Archives for May, 2010

Or so Karl Giberson seems to think. Early in his essay he writes: This might suggest that Ken Ham and his Creation Museum in Petersburg, Ky., are becoming less relevant, as they speak for — and to — an increasingly smaller band of hyperconservative biblical literalists. Ham’s followers, ironically, are exactly what Waltke warned us…

The Dalai Lama on Tolerance

The Dalai Lama had an op-ed in The New York Times the other day. Alas, he got off to a very bad start with this: WHEN I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best — and that other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see how…

Martin Gardner, 1914-2010

Martin Gardner has died at the age of 95. He was a prolific writer in three different areas: mathematics, magic and debunking pseudoscience. Since those happen to be three of my favorite things in life you can imagine how big a fan I was of his writing. His book Puzzles From Other Worlds made a…

Scientists and Religion

I have now had a chance to read Elaine Howard Ecklund’s new book Science vs. Relgion: What Scientists Really Think. It is worth reading, despite her annoying decision to include social scientists, but not mathematicians, in her definition of “scienitst.” I also did not care for her obvious preference for those scientists willing to talk…

Anand Wins!

Could this fantastic match have ended in any other way than with a tremendous tactical slugfest? The final game of the big chess match took place today, with the score tied and Topalov playing white. Topalov did what Topalov does: he overplayed a slightly better position, allowing Anand to unleash the forces of hell upon…

I’ve gotten a bit behind in my chess match coverage. Time to remedy that! Last we saw Anand had blundered away an easily drawn endgame in Game Eight. This allowed Topalov to tie the match. Undeterred, Anand came out swinging in Game Nine. Topalov decided he had had enough of Anand’s Catalan, and played the…

Carnage!!

You didn’t think I’d forgotten about the big chess match, did you? Topalov won game eight to tie the match with four games to go. His win had more to do with Anand’s carelessness than it did with his own cleverness, but hey, a win is a win. The momentum has completely shifted to Topalov…

Should Scientists be Advocates?

Via Jerry Coyne, I came across this essay over at the BioLogos website. The author: Steven Benner. The title: The Dangers of Advocacy in Science. The key paragraphs: This provides another reason why it is easy to be confused about what science is and what scientists do. The imagery of science and scientists is widely…

The Vileness of Joe Lieberman

As part of his ongoing campaign to make himself as buffoonish as possible, Joe Lieberman devised a brilliant idea for dealing with American terror suspects: Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) thinks he’s found a work-around on the whole Miranda rights debate for U.S. citizens accused of terrorism: Strip their citizenship and ship them to Guantanamo. Lieberman…

The big chess match continues apace. In Game Five the players plowed down the same line of the Slav Defense they explored in Game Three. No doubt Topalov had an improvement in mind, but Anand varied first. Topalov pressed, but in the end he was the one who was happy to call it a draw.…