You can’t even describe most numbers!

(This is a revised version of an old post; you can see the original here.) Please read the addendum at the bottom – I got carried away with computability, and ended up screwing up quite badly. In the comments on my last post, a bit of discussion came up about some of the strange properties […]

Representational Crankery: the New Reals and the Dark Number

There’s one kind of crank that I haven’t really paid much attention to on this blog, and that’s the real number cranks. I’ve touched on real number crankery in my little encounter with John Gabriel, and back in the old 0.999…=1 post, but I’ve never really given them the attention that they deserve. There are […]

Sorry, Denise – but God didn't make numbers

I was planning on ignoring this one, but tons of readers have been writing to me about the latest inanity spouting from the keyboard of Discovery Institute’s flunky, Denise O’Leary. Here’s what she had to say: Even though I am not a creationist by any reasonable definition, I sometimes get pegged as the local gap […]


One mathematical topic that I find fascinating, but which I’ve never had a chance to study formally is chaos. I’ve been sort of non-motivated about blog-writing lately due to so many demands on my time, which has left me feeling somewhat guilty towards those of you who follow this blog. So I decided to take […]

You can't write that number; in fact, you can't write most numbers.

In my Dembski rant, I used a metaphor involving the undescribable numbers. An interesting confusion came up in the comments about just what that meant. Instead of answering it with a comment, I decided that it justified a post of its own. It’s a fascinating topic which is incredibly counter-intuitive. To me, it’s one of […]

Dembski's Latest: "Life's Conservation Law", and why it's stupid

So. William Dembski, the supposed “Isaac Newton of Information Theory” has a new paper out with co-author Robert Marks. Since I’ve written about Dembski’s bad IT numerous times in the past, I’ve been getting email from readers wanting me to comment on this latest piece of intellectual excreta. I can sum up my initial reaction […]