Shopping Cart -

Your cart is currently empty.
Upgrade to today
for only an extra Cxx.xx

You get:

plus This issue of xxxxxxxxxxx.
plus Instant access to the latest issue of 460+ of our top selling titles.
plus Unlimited access to 39000+ back issues
plus No contract or commitment. If you decide that PocketmagsPlus is not for you, you can cancel your monthly subscription online at any time. Auto-renews at £9.99 per month, unless cancelled.
Upgrade for 99p
Then just £9.99 / month. Cancel anytime.
Learn more
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
GB
Pocketmags Digital Magazines
   You are currently viewing the United Kingdom version of the site.
Would you like to switch to your local site?
Read anywhere Read anywhere
Ways to pay Pocketmags Payment Types
Trusted site
At Pocketmags you get
Secure Billing
Great Offers
Web & App Reader
Gifting Options
Loyalty Points
84 MIN READ TIME

Science v. Subjectivity

If you are not familiar with how college football determines the four teams that are picked to contend for the national championship, I refer you to the Selection Committee Protocol which is a guide on how the committee chooses the four playoff teams at the end of the regular season and after the league championship games. The first words of the protocol are telling: “Ranking football teams is an art, not a science.” The protocol specifically calls into question any rigorous mathematical approach: “Nuanced mathematical formulas ignore some teams who ‘deserve’ to be selected.” Deserve?

So what are the guidelines that instruct the 13- member college playoff panel? They are somewhat obvious and include “conference championship wins, strength of schedule, head-to-head competition, comparative outcomes of common opponents, and other relevant factors such as key injuries that may have affected a team’s performance during the season or likely will affect its postseason performance.” I hasten to point out that strength of schedule can only be determined by “nuanced mathematical” rigor. The guidelines fall into two categories: facts (e.g., conference champions) and opinions (e.g., whether a key injury will impact team performance). My argument is to eliminate opinions and choose the final 4 teams in the most rational and unbiased fashion—that is, use computer algorithms. Exceptions to the computer rankings could be made by the committee when facts like conference championships play an important role.

Read the complete article and many more in this issue of Skeptic
Purchase options below
If you own the issue, Login to read the full article now.
Single Digital Issue 22.1
 
£4.49
This issue and other back issues are not included in a new Skeptic subscription. Subscriptions include the latest regular issue and new issues released during your subscription.
Annual Digital Subscription SPECIAL OFFER: Was £12.99 Now £9.99 billed annually
Save
44%
£9.99
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION? Available at magazine.co.uk, the best magazine subscription offers online.
 

This article is from...


View Issues
Skeptic
22.1
VIEW IN STORE

Other Articles in this Issue


Skeptic
The Skeptics Society is a nonprofit 501 (c)(3) educational
COLUMNS
Functional Medicine: Pseudoscientific Silliness
The Multi-headed Hydra of Prejudice
Michelle E. Ainsworth holds an MA in history. She enjoys
ARTICLE
Why Zamzam Water is Not a Valid Medical Treatment
The Convergence of Mental Illness, Marginality, and Cyber Radicalism
Spiritualism began more than 150 years ago with the
Why We Need Skepticism More Than Ever
SKEPTIC’S SCIENCE DIALOGUES
Bill Nye the Science Guy in Conversation with Michael
I’ve been writing about and teaching critical thinking
The Andromeda Strain or War of the Worlds— Will ETs Kill Us or Vice Versa?
I think I can safely say that nobody understands quantum
REVIEWS
The Stealth Determinism of Westworld
A review of Time Travel: A History
A review of You Are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters
A review of Courting Science: Securing the Foundation for a Second American Century by Damon V. Coletta
Reviews of Conjuring Asia: Magic, Orientalism and the Making of the Modern World by Chris Goto-Jones and Making Magic: Religion, Magic, and Science in the Modern World
JUNIOR SKEPTIC
In this special issue of JunIor SkepTIc we’ll learn