Archives for September, 2010

Swinburne on God, Part One

People I respect keep telling me there is marvelous work being done in the area of theology. I have never encountered it, and not for lack of looking. Sometimes I wonder, though, whether perhaps I am just reading the wrong things. The religion and theology section of my university’s library is quite large, and the…

More Infuriating than the Creationists

Jerry Coyne has an important post up responding to this awful essay by Peter Doumit, posted at the BioLogos website. Doumit’s essay has nuggets like this: Divine revelation comes in two forms: the Word of God (including both Sacred Scripture and Sacred Tradition) and the Work of God (including the natural, physical world and the…

Farrell and Rosenau, Stating it Plain

If you are looking for some popcorn reading, have a look at this post from John Farrell, over at HuffPo. He takes John West of the Discovery Institute to task for parroting ye olde “Darwin was a big, fat racist!” canard. Here’s the conclusion: So, what is one to make of these ceaseless ideological attacks…

NA’s in the News

Let’s see to what my homeys have been up. Richard Dawkins, that little rabble rouser, is rightly vexed by the respectful treatment the Pope has been receiving during his trip to England. Addressing a crowd of roughly 15,000 people, Dawkins unleashed this:

Monday Math: A Rant About Fractions

Recent editions of Monday Math have seen us working pretty hard. So how about we lighten the mood a bit and think about fractions. Let us start with the obvious. Fractions have tops and bottoms. Got that? Numerators and denominators exist only in elementary and middle school math classes. Their sole purpose is to make…

Quote for the Day

This comes from Jerry Korsmeyer’s book Evolution and Eden: Balancing Original Sin and Contemporary Science, published in 1998. Korsmeyer is both a physicist and a theologian. The tremendous amount of time it took for the simplest elements of matter to form themselves into stars, and to make the other elements, is consistent with the concepts…

Redefining Spirituality

Via Jerry Coyne I have just come across this op-ed, from the USA Today, by Chris Mooney. The title: “Spirituality Can Bridge Science-Religion Divide” My initial reaction: No it can’t! Mooney’s argument is a standard one: Across the Western world — including the United States — traditional religion is in decline, even as there has…

Time for the big finale! We now have all the pieces in place to establish the divergence of the sum of the reciprocals of the primes. Recall that we have the Euler product expansion of the harmonic series: \[ \sum_{n=1}^\infty \frac{1}{n}= \prod_p \left( \frac{1}{1-\frac{1}{p}} \right) \]   We noted that this formula was really just…

Evolution and Ideology

Over at Huffington Post, Denis Alexander hawks his new book Biology and Ideology: From Descartes to Darwin, coedited by Ronald Numbers. It features an essay by Alister McGrath entitled, “Evolutionary Biology in Recent Atheist Apologetics.” McGrath, if you are unfamiliar with him, is a Christian apologist whose most recent book is a defense of the…

Here’s an interesting article from The Washington Post. It’s title? “For Math Students, Self-Esteem Might Not Equal High Scores.” It is difficult to get through a day in an American school without hearing maxims such as these: “To succeed, you must believe in yourself,” and “To teach, you must relate the subject to the lives…

The Ten Most Intellectual Colleges

My alma mater is number one! Whoo hoo!

Reading Genesis

As part of my research for my book on evolution and creationism, I have been reading a lot of books and articles about how to read the Bible. From this reading I have learned a great deal, but I also find certain things a bit puzzling. For example, consider the book Reading the Bible Again…

Monday Math: Taylor Series

It is time to continue our quest to prove that the sum of the reciprocals of the primes diverges. We have one more ingredient to put into place. I am referring to the notion of a Taylor series. The idea is this: Some functions, like those from trigonometry, are difficult to evaluate precisely. It would…

Recently i have been browsing through a book called What About Darwin?, which is a collection of quotations from various worthies regarding — surprise! — Charles Darwin. One that jumped out at me was a statement from Calvin Coolidge. This is from a letter he wrote to his father: I see [Oliver Wendell] Holmes [Sr]…