Archives for July, 2011

Time Marches On…

I’m going to my twentieth high school reunion this weekend. Yep. Twenty years. Sigh…

God’s Approval Rating?

I’m not quire sure what what to make of this. t doesn’t appear to be from The Onion. More than half of U.S. voters approve of God’s job performance, according to a new poll, making God more popular than all members of Congress. The poll — which was conducted by the Democratic research firm Public…

Feser Replies

Edward Feser has now posted two responses, here and here, to my previous post. I’m sure everyone will be shocked to learn that I don’t think he replied very effectively, but if you’re curious go have a look. SIWOTI Syndrome is not a hang up of mine, and it doesn’t generally bother me to let…

Rosenau in Texas

Be sure to read Josh Rosenau’s account of the goings-on with the Texas School Board. Josh was in town to testify on behalf of sunshine and puppies. Here’s an excerpt: The best thing about the day was the stories of scientists, and nonscientists who’ve been touched by science. There was a grad student at UT…

Edward Feser has posted a reply of sorts to my two essays from last week (Part One, Part Two.) Turns out he’s pretty touchy about people who are dismissive of the cosmological argument. The post is quite long and only a small portion of it is directed specifically at me. Since most of that portion…

Michael Ruse is back with another post over at The Chronicle of Higher Education. Let’s take a look: I have written before about Calvin College in Western Michigan and its troubles. I have now to tell you that things have wended their way to their expected and sad conclusion. To give the background once again,…

Multiverses

The current issue of Scientific American has an article, by George F. R. Ellis, expressing some skepticism about the multiverse. Sadly, it seems that only the beginning of the article is freely available online. However, replies to the article by Alexander Vilenkin and Max Tegmark are available online. And since Tegmark so perfectly summarizes my…

Solving the Cubic, Part Two

A while back I I began a discussion about deriving formulas for solving polynomial equations. We saw that linear and quadratic polynomials did not pose much of a challenge. But cubic polynomials are considerably more complex. The set-up was that we had a polynomial equation of this form: \[ x^3+ax^2+bx+c=0 \] We can assume that…

Ruse States it Plain

I certainly have my disagreements with Michael Ruse on questions related to science and religion, but sometimes he really comes through: There are days when, I swear to God, I am all set to enroll under the banner of Richard Dawkins and anathematize all religions and those who subscribe to them. I take a lot…

Picking up where we left off yesterday, most of Feser’s post is devoted to a hypothetical dialogue between a scientist and a skeptic who thinks that science is all a lot of nonsense. The idea is to make Jerry Coyne’s objections to theology seem silly, by showing the absurdity of comparable objections leveled at science.…

We New Atheist types are often lectured about the need for studying theology. The idea is that if we tuned out the distressingly popular and highly vocal forms of religious extremism and pondered instead “the best religion has to offer,” then we would not be so hostile to religion. Recently, Jerry Coyne called the bluff…

Of course, I also had time to explore Philadelphia a bit. Vacations are not built on chess alone. During my explorations I stumbled upon the Reading Terminal Market. It’s a pretty spectacular collection of small concessions, most of them selling food of one sort or another. Here are a few random shots to give you…

I’m back! Did I miss anything? The big summer vacay turned out to be much harder work than what I was doing in Virginia prior to leaving, but it was tons of fun nonetheless. Far too much to report on in just one blog post, so we’ll do a few. Of course, the first order…