Archives for November, 2011

Smartphones and the Apocalypse

I think I am now officially old. I think this because I was horrified by this article, from HuffPo: Movie theaters and entertainment venues have long banned the use of smartphones during performances. But now one venue just outside Seattle is reversing that etiquette by welcoming cellphone and camera use in the theater, according to…

I just spent the last week working out of my New Jersey office, which is to say I was visiting the family for Thanksgiving. Before that I was spending a lot of time going over the page proofs and compiling the index for the BECB (the big evolution/creationism book, for those not up on the…

To Newport News!

It’s time to hit the road once more. Tomorrow I am off to Newport News, VA, to visit Christopher Newport University. I shall be delivering not one, but two edge of your seat, barn-burners. Tomorrow afternoon I shall be speaking about evolution and creationism, based on my forthcoming book. Then, on Wednesday afternoon, it’s back…

The Tuesday Birthday Problem

Writing in 1866, John Venn (of Venn diagram fame) wrote: To many persons the mention of Probability suggests little else than the notion of a set of rules, very ingenious and profound rules no doubt, with which mathematicians amuse themselves by setting and solving puzzles. A classic example is the Tuesday Birthday Problem (TBP), which…

Shermer on “In God We Trust”

Your homework for today is to go read Michael Shermer’s op-ed in the L. A. Times about the big “In God We Trust” vote. Shermer’s take? As risible a reason as this was for knocking out a few bricks in the wall separating state and church, it was at least understandable in the context of…

MacDonald on Haught

As I noted in yesterday’s post, John Haught has relented and has allowed the video of his appearance with Jerry Coyne to be posted online. I am pleased that he ultimately decided to do the right thing. Having now had a chance to watch the two presentations, let me say that I stand by my…

To Richmond!

Later today I will hop into the Jasonmobile and sally forth to Richmond, VA, where I will be the guest speaker in the Discrete Math Seminar at Virginia Commonwealth University. I will be giving an edge-of-your-seat barn burner of a talk called, “Cheeger Constants of Graphs and Surfaces.” Should be fun, so if you’re anywhere…

Release the Video!

Update 11/2/11, 11:26pm: John Haught has relented, and the video has now been released. You can find it here. Haught has also provided a lengthy explanation of his initial refusal to allow the tape to be released. Jerry has replied. A few weeks ago, Jerry Coyne and John Haught discussed science/religion compatibility in a forum…

On Consciousness

David Barash has a short, but interesting post about consciousness. Responding to someone who asked him about the most difficult unsolved problem in science, Barash writes: I answered without hesitation: How the brain generates awareness, thought, perceptions, emotions, and so forth, what philosophers call “the hard problem of consciousness.” It’s a hard one indeed, so…