Sand in the Gears

On scientism

Wednesday, November 20th, 2013 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 4 Comments »

Those of you who read what I scribble here and elsewhere know I nurse a few curious theories about science, like that it ought to remain distinct from scientism, and that the scientific process taught in schools is hokum, and ...

The scandal of the evangelical intellectual’s mind

Thursday, February 21st, 2013 Posted in Curmudgeonry, Theology | 1 Comment »

A reasonable response to the accusation that the evangelical mind is insufficiently expansive is to ask to what dimensions its critics would like to see it expanded. That question springs to the lips when considering Biblical scholar Peter Enns's contention ...

Stream of conscience

Friday, July 6th, 2012 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 3 Comments »

Whenever I have a lot to do, and I finally muster the resolve to do it, I'll say "time to get down to it." This always reminds me of that Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young song, which makes me think ...

Professorial logic

Monday, February 13th, 2012 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 1 Comment »

There are many plausible explanations for why men commit nearly all murders and start most wars. It could be that we're just hard-wired to smash skulls. Or perhaps it's that we've learned how much chicks dig a man in uniform. Or ...

On the Virtue of Hemlock

Sunday, February 5th, 2012 Posted in Curmudgeonry | Comments Off on On the Virtue of Hemlock

In his recent Boston Review essay, philosophy professor Carlos Fraenkel manages the neat trick of advocating a sensible position -- that high-school students should be taught philosophy -- so ineptly that he ends up proving the opposite, namely, that while ...

On the conservative as warmonger

Wednesday, October 27th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 2 Comments »

The problem with political science professor Corey Robin's claim that warmongering is woven into the DNA of conservatives is that he can't seem to define his subject. One minute a conservative is a Burkean, the next he's a tea-partier, then ...

Suffer in silence, please

Friday, September 3rd, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 2 Comments »

It just never gets old, the article by an academic detailing all the work that academics have to do. Rob Faunce offers the latest installment: We have to plan for our courses weeks in advance. We have papers to grade. ...

Breathe easier?

Wednesday, August 4th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 1 Comment »

I'm always leery of research by people who desperately, desperately want a certain answer. So when I hear shouts of joy over a new study running counter to previous studies in its conclusion that putting small children in daycare has ...

Smart is knowing what you don’t know

Thursday, February 18th, 2010 Posted in Business Reviews | Comments Off on Smart is knowing what you don’t know

Call me crazy, but maybe it's a good thing that the University of Iowa -- and by extension, a great many schools in financially troubled times -- has to decide not to have an Asian studies program, among other marginal ...

Criminalize this

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry, The Art of Parenting | 9 Comments »

Perhaps most disturbing about Robin West's attack on homeschooling is that it's published in a scholarly journal, even if it does come out of the University of Maryland. One might expect more thoughtfulness, even from a second-rate scholar. But instead we ...

Relative risk

Wednesday, January 13th, 2010 Posted in Curmudgeonry | 1 Comment »

I'm wondering if these researchers would have been fine with The Goonies if only all the kids had worn bicycle helmets while pedaling to the treacherous caverns.

He who spares the rod . . .

Monday, January 4th, 2010 Posted in Fatherhood, The Art of Parenting | 3 Comments »

. . . hates his child. Didn't know that was in the Bible, did you? And now a new study suggests that children who are spanked as youngsters go on to be happier and more successful. I'm sure even now ...