July 14th, 2007


Dismal Science

I'm indebted to Pharyngula for alerting me to both of these items.

Cosmic Variance has already torn this one apart with such skill and gusto that anything I add would be superfluous. But it's still just mind-blowingly mind-boggling to see that curve 'fitted' to the data right there in the WSJ. I mean, sane people with a modicum of statistical savvy would consider Norway an outlier, but the WSJ curve seems to be tied to it. How can most of the points be safely corralled beneath the curve? To quote Cosmic Variance: "As of this writing, it is unclear what advanced statistical software package was used to fit the Laffer Curve to the data; the smart money seems to be on MS Paint."

All right, switching stories, let's try a little science experiment:

Observation: Threatening emails and notes are delivered to evolutionary biology labs at CU-Boulder. According to a police paraphrase, they say that "anybody who doesn't believe in our religious belief is wrong and should be taken care of."

Hypothesis: Someone at the Discovery Institute hypothesizes that "if these guys are ever caught, they won't turn out be creationists, or even very religious people."

Experimental Procedure: Identify the suspect and examine his writings for evidence of religious belief.

Data: Don't have to go much farther than his blog's URL, really.

Conclusion: Hypothesis falsified.