Look, let me say something pragmatic and hard-hearted

For the last two days, the story of Amelia Rivera has kept showing up in my RSS reader.  Amelia Rivera is a three-year-old girl who is developmentally disabled and suffers from Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome.  She needs a kidney transplant to live, and the hospital her parents went to declined to place her on the transplant list and also refused to let a family member donate a kidney to the girl.The other posts on Patheos on this topic (You love your kid? Too bad! and Determining who is "good e … [Read more...]

7 Stat Takes

--- 1 --- Some time today, BoltBus WiFi permitting, I'm going to take one last look at the statistics you need to know to parse the link between the Pill and breast cancer that Marc of Bad Catholic alluded to in a post earlier this week.  The first post went through some common misunderstandings of the ways risk and percentages are used by epidemiologists.  Today's post will go over some of the questions and objections that came up in the comments.If you're planning to get into these kinds o … [Read more...]

Bringing a Stat Book to a Culture Fight

Comments are still a little bit in flux here.  Because Disqus was causing problems, it's been stripped off and we're back to plain old wordpress comments until things get sorted out.  On the plus side, this means that all the previously vanished comments are back!Oh, and speaking of comments, today I want to point you to a conversation that's going on over at Marc's Bad Catholic blog here at Patheos.  Marc wrote a post called "10 Reason the Pill Sucks" and, although I disagree with several of … [Read more...]

Turing Test Update

In light of the interest in the ‘Atheist’ round of my Ideological Turing Test, I’m extending the deadline for submitting answers until midnight on Tuesday night, so keep forwarding the link around!The answers to the ‘Christian’ slate of questions will start going up early Monday morning. There are fifteen answers in all (from the same slate of contestants who participated in the first round). If you don’t want to have too much to slog through when the ballot goes up on Friday, I recommend kee … [Read more...]

Prep for Judging Ideological Turing Test

Thanks for your suggestions, the survey is now LIVE.  There are fifteen Ideological Turing Test contestants in all, and, starting tomorrow, you’ll get the chance to vote on which of the answers to questions for atheists were truly written by atheists. I’ll be posting all the remaining entries by noon on Friday, and then I’ll open up a link to a Google form for voting. I’m finishing up the survey instrument tonight, and I wanted to open up suggestions for questions.There are a bunch of ent … [Read more...]

Death of Religion Predicted by Demographers Torturing Statistics

Because what's the use of a blog that brings together Christians and atheists if it doesn't take time to snark on bad science reporting/bad study methodology?  I like geeking out about this, but if it's not your cup of tea, never fear: the next post in queue covers the ex-gay lecture I mentioned I was attending on Friday.UPDATE: Thanks to Darksmiles for pointing out an error in this post.  I misread the scale of some of the graphs in this paper, since the study listed them as "percentages" i … [Read more...]

Fast and Loose with Family Facts

First Things has started a new online feature I enjoy called "Family Facts." The series is described as "an occasional series of data presentations about family and religious practice and analysis of their role in maintaining civil society."  Given how much I love data and data visualization, I'm delighted.I'm not so delighted with the most recent installment on who children live with.  Here's the chart:See that note on the side, where it says "Figures for 1961 to 1967 have been i … [Read more...]