Archives for April, 2007

Responses to VA Tech

Here’s Franklin Graham, from last night’s Scarborough Country, reminding us of what’s important about the VA Tech shooting: First of all, we know that God loves us and God cares for us. And there is a devil in this world. There is evil, and we have seen this manifest itself today in the life of…

The Virginia Tech Shooting

In light of the events today at Virginia Tech, I’m suddenly not in the mood to talk about framing, or Imus, or the Pope’s statement on evolution. At this point the death toll is up to thirty-three people. Blacksburg, VA, where Tech is located, is a roughly two-hour drive from my home in Harrisonburg. I…

Math in Roanoke

First, the good news: I will be attending the spring section meeting of the Mathematical Association of America this Friday and Saturday. The meeting is being held at Roanoke College, and as you can see here, I’m giving one of the Big Shot talks. Lucky me! I’ll be talking about the Monty Hall problem. In…

Wilkins vs. Myers

John Wilkins has a post up criticizing P.Z. Myers for criticizing Elaine Pagels for criticizing Richard Dawkins. Maybe we’d better start at the beginning. An interview with historian Elaine Pagels appeared in Salon. The first two thirds of the interview addressed Pagels’ work on the Gnostic Gospels. The final third dealt with questions about faith…

The Day Without Yesterday

One of the nice things about being a Big Shot science blogger is that sometimes people are willing to send you free copies of their books. One such person is John Farrell, who graciously sent me a copy of his book The Day Without Yesterday: Lematire, Einstein and the Birth of Modern Cosmology, published by…

The Genetics of Dog Size

Sorry for the light blogging this week. I’ve been spending my time doing all of the things I should have done last week, but didn’t because I was writing long blog entries about my experiences in Knoxville. You might want to have a look at this brief but interesting article from today’s New York Times.…

Egnor Does Math

Two weeks ago I joined the chorus of Science Bloggers bashing Michael Egnor for his posts at the Discovery Institute’s blog. I pointed out a fairly straightforward error in one of his posts. At that time I mentioned that I hadn’t jumped in earlier because Egnor’s arguments revolved around medical practice, which is a subject…

Creationist Thermodynamics, Again

The folks over at Uncommon Descent have unveiled a new blogger: mathematician Granville Sewell. He’s the latest know-nothing to convert a comically simplistic version of the second law of thermodynamics into an anti-evolution argument. Of course, this is one of those shark-jumping, litmus-test arguments that tell you immediately you are dealing with a crank. The…

Paul Cohen Dead at 72

Paul Cohen, one of the giants of twentieth century mathematics, has died of lung disease at 72. Cohen’s major claim to fame was his resolution of the Continuum Hypothesis. Here are the basic ideas: