Jason Rosenhouse received his PhD in mathematics from Dartmouth College in 2000. He subsequently spent three years as a post-doc at Kansas State University. Currently he is Associate Professor of Mathematics at James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA. This blog is about science, religion, math, politics and chess, roughly in that order.

Great Moments in Evolution Debates

I’m in the mood for something light-hearted today, so here’s a YouTube clip for you: It’s from the Firing Line debate in 1997 about evolution and creationism. Representing darkness and obscurantism were William F. Buckley, Phillip Johnson, Michael Behe, and David Berlinski. Sunshine and goodness were represented by Barry Lynn, Eugenie Scott, Michael Ruse, and…

Musing About the Burden of Proof

I see that Barry Arrington is blogging up a storm lately over at Uncommon Descent. It’s all his usual silliness–bad arguments coupled with denunciations of anyone who dares disagree with him–but this post was eyebrow-raising even for him. The set-up is this: Arrington is in the habit of making big bold claims about what is…

Planned Parenthood heroically provides medical services to a great many women who otherwise would receive little or no health care at all. This can be thankless and even dangerous work, because there are fanatics out there who do not like what they do. They perform abortions, you see, though this is a tiny fraction of…

Comedy on College Campuses

It used to be a major American art form for white actors to cover themselves in make-up and pretend to be black. This persisted for roughly a hundred years, from the mid-nineteenth to the mid-twentieth century. What a golden age for comedy that must have been! As recently as the 1970s we had shows like…

Two New Additions To the Family

I’m finally home again after all my recent travels. Back to back math conferences is fun, but also a bit stressful and tiring. While I was away, my extended family welcomed two new additions: Meet William and Charlotte. Charlotte is the one with the white detailing. My brother and sister-in-law just adopted them from a…

On the Road Again

I’m writing this from my New Jersey office, which is to say that I am visiting the ‘rents. But it’s a very short visit. In fact, I’m mostly just using them for their garage. I’m stashing my car there for a few days while I go galavanting around to various math conferences, with a little…

This is perfect: The latest polls are out, and just as I predicted, I’m leading the Republican presidential race by a wide margin. You might be wondering how that could be. After all, it’s hardly been a month since I entered the field and I’ve already alienated America’s largest immigrant population, seen dozens of my…

Marriage Equality!

So, has anything been happening lately? Well, the Supreme Court got a big one right. Marriage equality is now the law of the land, which is a very good thing. There will be pockets of resistance for a while to come, but mostly this news has been met with the yawn it deserves. Of course…

What I Did On My Summer Vacation

I realize I’ve been away a little longer than usual, but I have a good excuse. I just spent the past week with my family at Beaches resort, on Turks and Caicos. You see, my father turned 80 this year, and we marked the occasion by schlepping the whole family down to the Caribbean. My…

Sunday Chess Problem

This past week has mostly been devoted to working on my magnum opus about mathematical anti-evolutionism. That has meant lots of frustrating hours staring at the computer trying to make words appear, coupled with many more annoying hours wading through poorly written creationist pseudomath. But miracles do happen, since I actually finished a first draft…

Sunday Chess Problem

This week we have very clever helpmate from Russian composer Viktor Chepizhny, that was published in the November 2014 issue of The Problemist magazine. The diagram below calls for helpmate in two. There are two solutions: Recall that in a helpmate black moves first and cooperates with white to contrive a position in which black…

What Does it Mean To Teach ID?

Lee McIntyre has a good article in The Chronicle of Higher Education. He is discussing the wholesale assault on truth in our culture: To see how we treat the concept of truth these days, one might think we just don’t care anymore. Politicians pronounce that global warming is a hoax. An alarming number of middle-class…

The Cambrian Explosion

After publishing Among the Creationists back in 2011, I started to lose interest in the evolution/creationism issue. I felt like I said what I wanted to say (at least to the handful of people who read the book) and that it was time to move on to other things. Besides, ten years on ID does…

Sunday Chess Problem

For the past two weeks we have looked at calm, sane direct mate problems. Good stuff, but it’s time to mix it up a little. So this week we return to the crazy world of fairy chess. We shall consider a relatively new fairy condition called “Take and Make,” which has taken the problem world…

After writing yesterday’s post, I found I was still muttering about Michael Ruse’s paper. So I thought to myself, why should I just rant here at the blog? How about I get down to business and write a proper journal article about it? Mentally I started doing just that. To my surprise, I found the…