Politics

Mixing Memory

Category archives for Politics

It would be a horrible cliché to begin a post about the reconstructive nature of autobiographical memory with a Proust quote, so instead I’ll begin with something only slightly less cliché: beginning something about memory by talking about my own experience. You see, I’m southern, as anyone who’s ever heard me pronounce the words “pen”…

ScienceDebate ’08 (Redux)

Looks like a couple of my fellow SBers have managed to get a date and location for their presidential debate on science, and have invited the candidates (Clinton, Obama, Huckabee, and McCain). I still think this is an absolutely terrible idea on so many levels, but I’m comforted by the thought that it’s extremely unlikely…

Presidential Science Debate One More Time

Sorry to bring this up again, as I’m sure most of you couldn’t care less, but something about the idea of a presidential debate on science-related issues really bugs me, and I’ve been trying to figure out exactly what that is. Plus, part of me is hoping that someone will come along and explain to…

Science Debate 2008 — Do We Need It?

If you haven’t heard, fellow ScienceBloggers Chris Mooney and Sheril Kirshenbaum of The Intersection have launched a movement called Sciencedebate 2008, in which they demand that the presidential candidates have a debate entirely on science and science-related issues. They’ve received the backing of Nobel laureates, editors and journalists, prominent business people for this statement: Given…

Dupes, All

I know I’ve said this before, but I’m going to say it again. Anyone who reads the fundamentalist atheist blogs (you know, like the biggest blog on ScienceBlogs) knows that these people have a lot of passion and energy. They use it to write 50 posts a week pummeling creationists and telling us how evil…

A little over a year ago, I wrote a post describing some research showing that there are cognitive barriers to understanding evolution. There I listed three specific factors: Intuitive theism, in which our intuitions lead us to make design inferences about complex kinds or under conditions of uncertainty; intuitions that can be reinforced culturally to…

Religion and Social Critique

While I think it’s obvious to anyone with eyes (a category that seems to grow smaller by the day) that within the anti-religious bigotry today there is an underlying feeling of superiority, an unliberal belittling of the little guy, a feeling that “Joe Schmoe” is stupid and to some extent worth less than the intellectually…

1994 vs. 2006

There’s an interesting statistical comparison between the 1994 Republican victory and the 2006 Democratic victory at the Columbia stats blog. From the post: The Democrats’ victory in the 2006 election has been compared to the Republicans’ in 2004. But the Democrats actually did a lot better in terms of the vote. The Democrats received 56%…

Since I posted on a really bad study that’s outside of my area of expertise the other day, I thought I should make it up to you by posting on what I think is a good study by Gelman et al. that’s also outside of my area of expertise today. Plus, with a title like…