Archives for July, 2010

Novelist Anne Rice, best known for her series of novels about vampires, has some choice words for institutional Christianity: For those who care, and I understand if you don’t. Today I quit being a Christian. I’m out. I remain committed to Christ as always but not to being “Christian” or to being part of Christianity.…

Math From a Biblical Worldview?

A few weeks ago I spent a day at the Virginia Home Educators Convention in Richmond. These are the religious home schoolers we are talking about, meaning creationism was very well-represented indeed. Ken Ham gave several keynote talks. Yay! I never got around to doing a proper write-up of the conference, but I do want…

Skip vs. The Creationists

If you are in the mood for a little light reading, have a look at this account of Skip Evans, formerly of the National Center for Science Education, conversing with some of the local creationists in Madison, WI. It’s almost a shame that an apparently sincere and pretty decent guy like Kevin has fallen into…

In my last math post I casually mentioned that the sum of the reciprocals of the primes diverges. That is \[ \frac{1}{2}+\frac{1}{3}+\frac{1}{5}+\frac{1}{7}+\frac{1}{11}+\frac{1}{13}+ \dots=\infty \]   That seems like a hard thing to prove. Certainly none of the traditional convergence tests from Calculus II will get the job done. The problem is how to “get at”…

More From Elmer Gantry

I only have time for a quick post today, so how about another quote from Elmer Gantry? Keep in mind that this was published in 1927. See if it sounds familiar:

Quote For the Day

Over the past week or so I have been dutifully plugging a hole in my literary education. I am reading Sinclair Lewis’ novel Elmer Gantry. If you are unfamiliar with the story, the title character is a rudderless, narcissistic, unsavory fellow who, through a series of somewhat implausible events, gets ordained as a Baptist minister.…

Rearrangements of Series

Blake Stacey directed me towards a terrific tool for embedding TeX code into a web page. So how about we do ourselves a math post! Remember the harmonic series? No doubt you encountered it in some calculus class or other. It’s the one that goes like this: $$ 1+\frac{1}{2}+\frac{1}{3}+\frac{1}{4}+\frac{1}{5}+\frac{1}{6}+\dots $$   The series is divergent.…

Any time I am looking for something to blog about, I know the HuffPo religion section will serve up something delicious. In this essay, Peter Enns of the BioLogos Foundation exposes the naivete some people bring to reading the Bible: I’ve read enough of the New Atheists to see a pattern in their thinking about…

Be sure to read this excellent post by Julian Sanchez addressing the old chestnut, “Why is there something instead of nothing?” Sanchez was replying in particular to an appallingly bad essay by Ron Rosenbaum in Slate. How bad? Here’s one sample:

Where’s the Backlash?

Jerry Coyne has a post up reporting on new polling data on science and religion coming out of Virginia Commonwealth University. Jerry notes that the numbers for the evolution questions are broadly consistent with what past surveys have found. I mostly agree, but there was one number that jumped out at me. Here was the…

Does Theology Progress?

Karl Giberson has a new column up at the Huffington Post. Jerry Coyne and I had an interesting exchange yesterday that will appear in a brief video on USA Today’s website at some point. The question related to the compatibility of science and religion. Can one accept the modern scientific view of the world and…

The PepsiBlog Fracas

Yesterday afternoon I checked my e-mail and found something from the ScienceBlogs management. Apparently there was to be a new blog around here sponsored by PepsiCo. that was to focus on nutrition and other food related issues. I only skimmed the e-mail and did not really think much about it. I am still on blog…