Monthly Archives: December 2020

When your coronavirus theology kills people

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Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz

Perhaps there are two kinds of normal people…There are those who don’t believe in free will and thereby don’t have free will, and there are those who do believe in free will and thereby actually have free will. ” Daniel Dennett, Freedom Evolves. I will be upfront about my definition of “bad theology” here: Bad theology is a belief system… Read more »

My favorite Christmas (anti) carol

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Baby Jesus

I am not known to be a great sentimentalist about Christmas. There is one “carol” that I do like to play this time every year, however, which is a based on a poem by John Pole about a homeless newborn child, called “Anti-Carol.” The best-known version of this was recorded acapella in a strong Cockney accent by British folksinger Frankie… Read more »

The moral conversation around coronavirus vaccine priorities

Who Am I?

It did not take long for the difficult moral questions around who gets the Covid-19 vaccination first to get ugly. At Stanford University an algorithm for distributing the vaccine prioritized older doctors working remotely over young interns and residents who are in daily contact with Covid patients, resulting in a public shaming demonstration. After the bad public attention, the university… Read more »

Probability, uncertainty and inanity with the coronavirus

Bayes theorem

The very bad polling outcomes from the 2020 U.S presidential election pointed out the key differences between two often-confused topics. Pre-election polls are measured in percentages and look like probabilities, but they are really trying to quantify uncertainty, and there is a very big difference between the two that the public largely does not understand. The same confusion has bled… Read more »

Earthkeeping revisited

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Earthkeeping

I recently came across an introductory environmental science book that I had once owned, and it was a pleasant trip back in time. One continuing topic in this blog has been about how our individual and collective minds change on important topics over time. This has especially been true with conservative Republicans and their views on the environment and climate… Read more »

Updating the Actuaries Climate Index – Listen up Republicans!

Ever since a data update arrived in my email from the Actuaries Climate Index in August I have been wanting to revisit one of my most re-tweeted posts from two years ago, called “Listen to the actuaries if not the scientists.” The short read here is that the climate continues to change in a dangerous direction, as determined not by… Read more »