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29 October 2011

Questions and answers

One of the 300 or so blogs that I read is by Dr. William Hooke, a senior policy fellow at the American Meteorological Society. I met Bill half a year ago, when I came to a joint AGU/AMS social media training session at the request of my keepers at the American Geophysical Union. I shared the stage that day with Jason Samenow of Capital Weather Gang, and Bill Hooke was …


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16 October 2011

A graphical dalliance

I read an article in the current issue of Physics Today with interest. It deals with the nature of scientific controversies, as percieved by the public and by specialists in the field in question. The author, Steven Sherwood, compares the origin of the ideas of a heliocentric solar system, general relativity, and human influence on the Earth’s climate. Each of them follows a similar pattern, he argues, with the initial …


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10 September 2011

A dismaying course, part II: evolution

Picking up where we left off on Thursday’s post on the relationship between the 2011 Republican presidential hopefuls and science, we examined their statements on climate change. Today, we look at the other information compiled by NPR, their statements on evolution. Michele Bachmann I support intelligent design. What I support is putting all science on the table and then letting students decide. I don’t think it’s a good idea for …


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17 May 2011

More garbage about impending disasters

Hot on the heels of my discussion of yesterday’s “end is nigh” prophecy, here’s another one, an example that more plausibly wears the cloak of pseudoscience. A cousin sent me a link to this video via Facebook, and asked me what I thought. I sat through it (ten minutes of my life I’ll never get back), and now you can too: [youtube=””]   If you don’t have the patience to …


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16 May 2011

Five days until… nothing much happens

Outside a metro station in DC a couple of months ago, I noticed a group of people with signs, pamphlets, and earnest expressions. They were advertising the “good news” that the end of the world was soon: May 21, in fact. They’ve been getting some more attention since, and since May 21 is this coming Saturday, I figured it’s about time I wrote it up. According to this particular sect …


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7 March 2011

Books about atheism

I’ve been reading some books lately about atheism. Though I’ve been a functional atheist for many years, I’ve been paying more attention to it lately in light of religiously-inspired idiocy from around the globe. I’ve become convinced that religious belief does more harm than good, and my sense of incredulity has deepened at how far my fellow humans will go in their own self-deception. So I’ve been doing some reading …


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15 February 2011

Capadoccia 7

And now, for the final half of my final day in Capadoccia, Turkey… We continued hiking along up the scenic valley that I mentioned a few days ago, checking out the lovely scene in the lovely weather… The valley floor was reasonably wet and vegetated, but the higher slopes were eroding at a rate too quick for vegetation to get established. Here’s an exposure of the tuff there, bearing kandy-kolored …


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1 February 2011

Capadoccia 3

Callan shares some more images from last summer’s trip to Capadoccia, Turkey. Eroded turrets of ignimbrite served as dwellings for Byzantine-era Christians, who decorated them with distinctive art.


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3 January 2011

Four books on time

Callan reviews four books about geologic time.


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5 December 2010

The Demon-Haunted World by Carl Sagan

I just finished reading a book that I should have read fifteen years ago, when I first saw it in the library: Carl Sagan’s The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark. Over the past couple of years, I’ve taken to listening to the Skeptic’s Guide to the Universe podcast, thanks to a recommendation from Bryan on a post I wrote about podcasts back on the first incarnation …


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