Archives for November, 2008

Brief Blog Break

I will be visiting the ‘rents in my New Jersey office tomorrow, and I will be there through the Thanksgiving holiday. EvolutionBlog will make a triumphant return in December. See you then!

Computers Are Now Officially Fast

This is cool. From Wired: When the Top 500 list of the world’s fastest supercomputers was announced at the international supercomputing conference in Austin, Texas, on Monday, IBM had barely managed to cling to the top spot, fending off a challenge from Cray. But both competitors broke petaflop speeds, performing 1.105 and 1.059 quadrillion floating-point…

Krugman Spanks Will

Have you ever seen George Will do his schtick on some chat show or other and then start wondering if maybe he’s just making stuff up? Wonder no more! On This Week this past Sunday Will was on with New York Times columnist and Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman. The following exchange took place:

As part of my daily diet of news sites and blog reading I keep an eye on various creationist websites. This is done partly as opposition research. It’s always good to know what the crazy people are getting excited about. But it is also because they frequently link to interesting articles I might have overlooked…

That Big Apologetics Conference

Remember that big apologetics conference in North Carolina to which I made jeering reference a while back? Well, I didn’t go. Happily, Timothy Yedder did, and to judge from his account it doesn’t sound like I missed anything: We arrived to a scene of total chaos, scores of people trying to park and find their…

Chess Olympiad Begins!

This is an exciting time for chessplayers. First the big Anand-Kramnik match, which certianly exceeded expectations. Possibly a Kamsky-Topalov match later this month. And now the big olympiad in Dresden, Germany. The U.S. is represented by a strong team consisting of Onischuk, Shulman, Nakamura, Kamsky, and Akobian. A serious medal threat. And, indeed, today we…

The Election Isn’t Over Yet

As I am sure you are aware, there are still three Senate elections that have yet to be resolved. The Democrats need all three of them to get to the magic sixty. On November 4 I would have considered that very unlikely indeed. But now I’m not so sure. The big one, from my perspective,…

Good Writing Alert

Christopher Hitchens can be infuriating, but he certainly has a way with words. I laughed out loud while reading the first paragraph of his new column for Slate: Yes, yes, yes. I, too, took pleasure in standing in line and in exchanging pleasantries and greetings with the amazingly courteous staff at my polling station and…

Ever wonder if anyone responds to those spam marketing e-mails? Wonder no more: The researchers used two of the most popular ploys currently used by spammers – firstly offering a fake pharmacy site and, secondly, offering a herbal Viagra-style remedy to boost libido. “After 26 days, and almost 350 million email messages, only 28 sales…

Is the Multiverse Real?

Discover Magazine has an interesting article up discussing a perennial favorite: the fine-tuning of the universe for life. I got a bit nervous when I saw the title: Science’s Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: the Multiverse Theory That makes it sound like scientists devised the multiverse idea strictly as a desperation move to counter all…

One of the great frustrations in responding to creationist literature is their penchant for using technical sounding jargon in ways no scientist would recognize. A good example is their use of the word “information.” This word has a variety of meanings within mathematics, but creationists usually do not intend any of them when they say,…

Hanging With Celebrities in D.C.

I just had an interesting weekend. On Thursday I found out that one of my favorite political organizations, Americans United for the Separation of Church and State, was having a little meet-up for bloggers in Washington D.C. Washington? Gosh, that’s just a short ride from my digs in Harrisonburg.

Creationist Neuroscience

Now that the big election is over, it’s time to get away from political blogging for a while and return to what this blog was created to do: bash creationists. So have a look at this article from The New Scientist:

Best Election Summary Anywhere

From The Onion, of course: Although polls going into the final weeks of October showed Sen. Obama in the lead, it remained unclear whether the failing economy, dilapidated housing market, crumbling national infrastructure, health care crisis, energy crisis, and five-year-long disastrous war in Iraq had made the nation crappy enough to rise above 300 years…

Obama Wins, As Does Anti-Gay Bigotry

President Obama it is. Cool. I wanted Hillary Clinton, but I’ll take what I can get. And even though I’m one of those people who says things like, “If you’re not cynical, you’re not paying attention,” I confess to being moved by Obama’s victory speech. Can he lead? Who knows? The braying nincompoops from the…