Archives for September, 2012

Ouch!

Update: Well, it seems I got Onioned on this one. That is, I mistook a satirical article for one that was meant as serious reporting. I have left this post up simply because I think the essay mentioned here is actually pretty funny. And while the specifics were made up, I suspect the sentiments expressed…

More Silliness About Scientism, Part Two

I had originally intended to devote this post to discussing some of the minutiae in Massimo Pigliucci’s essay. In light of some of the comments on the previous post, however, I’ve decided it would be more useful to speak generally about why I get so annoyed when charges of scientism are casually thrown around. I…

More Silliness About Scientism, Part One

Massimo Pigliucci is going on about scientism again. His target — surprise! — is Lawrence Krauss, specifically this exchange between Krauss and philosopher Julian Baggini, published in The Guardian. When I first became aware of “scientism,” a while back, it was invariably a charge leveled by religious people at scientists. To be accused of scientism…

These are hard times to be a supporter of Israel. Bibi Netanyahu is a lunatic who is now actively trying to mess with the American election. You see, President Obama, early in his term, politely suggested that if Israel seriously wants to make peace with its neighbors they might want to consider not expanding settlements…

The Joy of Sets

I have a guest post up over at the blog of Oxford University Press, discussing a few amusing tidbits from set theory. The post was inspired by this earlier post, in which I mentioned the bizarre criticism of set theory served up by a publisher of Christian home schooling materials. In my new post I…

Evolution is Not in Crisis

If I told you that evolution was in crisis, what would you think I meant? You would probably think I meant that the theory was on its way out. You would think that new discoveries had shown the untenability of evolution, and that biologists were in despair over their lack of a central organizing principle.…

More Gibberish About Thermodynamics

Over at Uncommon Descent, there’s a bit of a kerfuffle going on about the second law of thermodynamics. Salvador Cordova got the ball rolling back in July with this barn-burner of a post excoriating his fellow ID proponent Granville Sewell for making bad thermodynamical arguments: ID proponents and creationists should not use the 2nd Law…

Underpromotion!

OMG! Did you see the game between U. S. first board Hikaru Nakamura and Russia’s first board (and former World Champion) Vladimir Kramnik at the big Chess Olympiad last week? No? It saw one of the rarest and coolest moves in chess. In the following position, it is Nakamura, playing white, to move: Let me…

Going through withdrawal now that the London games are over? Well, you can console yourself with the thought that the Chess Olympiad is going strong, in Istanbul, Turkey. The United States has a very strong team, with top twenty players Hikaru Nakamura and Gata Kamsky taking care of business on the first two boards. The…

I’m currently reading Scott Aikin’s and Robert Talisse’s book Reasonable Atheism: A Moral Case for Respectful Disbelief. I’m finding it a strange experience. I agree with most of their substantive points, but I always find it off-putting when writers start boasting of their own civility and respectfulness. I had to smile, though, when I came…