Archives for January, 2007

Partisanship and Katrina

Via Andrew Sullivan’s blog I came across this account of a recent talk given by former FEMA director Michael Brown: Political storm clouds gathered again over the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina as former Federal Emergency Management Agency Director Michael Brown said party politics influenced decisions on whether to take federal control of Louisiana…

Hovind Convicted

Kent Hovind, one of the slimiest of the young-Earth ignorance peddlers, has been sentenced to ten years in prison for tax fraud: Pensacola evangelist Kent Hovind was sentenced Friday afternoon to 10 years in prison on charges of tax fraud. After a lengthy sentencing hearing that last 5 1/2 hours, U.S. District Judge Casey Rodgers…

Math Bloggers Sought

I’d like to put together a comprehensive list of math bloggers. By this I mean either anyone who regularly blogs about mathematics, or professional mathematicians who blog (on any subject). The only two that I that I read regularly are Good Math, Bad Math and Polymathematics, but I have no doubt there are many others…

Larry Moran has weighed in on the question, raised in yesterday’s post, about whether it is fair to criticize Richard Dawkins for lacking the theological and philosophical chops to discuss the topics raised in The God Delusion. I especially like his closing paragraph: The onus is on believers to convince us non-believers to adopt their…

Rosenau Replies

In the comments to yesterday’s post Josh Rosenau has left a lengthy response to my criticisms. I have now left an equally length reply to that response. Just wanted to let you know it was there, in case you are interested.

Lynch on Weinberg

Since I have the sad task of criticizing my fellow science bloggers today, we may as well have a look at this post, from John Lynch. He is responding to this post from P. Z. Myers, which discussed this review of The God Delusion written by Steven Weinberg. Lynch takes issue with the following statement…

Rosenau on Harris

My SciBling Josh Rosenau had a different reaction to the exchange between Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan. Sadly, he gets most of the important points wrong. Rosenau writes: As for “the myth that a person must believe things on insufficient evidence…,” I’d merely note that this ought to lead us to a state of profound…

Harris vs. Sullivan

Beliefnet is hosting a blogalogue between Sam Harris and Andrew Sullivan. Harris is defending the entirely sensible view that religious faith, especially in its monotheistic form, is a lot of twaddle, while Sullivan takes the view that reasonable religious faith is not an oxymoron. Here are a few excerpts. Harris first: Where I think we…

Wise Words From Cizik

Bashing religion is fun and all, but occasionally a religious public figure does manage to say something sensible. Here’s one example, as reported by Keith Olbermann on Monday: Number one, Rich Cizik, the vice president representing the National Association of Evangelicals, after a meeting with a science group, the faithful and the scientists issuing a…

Collins on Evolution/Theism

Christianity Today has posted this interview with Francis Collins. Collins’ goal is to persuade us that evolution and Christianity are compatible. Let’s see if he’s right: How does evolution fit with your Christian faith? [Evolution] may seem to us like a slow, inefficient, and even random process, but to God–who’s not limited by space or…

Yet Another Monty Hall Paradox

Just when I thought I had seen every wrinkle on the Monty Hall problem, Raymond Smullyan has to go come up with another one. Here’s an excerpt, from his book The Riddle of Scheherazade and Other Amazing Puzzles: “And now,” said Scheherazade, “I have a paradox for you. There are three boxes labeled A, B,…

Chris over at Mixing Memory has this post about cognitive factors that can make it difficult for children to learn about evolution. This is from his conclusion: So that’s my contribution. I’ve presented three factors that make the job of biology teachers more difficult when they’re trying to teach evolution, either to children or adults.…

Global Warming Primer

The New York Times offers this brief, but useful summary of some of the evidence for human-caused glboal warming. Since it now seems incontrovertible that the planet is, indeed, warming up, the right-wing line has shifted to a rejection of humanity’s role in the trend. I suspect as more data comes in, this line will…