March for Science: Facts not Fictions

February 16, 2017

The March for Science date has been set for April 22, 2017 — also known as Earth Day. The main march will be in Washington D.C., with satellite marches around the country and the world.

via Science, Not Silence – March for Science on April 22, 2017 — JoAnn Chateau

Reading Books in the United States: The Great Disparity

February 15, 2017

I’ve long heard the claim that the average American reads less than one book a year, but a Pew Poll released last November shows that that’s not accurate—in two ways. First, as I note below, the concept of “books read by the average American” isn’t accurate, as the concept of “the average American” is meaningless on […]

via On the non-reading of books by Americans — Why Evolution Is True

Religious Adherence and Acceptance of Evolutionary Science Negatively Correlated in the United States (As Well Negative Correlation between Voting for Trump/GOP and Acceptance of Evolutionary Science)

February 12, 2017

Back in 2013 I put up a post showing a negative correlation between the religiosity of American states and their acceptance of evolution, a relationship that also holds among European countries (see original post for figures). At that time, I had access to religiosity for only the 10 most and 10 least religious states in the U.S., but […]

via New data on the religiosity of U.S. states and its correlation with accepting evolution — Why Evolution Is True

One could argue that one of the reasons Trump supporters believe that there are no “facts” (unless they support the tweets made by the so-called POTUS) is that they ground their belief systems in religious doctrine that is patently false

February 11, 2017

From Big Think we have physicist Lawrence Krauss showing why the “teach both sides” argument for evolution—and science in general—is fallacious. This argument is now being inserted into school standards by religionists who have lost repeated court battles trying to get creationism and intelligent design taught explicitly in public schools. Their new tactic is to pass school standards allowing or urging […]

via Krauss on why it’s dumb to make “teach both sides” arguments for evolution — Why Evolution Is True

Political Divisiveness in the United States is Increasingly Mimicking Religious Divisiveness: Children Are Less Likely to Marry Outside of Their Political Tribe

February 2, 2017

By many accounts, the U.S. presidential election in 2016 was one of the most contentious […]

via Partisan voters in U.S. increasingly prefer their children marry within the party, study finds — Women in the World in Association with The New York Times – WITW

Nonreligious underrepresented

February 2, 2017

Interesting comparison between the US Congress and the population it represents (in Canada, it is about one in four). In terms of the religion of Canadian MPs, my analysis of visible minority MPs is below: One in five Americans is religiously unaffiliated. Yet just one of 535 members of the new Congress is. That’s what […]

via Atheists, Agnostics, Nonreligious Remain Far Underrepresented In US Congress : NPR — Multicultural Meanderings

Medieval Banking: The Influence of the Crusader States on European Banking

January 31, 2017

Tim Harford offers a short but useful piece on the medieval origins of modern banking—in the Knights Templar, the great fair of Lyon, and so on.* The Templars dedicated themselves to the defence of Christian pilgrims to Jerusalem. The city had been captured by the first crusade in 1099 and pilgrims began to stream in, […]

via Banking and value — occasional links & commentary

John Arnold as Skeptic: Criticizing and Correcting Bad Science, Promoting Good Science

January 28, 2017

BRIAN NOSEK HAD pretty much given up on finding a funder. For two years he had sent out grant proposals for his software project. And for two years they had been rejected again and again—which was, by 2011, discouraging but not all that surprising to the 38-year-old scientist. An associate professor at the University of […]

via John Arnold Made a Fortune at Enron. Now He’s Declared War on Bad Science — Nutrition Squared

Anthony Atkinson on Inequality

January 28, 2017

“Thomas Piketty might be a more famous name in inequality studies today but by the time his magnum opus, Capital in the Twenty-First Century was published in 2014, Atkinson had already clocked over 40 years of research on issues of distribution of wealth, income and property.” My article on Sir Anthony Atkinson in The […]

via Anthony Atkinson, Economist Whose Studies on Inequality Broke New Ground — Unlearning By Doing

Trump and the Jacksonian Revolt: The Pendulum Swing Away from “Liberal Order Building” American Foreign Policy

January 28, 2017

For the first time in 70 years, the American people have elected a president who disparages the policies, ideas, and institutions at the heart of postwar U.S. foreign policy. No one knows how the foreign policy of the Trump administration will take shape, or how the new president’s priorities and preferences will shift as he encounters the torrent of events and crises […]

via The Jacksonian Revolt – By Walter Russell Mead January 20, 2017 — Just Sayin’