tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-15868947.post132817254297849067..comments2024-04-03T04:11:01.081-07:00Comments on Halfway There: Ma vie en proseZenohttp://www.blogger.com/profile/09058127284297728552noreply@blogger.comBlogger5125tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-15868947.post-16664637470070555992008-05-06T12:20:00.000-07:002008-05-06T12:20:00.000-07:00"But the new atheists, like Dawkins, Myers, Provin...<EM>"But the new atheists, like Dawkins, Myers, Provine, Ruse, et al. ARE pretending [that] science equals atheism."</EM><BR/><BR/>This is, to put it politely, hogwash.jrehttps://www.blogger.com/profile/09970581038792305659noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-15868947.post-87591926963392854572008-05-06T02:06:00.000-07:002008-05-06T02:06:00.000-07:00But the new atheists, like Dawkins, Myers, Provine...But the new atheists, like Dawkins, Myers, Provine, Ruse, et al. ARE pretending the science equals atheism.<BR/><BR/>This willful intellectual dishonesty is doing incalcuable harm to science education, because these are the posturers that the public hears.Emanuel Goldsteinhttps://www.blogger.com/profile/02653303041185240250noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-15868947.post-12708239243720213682008-04-09T12:37:00.000-07:002008-04-09T12:37:00.000-07:00I'm probably not the right person to be remarking ...I'm probably not the right person to be remarking on the subject, but I couldn't get a word out of any of those blockquotes, including "and" and "but."<BR/><BR/>Math is not my specialty. Writing is. In my professional opinion, "Ewww..."Interrobanghttps://www.blogger.com/profile/14073177798747299275noreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-15868947.post-55669894222292761142008-04-06T02:16:00.000-07:002008-04-06T02:16:00.000-07:00I shudder at the notion that some poor students mi...I shudder at the notion that some poor students might be required to learn calculus from the writings of this apparent afficianado (sp) of "It was a dark and stormy night..."<BR/><BR/>What baffles me about Berlinski and many others is, how do mathematicians and engineers, in particular, envision themselves as experts in evolutionary biology? Do they really believe that they somehow know more than the folks in the trenches? <BR/><BR/>I'm an engineer training to be a geologist, and I can't imagine some biologist saying, "no, you're all wrong about earthquake hazards, XYZ predicted earthquake isn't going to happen." So how can people like Berlinski sleep at night? Have they no humility whatsoever?????<BR/><BR/>Back in the days of Castles and Dragons when I was an undergrad, one of my calculus instructors remarked (in a private conversation) that the only people who believed in absolute truth were mathematicians and fundamentalist Christians. At the time, I didn't understand how right he was.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.comtag:blogger.com,1999:blog-15868947.post-46308041297739264442008-04-05T10:22:00.000-07:002008-04-05T10:22:00.000-07:00I went to MathSciNet and checked out mathematical ...I went to MathSciNet and checked out mathematical publications associated with this genius. Not much to look at.<BR/><BR/>Berlinski, David Newton's gift. How Sir Isaac Newton unlocked the system of the world. Free Press, New York, 2000. xviii+217 pp.<BR/><BR/>Part of the review: Though one does not have to use this book for scholarly work, it is disappointing to read inaccuracies such as the following: "By 1667, Newton had collected his thoughts on infinite series in a long manuscript--- On the analysis of infinite series" (p. 76). The title is wrongly translated: the analysis is by infinite series and not of them. Whiteside has tentatively suggested a dating not preceding the early summer of 1669 [see I. Newton, The mathematical papers of Isaac Newton. Vol. II, Cambridge Univ. Press, London, 1968; MR0228320 (37 \#3901) (p. 206, note)]. Without an explanation, Berlinksi proposes his dating.<BR/><BR/>Berlinski, David The advent of the algorithm. The idea that rules the world. Harcourt, Inc., New York, 2000. xxii+345 pp.<BR/><BR/>Part of the review: There are, however, too many things to be "endured" for the book to receive a full endorsement---from tedious discussions of logical calculi to incorrect formulations of the conversion rules for the lambda-calculus, from an unsatisfactory definition of primitive recursive functions to the claim that GĂ¶del already in 1931 gave "for the first time" a precise mathematical description of the notion of an algorithm. These are just examples where important technical material is not properly "under control" and where significant historical matters are not accurately presented.<BR/><BR/>Berlinski, David Knowing, knowledge, known. Logique et Anal. (N.S.) 33 (1990), no. 129-130, 3--20<BR/><BR/>Berlinski, David The language of life. Complexity, language, and life: mathematical approaches, 231--267, Biomathematics, 16, Springer, Berlin, 1986 <BR/><BR/>Mathematical methods in the social sciences. III. Edited by David Berlinski. Synthese 37 (1978), no. 2, 117--251. D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht-Boston, Mass., 1978. pp. 117--253.<BR/><BR/>Mathematical methods of the social sciences. II. Edited by David Berlinski. Synthese 36 (1977), no. 3. D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht-Boston, Mass., 1977. 285--395. <BR/><BR/>Berlinski, David Mathematical models of the world. Mathematical methods of the social sciences. Synthese 31 (1975), no. 2, 211--227.<BR/><BR/>Review: This paper is written like a literary paper with neither sections nor key words so that it is really difficult to grasp by a reader who is accustomed to present scientific journals. As far as the reviewer understands, this article is a critical survey of some models which are presently used for modelling practical dynamic systems or, as the author says, "models of the world". The concepts of "well posed problems", "structural stability" in Thom's sense, and "asymptotic stability" are analyzed in a synthetic overview, and some interesting questions are raised concerning the theoretical assumptions of some approaches. For instance, the assertion that only structurally stable models are of interest, may be questionable in some instances. The example of meteorology is expanded, qualitatively of course, to illustrate various questions such as the "problem of error", the "predictability limits", and the "average escape time". The paper ends with a summary of Zeeman's point of view on the necessity of using catastrophe theory in the study of social and political life. <BR/><BR/>From the viewpoint of the reviewer, attractive as it is, catastrophe theory is not fully fathomed, and its practical implications will not be clearly exhibited until its connection with partial differential equations is shown. <BR/><BR/>Mathematical methods of the social sciences. Edited by David Berlinski. Synthese 31 (1975), no. 2. D. Reidel Publishing Co., Dordrecht-Boston, Mass., 1975. pp. 209--379.Anonymousnoreply@blogger.com