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.

Ruse On the Problem Of Evil

Over at The New York Times, Gary Gutting has an interview with philosopher Michael Ruse. It is part of a series on philosophy and religion. There are several interesting nuggets in the interview, but I just want to discuss this one: G.G.: Do you think that evolution lends support to the atheistic argument from evil:…

Apropos of our discussion of the proper interpretation of Genesis, Kelly James Clark, writing at Huffington Post, summarizes the state of play at some Christian Colleges: Shortly after the 2004 publication of his book, Random Designer, biologist Richard Colling was prohibited from teaching introductory biology courses at Olivet Nazarene College in Illinois and his book…

World Open, Part Three

Ever wonder what it looks like to have 300 games of chess going on in one room? There was a second ballroom, almost as large, which was also filled with players. Well, we have arrived at round eight. In the prior seven rounds I had scored three wins, two losses, one draw, and one win…

As it happens, the previous post was mostly a digression from what I really wanted to discuss. The set-up here is that back in 2007, philosopher Mary Midgley published a pamphlet discussing creationism, intelligent design, education, and various related topics. Philosopher Nicholas Everitt has just published a critical review (subscription required) of Midgley’s pamphlet. Glenn…

I will conclude my series on the World Open in the next day or two, but I would not want readers to think that I have converted this into a chess blog. So let’s go back to our more traditional fare by pondering this pamphlet, by philosopher Mary Midgley. It is called, “Intelligent Design Theory…

World Open, Part Two

As happy as I was to salvage the half point in my fourth round game, I was still pretty down about missing that fork. I decided a nice meal would cheer me up. So I hopped on the Metro and went into DC, to have dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Tono Sushi, conveniently…

World Open, Part One

Hello. I’m still here. Let me get you caught up on some things. In graduate school I was required to take a battery of four qualifying exams before I could be “advanced to candidacy.” These exams were conducted orally, meaning you had to stand in a room with two faculty members and answer questions for…

Sunday Chess Problem

My SIWOTI syndrome has not returned, the end of the semester notwithstanding. Watching the daily broadcasts from the recently completed U. S. Chess Championship, however, has certainly gotten my chess juices flowing. So here’s another installment of Sunday Chess Problem! Another mate in two for you this week, but with a twist. The problem below…

Sunday Chess Problem

Clearly there is only one way to celebrate the end of the semester. With the return of Sunday Chess Problem! For our return to the world of chess composition, I have chosen a charming, but not too complex, direct mate problem. It was composed by O. Strerath in 1948. White is to play and mate…

Musing About Graduation Speeches

It’s the season for graduation speeches, and let’s be honest, most of them aren’t very good. They tend to be very banal and cliched. So let’s begin this post with a strong candidate for best graduation speech ever. I am referring to Woody Allen’s speech: More than at any other time in history, mankind faces…

My Speech To the Graduates

Graduation was this morning, and it just so happens that I was the speaker. That I am posting the speech below should tell you that I thought it went pretty well. I’ll do a separate post describing some of the reactions, and commenting on a few of the other graduation-speech related stories that have been…

Sunday Chess Problem

Blogging has been a low priority lately, partly because there’s been too much other stuff going on, and partly because I haven’t had much enthusiasm for it. The end of the semester is always a bit of a grind. But the long-suffering fans of Sunday Chess Problem should not have to wait another week! So…

Sunday Chess Problem

I guess it’s been clear that I haven’t been in a blogging mood lately. There’s plenty of fodder out there, but somehow every time I sit down to write about it I suddenly remember I had something else to do. But that doesn’t mean that fans of Sunday Chess Problem should suffer! So this week…

Sunday Chess Problem

Well, it’s eleven o’clock at night and I just remembered I forgot to do a Sunday Chess Problem for this week. So I guess we’ll have to go with one of those charming lightweights whose main point is a shocking key. This one was composed by Gerhardus Goethart in 1952. White is to play and…

Non-Classical Knights and Knaves

Recently I mentioned my new book Four Lives: A Celebration of Raymond Smullyan. I see the Kindle version is now available, so if you preferred an e-version, now’s your chance! The book is a tribute volume to mathematician Raymond Smullyan. He is best known for his numerous books of logic puzzles. In particular, he took…