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Archive for November, 2014

Global Warming, Intelligent Design, and The Null Hypothesis

November 24, 2014 3 comments

You’re probably not going to read this. It’s long. It’s technical. People just don’t want to read long, technical material any more. There aren’t going to be any pretty pictures, and there will be a minimum of snark. What’s more, this is one of those posts that is going to upset a lot of people, both liberal and conservative alike. It’s also one of those that will likely cause the immediate reaction to be flat, bald-faced dismissal and angry rejection.

So why write it?

I write it for a couple of reasons. First, when it comes to rational debate on these subjects I see very few. If I want to throw my voice into the wind, I’m going to try to make sure it’s one of the reasonable, rational ones.

Second, I think that the bulk of people who wonder about controversial topics such as these actually do want to understand how to process facts and data. I think they don’t know how to evaluate evidence, and are stuck in a loop where the most intellectual arguments are “a whole bunch of smart people believe X” or, worse, “if you don’t believe X then you are too stupid to justify wasting oxygen.”

So, for this blog post, I’m going to explain why the approach to justifying Anthropogenic Global Warming (AGW) is exactly the same argumentative style as Intelligent Design (ID), and why they’re both wrong.

Read more…

Common Core Math: So Clever It’s Incorrect

November 20, 2014 2 comments

A few months back I came across an example of a Common Core math problem that really set me off. I mean, it actually offended me. This was the key question for a 6-year-old’s math exam:

The Offending Question

The Offending Question

 

(If you’ve never seen this problem before, feel free to try to work it out before reading the Answer after the “read more” link below.)

Recently I came across a year-old article in the Washington Post where the author linked back to the same test again, and the feelings of ire swelled within me again.

Why?

Because in addition to the convoluted, logical insanity,  it’s a math question that has the math wrong.

Read more…

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