Archives for November, 2010

Does the Universe Have a Purpose?

When people ask the question in the post’s title, or the roughly equivalent question, “What is the meaning of life?” my reply is that I don’t understand what is being asked. They both seem like category errors to me; universes don’t have purposes and lives don’t have meanings. If I were to attempt to give…

Annals of Condescension

As a way of easing our way back into regular blogging, let’s take a quick look at what Michael Ruse has been up to. This was posted at HuffPo on October 28: Neither I nor the well-known philosopher Philip Kitcher believes in the existence of God or in the claims of the major (or minor)…

One Down…

In happier news, the BSB (that’s the Big Sudoku Book) is now finished! Yay! It will take a while to turn it around into an actual book, so look for it next summer. Now it’s time to get back to the BECB (the big evolution/creation book). I’m still hoping to have a first draft of…

That way, if you have a flood in your basement that completely submerges the bottom shelves of your bookcases, you don’t lose anything especially valuable. Early on Monday morning a water main burst in front of my house. This caused water to back up through the toilet and shower drain in my basement, leading ultimately…

Kinsley States it Plain

Not much to say about last night’s elections. Basically the Republicans just got rewarded for their policy of obstructionism and cynicism. Now they can return to their back rooms and laugh at all the suckers they fooled into voting for them. There are many villains behind this election, but we should probably reserve our strongest…

Who Really Needs Math?

The Washington Post recently published an op-ed by mathematician G. V. Ramanathan. The subject? Mathematics education. It is a mix of good points and bad points. Let’s have a look. Twenty-seven years have passed since the publication of the report “A Nation at Risk,” which warned of dire consequences if we did not reform our…