Archives for June, 2006

Philadelphia Beckons

The annual chess extravaganza known as The World Open will be taking place in Philadelphia this weekend. I will be participating, of course. That means I will be out of town for the next week or so. Regular blogging will resume upon my return.

Comments on Comments

A few people have sent me e-mail to tell me that certain comments, rather than being posted immediately as they should be, are getting placed in a queue waiting for my approval. I now make it part of my daily routine to clear out such comments, so there is no need to write to tell…

Creationists Love Science?

Shortly after finishing Monday’s post, I discovered that the new issue of the Reports of the National Center for Science Education had turned up in my mailbox. It contained the following item: Arthur Shapiro is a professor in the Department of Evolution and Ecology at the University of California, Davis. Starting in 1981 and continuing…

The latest attempt to pass a constitutional amendment allowing Congress to pass laws against flag “desecration” failed by one vote in the Senate. It had already passed the House. Had it passed the Senate, it would surely have gotten the approval of the necessary three-fourths of the states. Here’s a brief article from the New…

New CSICOP Column

My new essay for CSICOP’s Creation and Intelligent Design Watch site is now available. This time: My take on the old tautology argument, inspired by Ann Coulter and Tom Bethell. I argue – surprise! – that natural selection is not a meaningless tautology. Enjoy!

Are Creationists Anti-Science?

An interview with historian of science Ronald Numbers has been posted. It has already attracted some blog attention. P. Z. Myers rightly criticizes Numbers for some rather bizarre statements about the relationship between science and religion. Over at Telic Thoughts, Krauze offers this typically dopey reply. The interview contains a lot of bloggable items, but…

Why Are They Called Matches?

The latest Ask a Science Blogger Question is: What makes a good science teacher? My fellow SB’ers have already unloaded a wealth of good answers. In one of his essays for Fantasy and Science Fiction Magazine, Isaac Asimov relates the story of the famous chemist who was discussing the nature of fire with an audience…

More on .9999…=1

Polymathematics has posted another excellent essay on the subject of whether .9999…repeating equals one. This time he is responding, very effectively, to various counter arguments raised by commenters. One small comment of my own, though: The name of the blog is “EvolutionBlog.” One word. Reading the various comments left to the post reveals two kinds…

The Aristocrats

I rented The Aristocrats the other day. This was the documentary (for lack of a better description) by Paul Provenza and Penn Jillette in which numerous comedians and comedy writers were asked about a particular joke, called “The Aristocrats.” As Jon Stewart says in the movie, I’m not going to tell the joke. Suffice it…

Gross on Brockman’s Book

Paul Gross has written this useful review of John Brockman’s recent anti-ID anthology Intelligent Thought: Science Versus the Intelligent Design Movement. I intend to do some posts relating to specific essays in the book, but Gross’ overall assessment is the same as mine: This collection is helpful but not because it provides the primary knowledge…

What is Infinity?

There’s an interesting blog discussion going on about the age-old question of whether .99999…, where the nines go on forever, is actually equal to one. The answer is: Yes, it does, and if you think it does not then you are mistaken. Polymathematics got the ball rolling with several arguments establishing the equality of the…

Conservatives Against ID

As a counterpoint to yesterday’s post about Ann Coulter’s place within modern conservatism, check out this post from the blog Conservatives Against Intelligent Design. (Hat tip to Gene Expression for the link. It’s nice to see that at least some conservatives are willing to take on the ignoramuses within their midst. I stand by everything…

Coulter and Conservatism

If you’re wondering why only a small handful of prominent conservatives and Republicans have publicly criticized Ann Coulter, the answer is simple: Most of them agree with her, and the ones who don’t are still happy to have her on their side. Coulter is what right-wingers are all about, you see. They are constantly attacking,…

The Tautology Objection

The detailed responses to Ann Coulter’s silliness about evolution are now coming in. P.Z Myers illustrates the insanity of claiming that there is no evidence for evolution. See also this post for further examples of Coulterian insanity. Over at the Panda’s Thumb, Ian Musgrave deals with the peppered moths issue, showing that Coulter, to put…

With all the other things going on, I never got around to acknowledging the fine performance by the United States team at the recently completed chess olympiad in Turin, Italy. Armenia took the gold medal, while China took silver. That Russia finished out of the medals is one of the major news stories of the…