Archives for October, 2008

Branch Sees Dead People

Not really, of course. But I like his zombie analogy: When the distinguished philosopher Philip Kitcher recently addressed the creationist movement in his Living With Darwin, he judiciously assessed creationism in its latest incarnation as historically respectable but currently bankrupt, and proposed to describe it as “dead” science. “In light of its shambling tenacity,” I…

McCain’s Desperate Supporters

I know, I know. The candidates can’t be held responsible for the acts of a few crazy supporters. But does anyone doubt that this sort of thing is far more common among McCain supporters than among Obama supporters? Can anyone deny that this sort of thing arises naturally when you run a campaign centered on…

Anand Triumphant!

The big chess match is over. Anand is the victor. He won three games to Kramnik’s one, with seven draws. The final game saw Anand, playing white, opening with his e-pawn. This is Anand’s usual choice, but he had avoided it in this match. This is likely owing to the success Kramnik has had in…

SEED Endorses Obama

The editors of SEED magazine have endorsed Barack Obama for President. A fine choice, in my opinion. Far more important is this: Science is a way of governing, not just something to be governed. Science offers a methodology and philosophy rooted in evidence, kept in check by persistent inquiry, and bounded by the constraints of…

The Left Behind Series

Last night I completed one of the least ambitious reading projects I have ever undertaken. I have now read all sixteen volumes of the Left Behind series. As I am sure you are aware, this is a series of novels written by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins, describing the Earth’s last days as foretold in…

Kramnik Not Dead Yet!

Vladimir Kramnik has announced his intention to fight to the end of the big chess match, and games nine and ten have certainly been his best efforts yet. When last we checked in (pun intended), Kramnik was down three points with four games to go in the big chess match. Playing black in Sunday’s Game…

Anand=Godzilla, Kramnik=Tokyo

Anand won game six of the big chess match. He has now won three out of the six games played (the other three ended in draws.) Kramnik will have to repeat that feat just to tie the match. Not too likely, but who knows? Playing white, Anand once again opened with the d-pawn, and as…

Palin Watch

In an interview this past Sunday with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, John McCain said the following. Wallace had asked him whether Governor Palin had turned out to be a drag on the ticket. (The phrase “cold political calculation” cam from Wallace, but I didn’t notice McCain being reticent to use it.) As a cold political…

Lunacy From The New Republic

Browsing through the blog of The New Republic I came across this post, entitled “The Not-So-Soft Bigotry of Rachel Maddow’s Low Expectations.” I was puzzled by the title (and remain puzzled even after reading the post), but I was fairly certain it was not flattering towards Maddow. Since I am a big Maddow fan, I…

Ham vs. Giberson

Over at BeliefNet, Ken Ham and Karl Giberson are mixing it up on the subject of evolution and creationism. One post each so far. Giberson got the ball rolling. After presenting a bit of his biography (grew up fundamentalist, lost confidence in YEC after studying college-level science) he gets down to business.

Anand Wins Again!

After a quick draw in game four of the big chess match, Anand and Kramnik got back to business today. Kramnik went into the same line of the Meran as on Friday, surely having some improvement ready over Friday’s game. What he had in mind we’ll never know, since Anand varied first: V. Kramnik –…

Carnage in Bonn!

Remember at the end of my last chess post when I wrote: But no need to despair! This is just the feeling out period. I suspect the real match will begin shortly. Oh baby! Was I more right than I knew! Vishy Anand drew first blood in the big chess match today, and did so…

There Really is a Joe the Plumber

Huffington Post has the details: Who is Joe the Plumber? He is Joe Wurzelbacher, an Ohio man looking to buy a plumbing business who came to symbolize the notion of “spreading the wealth” in Wednesday night’s third and final presidential debate between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain. Earlier this week, when Wurzelbacher got…

The Big Debate

Tough one to call. At the beginning I was a bit glum, since I thought McCain had the better of the early exchanges. The Joe the Plumber stuff was pretty effective (the first time). I felt McCain seemed forceful and confident, and he was pretty successful at fitting his criticisms into his answers. Obama took…

Yawning in Bonn

Two games down in the big chess match. The results? Two draws. And not the exciting type of draw with lots of thrust and parry and two lone, bruised kings remaining on the board at the end. I’m talking about boring draws. But no need to despair! This is just the feeling out period. I…