Fake Scandals, Parasites, Fracking and Calculus

Mathematics This is an interesting (and lengthy) post about Gottfried Leibniz: he was one of the cofounders of calculus and one who was credited with inventing the \frac{df}{dx} notation, as well as the “product rule” in calculus.

IQ and race Mano Singham has a gift for writing about tough subjects; his ideas about “race and IQ” are worth reading. We pretty much agree.

Should we use blood types, as a class project, to demonstrate genetics? That SOUNDS nice, but there are some pitfalls (hints: possibly adopted and unaware…or….the offspring of an extra marital affair?)

Academic Freedom: are there limits to this, especially when teaching at a public university in the United States? I say: “yes, there are limits”; we cannot use our students as a captive audience to promote religious beliefs. Note: I am NOT talking about “best teaching practices” but rather “what is legal.” Teaching incompetently is legal but ill advised. 🙂

The Obama Scandals: Paul Krugman says it well:

I picked a good week to be away — and I am still away, mostly, although playing a bit of hooky on the notebook right now. For it has been the week of OBAMA SCANDALS, nonstop.

Except it seems that there weren’t actually any scandals, just the usual confusion and low-level mistakes that happen all the time, in any administration.

Fracking I know that many who vote the same way that I do are anti-fracking. It is my opinion that fracking CAN be done competently. But when it isn’t, the consequences are disastrous. So when one considers a practice, one has to also consider safeguards and the likelihood that it will be “done right.”

Evolution, medicine, Malaria and Mosquitos
This is fascination. We’ve known for some time that a parasite can influence the behavior of its host. Now, there is solid evidence that the malaria parasite can make a mosquito more likely to “bite” a human, thereby helping the parasite spread. Read about the experiment at Jerry Coyne’s website.


May 17, 2013 - Posted by | biology, civil liberties, creationism, evolution, mathematics, politics, politics/social, religion, science | , , , ,

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