Archives for April, 2008

A Punctuation Question

When I was in elementary school I was taught that if you have a noun that ends in `s’, and you want to make that noun possessive, you do it by placing an apostrophe at the end of the word and that is all. Thus, in referring to the theorem proved by Thomas Bayes, you…

The Courtier’s Reply Revisited

A common response to the books by Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris involved castigating them for the shallowness of their understanding of religion. In their incessant focus on fundamentalism and more extreme forms of religious belief, they proved themselves unwilling to consider seriously the nuance and subtlety of mainstream religious thought, it was argued. P.Z. Myers…

My Review of Expelled

I went to see Expelled yesterday. I am happy to report it was a private screening. Had the theater to myself. Last time that happened was when I saw Snakes on a Plane (a far more scientifically accurate film, by the way). Granted, it was a Monday night. Indeed, when I go to see movies…

The Big Monty Hall Book!

Well, I finished the first draft of the big Monty Hall book this past week. Still need to make some diagrams, and there’s probably a fair amount of rewriting in my future, but the “words from nothing” phase is now over. Yay! If anyone would care to give me some feedback, here is the first…

Arrogance and Small-Town Voters

Here’s Slate‘s Melinda Henneberger commenting on small-town political attitudes:

Antisemitism in Expelled

Meanwhile, the release date for Ben Stein’s antievolution propaganda piece Expelled draws nigh. If you’ve been following any of the press coverage you are probably aware that one of the main charges in the film is that Darwinism in some way led to the Nazis and the holocaust. In that light, it is worth noting…

Amusing Stupidity From DaveScot

William Dembski’s lead blogflak DaveScot has stepped in it even more badly than usual. Commenting on Richard Dawkins’ recent appearance on Bill Maher’s show the other night, he writes:

Not because it’s false, mind you. There is no reasonable definition of science that includes Intelligent Design and Creationism, and it is perfectly legitimate to point that out. In certain contexts, like when you are arguing that it is unconstitutional to teach ID in public high school science classes, it is even an important and…

Monty Hall in the News!

Monty Hall strikes again! Today’s New York Times has this article, by John Tierney, about the latest wrinkle in the Monty Hall problem. According to M. Keith Chen, an economist at Yale University, the results of certain psychological studies are called into question by a sytematic error in their methodology. And the error, it seems,…

Berlinski in Washington D.C.

I can’t quite believe I’m saying this, but I actually enjoyed David Berlinski’s talk yesterday in Washington D.C. Berlinski might be familiar to you as the author of a number of boneheaded articles in Commentary magazine over the last ten years. He has decided to jump on the anti-Dawkins bandwagon with his new book The…