Because the universe is beautiful enough without having to lie about it


October 12th, 2013 Posted in General | No Comments »

Hi all,

So I haven’t posted anything this year, mainly because I’ve been working on some different projects. One of them is now available for your amusement: DungeonDelveXL. Yes, it’s a fully-featured Role-Playing Game developed entirely within Microsoft Excel. Enjoy!

As for more science-y work – I’m progressing well with my book (though I’ve taken 4 months off to write DDXL). I hope to have a rough draft done by the end of the year. Then it’s the “search for a publisher” fun. Also, I have a project that I’m looking to work on next year which will mean that there will be a lot more activity on this site, and on YouTube.

So, basically, I am still alive, I still very much care about science education, I’m still learning and writing, I just haven’t got anything I want to publish yet. But watch this space.

Final presentation is ready!

December 20th, 2012 Posted in Creationism, Education, General Science | 2 Comments »

Well, I got a lot done on the presentations in these last two weeks, and I’m pleased to say that the last one of the series on Understanding Science is done. This is lecture 8, and it’s on the subject of Logical Fallacies – that is, mistakes people make in logical arguments. Watch it now!

Lecture 8 – Logical Fallacies

I haven’t decided what to work on yet, but I’ve got a book I’ve started writing and it’s been sitting on my computer for years, so I will probably work on that.

Two more lectures!

December 16th, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

I’ve managed to finish two more lectures, posted just a week or so apart in quick succession (yeah, I forgot to announce the last one). I’ve also actually done what I said I would do and I’ve put up the slides and notes for each one on the Presentations page.

Lecture 6 – Conspiracy Theories
Lecture 7 – Intuition

These two touch on some fairly explosive topics, so no doubt we’ll get some crazies commenting on the videos. I highly suggest you do what I do and install a plugin that hides the comments – there’s nothing to be found there except nutters.

Lecture 5 – The Burden of Proof

November 12th, 2012 Posted in Education, General Science | No Comments »

Hi all,

I’ve just finished the fifth lecture in my series on Understanding Science. This one is on the subject of the Burden of Proof. How much evidence should we require to believe a new claim that goes against our existing knowledge? When is it justified to reject a claim without any further analysis?


New Lecture Completed!

September 26th, 2012 Posted in Education, General Science, Psychology | No Comments »

I’ve finally finished the fourth lecture in my “Understanding Science” series. It’s live on YouTube now, at the following location:

It’s a bit shorter than the first few. Now that I’m a bit more settled in the new house, I’ll see if I can get a few more out a bit more quickly. I was hoping to get the entire series of eight done by the end of the year, which is still possible.


August 31st, 2012 Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments »

Hi all,

Just a quick note to say sorry that I haven’t posted part 4 of my lecture series on Understanding Science yet – I’ve just moved house (I now live just a few miles away from the place where Darwin developed the Theory of Evolution – yay!) so everything has been rather hectic. I’ll get on it as soon as I have a desk again… 🙂 Sorry!

Understanding Science – Lecture 3

June 29th, 2012 Posted in Education, General Science, Philosophy | No Comments »

Okay, so it’s taken me three months, but I’ve finally got the third (and longest yet) lecture in my “Understanding Science” series up on You Tube.

Understanding Science – Lecture 3: Scientific Method

Please take a look and leave me a comment.

Lecture 4 is probably going to be on the topic of Pseudoscience – what separates science from pseudoscience and how can we tell?

“Understanding Science” – Lecture 2 – Bayes’ Theorem

March 18th, 2012 Posted in Education, General Science | No Comments »

I’ve just uploaded the second in my lecture series called “Understanding Science”. This one is on the topic of Bayes’ Theorem.

Many people have never heard of this fundamentally important rule, yet it lies at the very core of our understanding of evidence and probability. In fact, I would say it’s probably the most important equation in all of physics.

The lecture should be accessible by anyone interested enough to learn. And I really think it’s important. I’ll start working on lecture 3 (on the subject of the Scientific Method) very soon.

Psychic Detective Nonsense

January 18th, 2012 Posted in Bad media, Paranormal | No Comments »

So I note with interest (thanks to my convenient Perl script that emails me on occasion to let me know) that the Psychic detective has updated their website again, and I thought it might be a good idea to review their predictions for 2011. On visiting the page ( I couldn’t help but notice that the predictions are actually for the period 2010 – 2012. So I thought what I would do is go back and see what had been predicted by the beginning of 2011 and see how accurate it all was. Which all sounded like a good idea.

Except there wasn’t anything.

One of the benefits of having a script that checks the website on a regular basis and caches it after every change is that you have a free time-machine, and you can check when changes happened. And it so happens that the psychic detective didn’t exactly put up their 2010 – 2012 predictions at the beginning of 2010. Or even 2011. No, it turns out that those predictions were first posted for public perusal on … 18th September 2011.

Yes, that’s right, they were posted almost 21 months into a 36 month prediction period. Or well over half way through it. If you read down, they try to claim that the predictions were gathered over the year 2010, and presumably apply to the period 2010-2012. If you watch over the next year, though, I’m sure this will gradually be reworded to make it look that the predictions were made years ago. Oh, and they will remove the false ones.

Unsurprisingly, they are moderately accurate (though some comments are still mystifying and absurd.) The usual stuff – financial collapse, bankruptcies, etc. Though I’m interested that they think that the dollar will collapse by the end of 2012. I don’t see that priced into the mid-term bond rates yet, but let’s give it time…

And then, at the bottom… yes, a link through to Natural News, well known nexus of quackery and nonsense. Altogether a page chock full of stupid.

“Understanding Science” Lectures

January 17th, 2012 Posted in Education, General Science, Philosophy | No Comments »

Hi all,

I’ve just uploaded the first of my new series of lectures called “Understanding Science”.

Lecture 1 – Proof

This one is on the concept of Proof, including an attempt to show what “certainty” implies in science. My aim is to develop this series into a mini lecture course that gives anyone the background they need to see why pseudoscientific claims are so awful 🙂

Let me know what you think. It’s a pretty long one because I wanted to be as thorough as I could be. I hope I’ve pitched it at the right level.

Also, in other news: Yay for the government!. (And I never thought I would ever say that).