Archives for July, 2010

The back and forth here in comments and at Jason Rosenhouse’s blog has been interesting and stimulating in the last few days. The question of how the rise of New Atheism will or has changed public attitudes towards evolution, towards religion, and towards atheism/atheists are all important questions that have extracted gallons of ink from…

It’s time for…

…hypothesis testing! To recap, Jason Rosenhouse, who I love like a brother, put up a post using a poll from VCU and data from Gallup polling to address a hypothesis about “New Atheists,” a hypothesis he attributes broadly to the critics of “New Atheism.” He’s since clarified (in a comment pledging not to reply further…

Polling creation/evolution

Attention conservation notice: 3000 words about how smart people who ought to know better are reading way too much into a poll. Last May, NCSE reported on a poll on evolution conducted by Virginia Commonwealth University. The results were, to my eye, in line with most of the other polling out there, so I never…

Yoo sighting

I saw war criminal John Yoo as I was heading to the gym this morning. Lacking proper equipment, I did not effect a citizen’s arrest, but I did give him a stern glare. He’s surprisingly tall.

Don’t be a dick

Over the weekend, the skeptics gathered at James Randi’s annual The Amazing Meeting, or TAM. By all accounts, it was a great show. Probably the most buzz came from a talk by Phil Plait, which became known as the “don’t be a dick” speech, because, well, he argued that skeptics will be most effective when…

On marriage

Joel Mathis is upset with the National Review. The conservative journal responds to last week’s ruling against the federal Defense of Marriage Act, an act that blocks legal recognition of legal marriages between same-sex couples, by arguing: If heterosexual coupling did not regularly produce children there would be no reason for the institution of marriage…

My favorite part of the report above on “Chupacabras in Texas?” is when the rancher comments that the “chupacabra” he shot was “acting just like a neighbor’s dog.” The reason is pretty simple. It was a neighbor’s dog. It got mange and lost its hair. I think the term for a Texas rancher who can’t…

In the comments on my previous post, there’s an important update from George Soule, a communications director at the Carnegie Foundation, and I updated the post to reflect his clarifications. In chatting with him, he had a useful explanation of how the science standards process differs from that which applied to the Common Core standards…

A draft of the Standards Framework for national science standards, funded by the Carnegie Foundation and sponsored by the National Governors Association and the US Chamber of Commerce (among others), has been published. The National Research Council drafted the framework, and is seeking comment until August 2, and I’ll have more to say as I…

“Very candid”

Pepsi’s Chief Scientific Officer addresses #Sbfail: Earlier this week, PepsiCo’s blog, Food Frontiers, was added to ScienceBlogs.com so we could begin open discussions about the role science can play in finding solutions to global nutrition challenges. Mmmm, sorta. The blog was indeed added (then deleted), but a more accurate phrasing would be, “PepsiCo’s bought ad…