Humanities

Apropos of our discussion of the proper interpretation of Genesis, Kelly James Clark, writing at Huffington Post, summarizes the state of play at some Christian Colleges: Shortly after the 2004 publication of his book, Random Designer, biologist Richard Colling was prohibited from teaching introductory biology courses at Olivet Nazarene College in Illinois and his book…

What Sort of New Car Should I Buy?

We spent the weekend down in the Boston area, where Kate was doing stuff at Readercon and I was running the kids around the New England Aquarium and the Museum of Science (nominally in the company of a friend form college and his family, and some of Kate’s cousins (respectively), but either SteelyKid or The…

A fun thing about historical archaeology, the archaeological study of areas and periods with abundant indigenous written documentation, is when the archaeology challenges the written record. According to the patchily preserved historical sources, Landsjö hamlet was a seat of the high nobility in about 1280 but then became tenant farms no later than 1340. This…

“I’ve learned what ‘classical’ means. It means something that sings and dances through sheer joy of existence.” -Gustav Holst There are some great, creative works out there that take their inspiration from the amazing natural phenomena of this Universe. While perhaps Gustav Holst’s suite, The Planets, is best known for translating the celestial wonders into…

Phew!! I just submitted my abstract for the Comparative Physiology meeting that will be held this October. Judging from the preliminary program, it is going to be an exciting meeting! Here is a description of the meeting from the American Physiological Society’s website: “Comparative physiology takes advantage of the diverse evolutionary histories and ecological settings…

As it happens, the previous post was mostly a digression from what I really wanted to discuss. The set-up here is that back in 2007, philosopher Mary Midgley published a pamphlet discussing creationism, intelligent design, education, and various related topics. Philosopher Nicholas Everitt has just published a critical review (subscription required) of Midgley’s pamphlet. Glenn…

Last year, the U.S. Census reported that record numbers of people were living in poverty. But along with overall poverty numbers, the Census recently reported that concentrated poverty is up, too — and that’s worrisome because it means that more people may face even greater barriers and fewer opportunities to moving out of poverty.

I will conclude my series on the World Open in the next day or two, but I would not want readers to think that I have converted this into a chess blog. So let’s go back to our more traditional fare by pondering this pamphlet, by philosopher Mary Midgley. It is called, “Intelligent Design Theory…

Vaccine safety is one of those topics that has become so tragically mired in misinformation and myth that there can never be enough supporting evidence. So, here’s some more.

World Open, Part One

Hello. I’m still here. Let me get you caught up on some things. In graduate school I was required to take a battery of four qualifying exams before I could be “advanced to candidacy.” These exams were conducted orally, meaning you had to stand in a room with two faculty members and answer questions for…