Quantcast

Monthly Archive: February 2005

Feb 14 2005

The Unbearable Lightness of Third-Tier Pundits

In the educational system that existed in Sri Lanka when I was growing up, students had to decide in the eighth grade what direction their future education would take, Since I knew I wanted to do physics, I chose to go in that direction and the rest of my education consisted of heavy doses of …

Continue reading »

Feb 11 2005

Evolution III: Scientific knowledge is an interconnected web

In an earlier posting, the question was posed as to whether it was intellectually consistent to reject the findings of an entire modern scientific discipline (like biology) or of a major theoretical structure (like the theory of evolution) while accepting all the other theories of science. The short answer is no. Why this is so …

Continue reading »

Feb 10 2005

Ossie Davis, stereotype threat, and academic underachievement

Veteran actor Ossie Davis died last Friday. In reading the tributes to him, I was struck by what he had said just a year earlier when he received the Kennedy Center awards. “We knew that every time we got a job and every time we were on a stage, America was looking to make judgments …

Continue reading »

Feb 09 2005

Evolution II: Science is not a smorgasbord

In an earlier posting, I noted that the US population is roughly evenly split on whether or not to accept the basic tenet of evolution on the origin of humans. What is interesting is that the people who reject evolution feel quite free to do so. They seem to feel that there is no price …

Continue reading »

Feb 08 2005

How I keep up with the news

I hardly ever watch TV news and talk shows or spend much time with other elements of the mainstream media. I don’t read the New York Times, Washington Post, Wall Street Journal or other so-called national papers unless someone directs me to a specific article. I also don’t read the popular news magazines such as …

Continue reading »

Feb 07 2005

Evolution I: The bad, the good, and the ugly

First the bad (and somewhat old) news. In a 2001 survey, the National Science Foundation found that only 53 percent of Americans agreed with the statement “human beings, as we know them, developed from earlier species of animals.â€? It is hard to believe that there could be any good news behind this mind-boggling statistic that …

Continue reading »

Feb 04 2005

Phony-sounding concern

Why do politicians feel the need to go over the top when it comes to public expressions of sympathy? Why cannot they state what would be a normal and understandable expression of sorrow and leave it at that? The Plain Dealer on 1/27/05 had a report on G. W. Bush’s first press conference of his …

Continue reading »

Feb 02 2005

Science and proof III

Dan had a comment on the “science and proof II” posting that I think is of general interest that requires a fresh posting. He asks: “Okay, do you have a quick explanation for why falsification is not the distinction between science and religion? On a day to day level, it works for me. If someone …

Continue reading »

Feb 02 2005

High self-esteem does not lead to high student achievement

After wasting space on Michelle Malkin last week, the Plain Dealer redeemed itself on Monday, January 31 with an intriguing op-ed piece by Roy F. Baumeister on the misguided attempts to cure various social ills by boosting the self-esteem of the people responsible for those ills. This was based on the theory that low self-esteem …

Continue reading »

Feb 01 2005

Synthetic rage II

The fact that Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ did not receive any nominations in the major categories for Academy Awards (it did receive nominations for makeup, cinematography, and original score) has created a fresh gusher of synthetic rage. The inevitable press conferences are being held with the usual suspects denouncing this omission as …

Continue reading »

» Newer posts