This is Why I Don’t Believe Anyone Who Says ‘I’m Not a Math Person’

An article at The Atlantic by Miles Kimball and Noah Smith argues against the notion that some people are just not “math people” and I couldn’t agree more:

… we believe that the idea of “math people” is the most self-destructive idea in America today. The truth is, you probably are a math person, and by thinking otherwise, you are possibly hamstringing your own career. Worse, you may be helping to perpetuate a pernicious myth that is harming underprivileged children — the myth of inborn genetic math ability.

So why do we focus on math? For one thing, math skills are increasingly important for getting good jobs these days — so believing you can’t learn math is especially self-destructive. But we also believe that math is the area where America’s “fallacy of inborn ability” is the most entrenched. Math is the great mental bogeyman of an unconfident America. If we can convince you that anyone can learn math, it should be a short step to convincing you that you can learn just about anything, if you work hard enough.

This is precisely what I’ve noticed in nearly a decade of teaching math at the high-school level: The students who say they’re “bad at math” tend to do just fine when they’re given good instruction and practice properly. The students who don’t do well are usually the ones who aren’t trying very hard in the first place.

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85-Year-Old Atheist Sponsors Billboard Reading ‘Enjoy Life Now: There Is No Afterlife’

Wayne Hensler, an atheist in his mid-80s, has decided to leave a “legacy for [his] grandchildren” by putting up a billboard showcasing his thoughts on the afterlife in his hometown of Janesville, Wisconsin. It reads “Enjoy Life Now: There Is No Afterlife”:



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Bill to Put ‘In God We Trust’ Sign in Every Public School in Pennsylvania Gets Through Education Committee

We learned earlier this month Pennsylvania Rep. Rick Saccone (R-obviously), who has a history of sponsoring and supporting unnecessary legislation to promote Christianity, planned to propose legislation to put the words “In God We Trust” in every public school — and possibly every classroom — in the state. As Justin Vacula correctly pointed out then, [Read More...]

What Questions Do Atheists Struggle With?

The video below, part of The Atheist Voice series, answers the question: What questions do atheists struggle with?:

We’d love to hear your thoughts on the project — more videos will be posted soon — and we’d also appreciate your suggestions as to which questions we ought to tackle next!

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Friendly Atheist Book Club Begins Later This Week!

This is just a reminder that we’re beginning a book club for readers of this site and we’ll begin discussing Candace R. M. Gorham‘s The Ebony Exodus Project: Why Some Black Women Are Walking out on Religion — and Others Should Too starting later this week!

If you’d like to join us on this endeavor, please register soon!

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