Archives for March, 2011

To Slippery Rock!

As a professional mathematician I get to visit a lot of scenic tourist destinations. Like Slippery Rock, Pennsylvania! I’ll be giving a colloquium talk to the math dept. at Slippery Rock University tomorrow afternoon. The topic? The Monty Hall problem. Surprise! See ya when I get back.

Yummy Delicious Pi

My number theory course has recently moved on to things that are a bit more technical and esoteric than our earlier fare, so I haven’t felt they would make good blog fodder. If you need a quick math fix (and who doesn’t?), you can have a look at this guest post I wrote for the…

Coyne in Maryland

Having communicated for so long by blog and e-mail, it was a pleasure to finally meet Jerry Coyne in person last night. He was speaking at the University of Maryland. It was not the easiest trip in the world. Driving was out of the question since it would have involved braving the Beltway near rush…

Snake Escape!

The Bronx Zoo has misplaced one of its cobras: Lookout, New York — a poisonous cobra snake may be on the loose today from the Bronx Zoo. In a statement released Saturday, the Bronx Zoo said that their reptile house was closed after a staff member noticed that an adolescent Egyptian cobra was missing from…

A Delightful New Meme

I get it that some people do not like the New Atheists. But surely when you’re writing things like this: And this is why I think the New Atheists are a disaster, a danger to the wellbeing of America comparable to the Tea Party. you have simply placed yourself outside the community of people who…

The Dawk Turns 70

Well, here’s a happy development. It seems that today is Richard Dawkins’

Religion and Community

Permit me an amusing juxtaposition. Here’s Mira Sucharov, a political scientist at Carleton University in Canada, explaining why atheists and religious folks often talk past each other: Put simply, believers are asking the question, “Can a commitment to contemplating the sacred help us better appreciate the everyday?” (They reply yes.) And atheists are asking the…

Reality TV on the SAT’s?

Here’s an interesting item from HuffPo. The following appeared as an essay question on the SAT: Reality television programs, which feature real people engaged in real activities rather than professional actors performing scripted scenes, are increasingly popular. These shows depict ordinary people competing in everything from singing and dancing to losing weight, or just living…

Evolution and the Problem of Evil

My last post has provoked a few replies. Especially the part about the problem of evil. In my review of the new book by Giberson and Collins I was critical of their treatment of the problem. Michael Ruse, always classy, opens his response thusly: Given that they are both committed Christians, as well as totally…

My Review of Giberson and Collins

Francis Collins and Karl Giberson have a new book out called The Language of Science and Faith: Straight Answers to Genuine Questions, published by InterVarsity Press. It is yet another defense of theistic evolution. I’m always a bit conflicted when I write about this topic. On the one hand I do not think theistic evolution…

It is Finished…

The BECB, that is. That’s the big evolution/creation book, for those not up on the local slang. Finished the first draft last night. Very cool. On the other hand, looks like I just lost my excuse for sporadic blogging…