John S. Wilkins


I am an eternal student, who thinks philosophy of biology is at least as interesting as politics or sport and twice as important. I’m a mature aged but recently PhD’d (2004) historian and philosopher of science. My thesis issued in a couple of books and I’m working on a couple more. I also publish academic papers and work at present for Dr Neil Thomason’s Critical Thinking Project at the University of Melbourne, for which I am project manager.

I have a PhD from the University of Melbourne and have worked at the University of Queensland, in Australia, before taking up an ARC research fellowship at the University of Sydney, followed by lecturing at Bond, UNSW and Melbourne. I am presently an Associate in Philosophy at the University of Sydney, Honorary Research Fellow at The University of Melbourne, and a Research Scholar at the Ronin Institute, headquartered in Montclair, NJ, USA. I work in the IARPA Critical Thinking Project at the University of Melbourne.

I have an Erdos number of three, of which I am unwarrantedly proud:

Wilkins, John S., and Wesley R. Elsberry. 2001. The advantages of theft over toil: the design inference and arguing from ignorance. Biology and Philosophy 16 (November):711-724.

Elsberry, Wesley, and Jeffrey Shallit. 2011. Information theory, evolutionary computation, and Dembski’s “complex specified information”. Synthese 178 (2):237-270.

Erdos, Paul, and Jeffrey O. Shallit. 1991. New bounds on the length of finite pierce and Engel series. Journal de Théorie des Nombres de Bordeux3 (1):43-53. [Among several others]

After a varied career, involving factories, gardening, civil service, publishing, graphics, public relations but not, unfortunately for the CV, driving a truck, I finally completed his thesis on species concepts in 2004. Since then I have wandered aimlessly through the world dispensing unasked-for advice with faux gravitas.

Contact John at or