Good Math/Bad Math

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Bad Math

I decided it's about time to start up my own blog. One thing that I've noticed in my time browsing the blogosphere is that
there are a whole lot of terrific science blogs out there: Orac,
Pharyngula, Aetiology, just to name a few. But there's not nearly so much out there dedicated to math - and in particular to the misuse of math.

I think that that's a damn shame, because in my experience, one of the most clear ways of identifying a crackpot
is through math. No matter the specific subject, the crackpots always either avoid or screw up the math. Whether
it's the "mercuy causes autism" folks, the Velikovskians, creationists, alt-medicine quacks, republican pollsters, or
scientologists - you can always recognize the crackpots by their math.

So I'm going to do my best to provide a voice of mathematical sanity - both by showing what's wrong with the bad math slop pumped out by the loonies, and by showing how good math works.

6 Comments:

  • Welcome, Mark! We certainly need someone with your expertise to combat the misuse of math and statistics in pseudoscience circles.

    Just wait, I'm sure Orac will hit you up to host a Skeptics' Circle before long. I'm up for March 30.

    Welcome and stay in touch!

    By Blogger Abel PharmBoy, at 8:28 AM  

  • Good stuff! I don't know nearly as much about stats as I should (pure maths all the way). It'll be good to have it all filtered through the brain of someone who knows what they're talking about :)

    By Blogger Lifewish, at 9:56 AM  

  • Cool, welcome!

    By Anonymous Tara, at 11:01 AM  

  • Hi, Mark. I usually avoid or screw up math, and some people think I'm a crackpot. But I think your blog will be very useful to a math-challenged person like me. Thanks for starting it up.

    By Blogger Anne, at 1:27 PM  

  • Great concept for a blog and much needed. The only statement I have an issue with is "republican pollsters" being crackpots; they aren't alone. I think that MANY pollsters, Republican, Democrat, etc. tend to mold the polls to obtain the results they hope to achieve.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:31 PM  

  • Good news! First we had the Bad Astronomer, now we have the Bad Mathematician! I think your approach will be a valuable addition to fighting the woo-woo crowd.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:45 AM  

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