The Big Monty Hall Book is now more than three years old, but new reviews still appear occasionally. The latest one comes from the magazine Significance, published by the Royal Statistical Society. The reviewer is Tom Fanshawe, a statistician at Lancaster University in England. Alas, the review is not freely available online, so permit me some excerpts:
[The Monty Hall problem] will be familiar to most people who have studied probability, and, given a modicum of probability theory, it is not a difficult problem. Does it really warrant a whole book?
It is a credit to Jason Rosenhouse that he has been able to write such a comprehensive account of this elementary problem, and the many alternative guises in which it appears, in such a compelling and approachable way. To many people, the answer is counter-intuitive, and that is what makes the problem appealing.
Score! And his final verdict:
Overall, this book is an excellent example of how a problem that is understandable by all can be used to introduce key concepts in mathematics and probability.
Score some more!
Meanwhile, the Big Evolution/Creationism Book has picked up a new review over at Amazon. Now, ordinarily I wouldn’t call attention to an Amazon review (though I would note, for the record, that most of the reviews there are enthusiastically positive). But this one especially caught my eye since it comes from David Rintoul, a biology professor at Kansas State University. My old stomping grounds! He writes:
This is a well-written and enlightening take on a topic that has generated many books on both sides of a well-heated controversy…These are serious issues in the mind of many religious folks, and ignoring them in order to discuss scientific evidence is simply not going to lead to understanding or consensus. Rosenhouse’s sympathetic treatment of this deep divide is valuable, and his dissection of the problems that arise from the dogmatic invocation of methodological naturalism is particularly helpful.
This book will help both evidence-based and faith-based individuals move closer to an appreciation of the issues on the other side of this dispute. It will particularly help scientists understand why it can be so very hard for even very bright students to accept evolution on the basis of the evidence alone. It is a wrenching intellectual, social, and cultural watershed for many creationists to accept evolution, and this book goes a long way toward explaining why that is always going to be the case.
It seems I’m quite the machine. I just keep scoring!
Folks, all the cool kids are reading these books. Do NOT be the last one to join the party. Go buy multiple copies today!