Camels with Hammers has a rebuttal

He's a writer at FreeThought Blogs and has been engaging pretty respectfully (without sacrificing aggression!) with me and my ideas (as gleaned from posts and comments).  I particularly appreciated the post he did excoriating my some of my atheist friends for claiming atheists can't be moral realists.  That's a fight I tried to start in the atheist blogosphere when I was one, and I'm glad he's carrying the banner. Now, he's got a new post up, with the amusing title "In Which I Answer Leah … [Read more...]

Today’s Big Controversy

All week, I've been looking forward to today, but I was mindful that it might be contentious and provoke rancor among my friends.  But, ultimately, truth is more important than partisanship, so, come what may, I want to wish you all a very happy Tau Day! As you may remember from math class, pi is approximately 3.14159 and, every year, on March 14th, math geeks tend to celebrate.  Pi is what you get when you divide a circle's circumference (the length around the outside) by the diameter … [Read more...]

The College Application Stratagem or, “Sing out Louise”

One frequent question I got about my conversion was, "Uh, don't you disagree with the Catholic Church on a lot of things? Aren't you bisexual? And a bit of a statist when it come to public health? And various other things?  What are you going to do about that?" I won't paper over those inconsistencies and call them insignificant, but I don't feel like I need to either resolve them instantly or pretend they don't trouble me.  One reason the Catholic Church has adults go through RCIA (Rite of … [Read more...]

And Speaking of Sample Size Problems…

family sample size

Remember that study contrasting outcomes for children of gay parents with children in other kinds of families?  We discussed a couple methodological concerns here already, but I want to give them credit where it's due.  The New Family Structures Survey put together a very nice interactive visualization for their data.  And, even more credit, their sample sizes and demographic breakdowns are available right on the first page of the visualization. People have complained about how few … [Read more...]

Returning to Turing Test Methodology

ITT sample size

I'm a little disappointed in the commentariat for not bitching me out when I showed you the winners and losers in the Christian and Atheist rounds of the Turing Test without ponying up sample size numbers.  This year, each entry had its own survey link, so the number of respondents was not constant across a round.  A fairly predictable trend emerged. Note: This isn't the total number of respondents, it's the N for the number of self-declared atheists judging the first round and … [Read more...]

Leah Libresco, please write, and write faster…

No one's thrown a leg of lamb at my head yet, but I'm getting a little nervous. In all seriousness, it's been a week since the internet found out I'm converting.  I gave an overview in my "why I'm converting" post that I plan to flesh out, and I'm ok with the pace I'm going at.  I do have a day job, and a New Yorker subscription I don't want to fall behind on, and a lot of reading recommendations from everyone on the internet ever (and, I'll confess, all of those will get bumped to the back … [Read more...]

Too Simple Skepticism

Over at Bitchspot, a blogger named Cephus has been fisking my About Me section (which I'll get around to updating soon) to try to spot the roots of my errors.  I'm not really interested in counter-fisking, but right near the end, Cephus cogently summarized an argument I've seen elsewhere, that I'd quite like to address.  I'm the double-indent, Cephus follows. So welcome to the conversation. Play nice, but play to win. And don’t be afraid to show your hand. If you’re doing someone a … [Read more...]


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