Resistance to Science and Overthinking

Everybody’s abuzz about the article by Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg (the link goes to a reprint at; you can find an illicit PDF of the Science article if you poke around a little) about research into why people don’t automatically believe scientific explanations. From the article: The main source of resistance to […]

The Wisdom of Crowds of Frat Boys

Over at evolgen, RPM is indignant about being rated by students, citing some pig-ignorant comments from RateMyProfessors. Interestingly, someone brought this up to the Dean Dad a little while ago, and he had an interesting response: A reader wrote to ask a dean’s-eye perspective on The short version: I consider it electronic gossip. The […]

Emmy, Red in Tooth and Claw

This picture is from yesterday, but the scene was more or less the same this morning: A rabbit had hopped into our yard, to eat the spilled seed under the bird feeder (or something over there– it’s like a Disney movie sometimes, with all manner of happy little woodland creatures), so we let the dog […]

Posted in Dog

Easterbrook in Space

Steinn points to that rarest of rarities, a Gregg Easterbrook column on scientific matters (in Wired no less!) that isn’t completely idiotic. In this case, he takes on the misplaced priorities of NASA. Of course, this being Easterbrook, it can’t be entirely right, and I think he’s too harsh in assigning all the blame to […]

Why the Sky Is Blue, by Götz Hoeppe

Why the Sky Is Blue, by Götz Hoeppe is subtitled “Discovering the Color of Life,” so I was a little puzzled when Princeton University Press asked me if I wanted a review copy. But, hey, free books! This is ultimately a physics book, but it’s really in the category that I think of as “Smart […]

Write Essays, Win Money

Seed is running an essay contest with a $2,500 prize, so if you like science, and think you write well, take a whack at this question: What does it mean to be scientifically literate in the 21st century? How do we measure the scientific literacy of a society? How do we boost it? What is […]

Gender Balance of SF Awards

John Scalzi is asking for discussion of the Hugo Award nominees, noting that other than a brief controversy over the fact that only one nominated work in the fiction categories is by a woman, there hasn’t been much discussion. This reminded me that it would be good to put in another plug for the foolproof […]

Posted in SF

Framing Science: Look Inside the Sausage Factory

A bit over a month ago, “framing” was the hot argument in these parts (see here, here, and here, and links therein), with zillions of comments about how difficult it was to understand what Mooney and Nisbet were advocating. Today, Matt Nisbet appears to endorse a suggestion made in a letter to Science, namely that […]

Guess-the-Lyrics Hints

Only four songs from the Memorial Day music post remain unguessed, so here are some additional hints: 1) “So, she said it’s time she goes, but wanted to be sure I know she hopes we can be friends.” 2) “And as we sort out the who said, you said, who said, I said, I only […]