TIL Wikipedia is not always reliable…from Wikipedia

Today I Learned is a popular subreddit on Reddit. One very recent post is this one: The post links to the Wikipedia entry “Reliability of Wikipedia.” Discuss…       [Read more...]

Amelia Bedelia and the Sinister Buttocks

Wikipedia has been making headlines again. If you haven’t seen it yet, read the article about how someone as a student edited the Wikipedia entry about Amelia Bedelia as a prank, only to encounter it tweeted as fact years later. The second part of the title of this post comes from an article about the tendency [Read More...]

PALNI Prize

I recently had the privilege to be an invited panelist at a PALNI (Private Academic Library Network of Indiana) strategic planning meeting. For post-dinner entertainment, they had a video contest, with the various libraries in the network entering submissions. The dean of the Butler University libraries, Julie Miller, submitted my “Viva La Library” video as our [Read More...]

THE James McGrath

My friend and colleague Chad Bauman mentioned on Facebook about someone else who shares his name, but who has chosen – how shall I put it? – a different path in life. Out of curiosity, I checked to see what would happen if I typed in my name, with no added middle initial or other [Read More...]

Skepticism Quote

Steve Douglas took some words of mine in a recent post and turned them into an image, and so I’ve shared it above. [Read more...]

Skepticism, Science, and Scholarship

P. Z. Myers has seen the dark side of skepticism, the fact that its tools can be applied not just to fringe bunk but to anything and everything. And so he has written in an effort to distinguish science and skepticism. Here is an excerpt from his recent post on the topic: A short while [Read More...]

Jesus is #5

A list has been drawn up of the 100 most frequently edited Wikipedia articles (HT Jezebel). The article about Jesus is #5 on the list: There are lots of observations that need to be made about this. One is that Jesus continues to be edited. That process has been going on as long as there [Read More...]

Pics Or It Didn’t Happen

I saw someone use the phrase “pics or it didn’t happen” on Facebook recently. It seems to me that, in our era of Photoshop, simply asking for pictures or other such evidence is not enough. One has to be able to discern the truth in a manner that takes into account the fact that photographs [Read More...]

Spotting Bad Science and Scholarship

I became aware of this infographic a while back, and wanted to comment on it, both in relation to science and also in terms of how it relates to other fields.   Some of the details are relevant only to the natural sciences – there is no way to double blind test a historical reconstruction. [Read More...]

Proof That God Loves Us

I fact-checked the quote about beer that is often attributed to Ben Franklin (“Beer is proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy”), and found that it is an adaptation of something that Franklin wrote about wine: On parle de la conversion de l’eau en vin, à la nôce de Cana, comme d’un [Read More...]

Critical Thinking

My colleague Elizabeth Mix gave me the idea for this song, suggesting that a song on one of our core curriculum student learning outcomes, “Critical Thinking,” would work to the tune of “Eleanor Rigby.” Let me know what you think. The lyrics are in the video above (click on the image if it does not [Read More...]


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