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.๐Ÿ™‚

The Obama Scandals: Paul Krugman says it well:

I picked a good week to be away โ€” 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 werenโ€™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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