writer. The Thinking Meat Project is the outgrowth of my efforts to understand the puzzles and joys and challenges of being conscious matter. What I write is one person’s take, and I’d love to hear other viewpoints. Leave a comment or send email to blogger at thinkingmeat dot com if you have a comment or suggestion.