Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Finally managed to get hold of "Why Evolution Is True"

I've been trying to get hold of Why Evolution Is True" for months and months... and I finally found a copy. It was always "[typity-type] oh, our store in outer Mongolia has a copy. Or I could order it in for you... (... for $45)".

Anyway the bookstore on campus actually finally got it in. Yay. $46 (WTF!?) but with discount it was just under $43 ($35 US - yeah, I should have just waited 4 weeks and I'd be in Chicago and could have got it for heaps less, or even had it shipped from the US by Amazon, for that matter). But anyway, I decided not to wait and just get it.

Haven't had much time to read it, but the little I have read so far is very good.

I have put Darwin aside for a little (I'm about halfway through), because reading Darwin constantly had me saying "but don't we know such-and-such now?" - I really wanted to have a better understanding of current evolutionary ideas; actually I'm not too badly off, since I read around a fair bit, but it's always been in tiny disconnected pieces - this book of Jerry Coyne's looks like a good laymans overview.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Jerry Coyne aptness

Jerry Coyne said something I have been struggling to express so concisely in many recent discussions. I liked it so I figured I would quote him.

And here we have the real difference between faith and science, for, unlike faith, science can answer the question, “How would I know if I were wrong?” And if you can’t answer that question, how can you know if you are right?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Ontologically logical

Today I used Anselm's ontological argument to prove the existence of Odin.

Odin was very grateful.

Now what do I do with an 8-legged horse?

Edit: See Skeptico's debunking of Anselm's argument

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Gallup Poll on religious belief in US:

Gallup poll here on religious belief in the US. Total sample size is over 178000.
(page 1, with map and article here, but to me the numbers were the story.)

USA overall: 13.2%

States over 20%:
Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Oregon, Washington, Hawaii, Alaska

States under 10%:
North Dakota, Nebraska, North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas, Louisiana, Oaklahoma, Texas

Friday, August 7, 2009

200 and counting

I passed my 200th post a few posts ago (here). That was in just a few days over 21 months.

My volume is down, but I'm still around.

If a picture is worth a thousand words...

If a picture really is worth a thousand words... why do we keep saying "a picture is worth a thousand words" ... in words?