Epistemology

An aerial photo of Calgary, the Stampede grounds, flooded

Social norming, agenda setting and discourse about climate change

I am fascinated by what constitutes the limits of “respectable” public discourse. This phenomenon is related, in part, to the Overton window, which is the set of concepts that are considered politically acceptable by the dominant culture. But I am equally fascinated by the social limits …

Close up of a snearing soldier by Alfred T. Palmer

The use and abuse of science in editorial

I approve of science. I approve of evidence and research. By and large and in the long run, science reveals the facts or transparently fails to do so. Along the way we make mistakes, get things wrong, get our hands dirty and learn that stuff is often really complicated. And I also approve of journalists…

At point blank with a gun

See the veil for what it is: further reflections

I read Dan Gardner’s column in the Ottawa Citizen on Wednesday and, dissatisfied with his analysis, wrote a blog post reviewing some of his errors in judgement. During that time I had some opportunity to engage directly with Gardner via Twitter as well as with some others on the issues surrounding his column…

Santa Claus and the orbital model of the atom

I was recently asked on Twitter what the difference is between Santa Claus and the orbital model of the atom. It was asked in a way, that suggested there was no difference, so I thought it must be humour. But now I think it wasn’t.

Richard Dawkins gives talk

Is Christmas a myth?

Is Christmas a myth? Is Christmas essentially Christian? If so, is Christianity essentially a myth? Does Jesus or Santa Claus want us to keep killing civilians in Afghanistan? All good questions…

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