Another Religiously-Motivated Bombing

July 11, 2006

I’ll pop out of retirement for a moment to make sure that more people see this story.

Who’s the conflict between? Hindus and Muslims. Tell me, without religion, would these train bombings have occurred?



April 9, 2006

I’m suspending this blog until further notice. I’ve found that I can’t keep up a reasonably-consistent stream of posts on this and my other blogs. Instead, I’m now doing occasional posts over on Catallaxy. I’ll post copies or links here in case you just want to subscribe to my posts. If you also have an interest in economics, libertarian views, and/or Australian politics, you may just want to subscribe to Catallaxy instead.

I’ll leave my existing posts here as well, and — who knows — I may eventually find time to do this more earnestly. Thanks for reading.

Is this for real?

April 9, 2006

If this story is true, it will make the US the worst of hypocrites.

I’m not going to weigh in on what — if anything — to do about Iran and their suspected nuclear weapons program. However, it strikes me as quintessentially hypocritical to use tactical nuclear weapons on a country to stop their nuclear weapons energy program… right?

Hell’s Handmaiden vs. Intelligent Design

April 2, 2006

Intelligent Design proponents are propagandising via the Internet, and their blogs are truly a sight to behold. Their posts are sometimes so galling and perplexing that I literally sit agape at my computer as I read their takes on evolution and ID.

I am at times tempted to address their posts, but given the volume it seems like an insurmountable task. Hell’s Handmaiden nonetheless does a fantastic job of tearing them to logical shreds. Here’s a collection of recent posts and responses.

If the ID issue is of concern to you, Hell’s Handmaiden and the blogs he links to and discusses are valuable additions to your feed aggregator.

Chagnon on human-induced climate change

March 29, 2006

There was an interesting comment on my “Debunking Science with Handwaving and Bullshit” post by Chagnon, who is apparently an atmospheric scientist. I thought it deserved attention, so I’m reposting it here:

Rescuing Reason » Blog Archive » Debunking Science with Handwaving and Bullshit

If the “jury” were to consist of atmospheric and oceanic scientists, the verdict on human-influenced climate change would be a very nearly unanimous “guilty”, as one could easily determine through a search through the relevant scientific literature on the topic. The trial in which these jurists have been participating is one that demonstrates phyical evidence supported by simple theoretical expectations. A lovely compendium of the relevant “case law” is available on . Cutting edge research intended to assign better probabilities to prediction of climate change scenarios is being undertaken at . If nonscientists, bloggers, and journalists should like to question the reality of global warming, then they are obliged to examine the scientific case and demonstrate the flaws therein. As an atmospheric scientist, I can admit that the problem is quite complex and challenging, but that careful and creative techniques are succeeding in reducing the uncertainty. To me, it appears that FoxNews and journalists like Steve Milloy have made up their minds without any consideration or appreciation of the science. There are still important debates to be had on the science, and notable skeptics such as Richard Lindzen should be heard, but in the context of a debate with equally prominent and knowledgable scientists. Journalists would do well to facilitate such a debate, in proper context, rather than editorialize on issues that they don’t understand.

Did we find the missing link?

March 26, 2006

If this is the long-sought ‘missing link’, it wouldn’t really add that much strength to evolutionary theory (it’s farily strong already), but it might help shut some people up about how we haven’t found it. – Could Ethiopian skull be missing link? – Mar 25, 2006

The cranium dates to a time about which little is known — the transition from African Homo erectus to modern humans. The fossil record from Africa for this period is sparse and most of the specimens poorly dated, project archaeologists said.

The face and cranium of the fossil are recognizably different from those of modern humans, but bear unmistakable anatomical evidence that it belongs to the modern human’s ancestry, Sileshi said.

Chimps found to be even more like humans

March 25, 2006

Say it with me — we may be special because we’re so smart, but we share a common ancestor with modern apes. 

But, no. That can’t be… we exclusively were created in god’s own image. We’re that special.

Chimps point to spot they’d like groomed | Science Blog

“The more we learn, the more we see chimpanzees employing remarkable, seemingly human-like behaviors,” Mitani said. “To me that is one of the lessons of this little paper.” The findings appear in today’s issue of Current Biology, in a paper entitled “Referential Gestural Communication in Wild Chimpanzees.”