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Reading Level Comparison

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Thanks to one of our commenters for pointing out this website that calculates the reading level of blogs.  Just for fun I inserted UD and it came back “High School,” which means that the general discussion at this blog is at a high school level.  I then inserted Pandas Thumb and it came back “Elementary School.”

Make of this what you will.

To make a simplistic statement is to communicate at the high school level. To make a complex statement is to communicate at the college and post grad level. To make a simple statement which reduces the complex to its simplest essence is genius that only appears to be at the high school level. Enough of this nonsense. StephenB
ME glab 2 cee dis sight no great edgucation! HAHA! go bak 2 scool an git reel darewin edgucation. Darewin wus da onely 1 truef! Creatsionest dum! HAHAHA! Dis webbloog sooo stuped! nouw goe an reed yo bibels!!! AHAHAHA Frost122585
Off Topic: Here is PT's latest response to Dr. Behe: http://pandasthumb.org/archives/2007/11/an-open-letter-6.html#comment-134719 The whole series is quite a interesting debate. It is interesting in that the response, itself, not the comments from the bloggers of course, is actually a honest scientific attempt to counter Behe's assertion of protein/protein binding site generation limits, instead of the usual character assassination we see from his detractors rebuttals. (Maybe some evolutionists are finally realizing they got huge problems with EOE now) Although the response is fairly technical in detail, I think Dr. Musgrave, at PT, is trying to get around the fitness landscape, clearly explained by Dr. Behe in EOE, by saying the complexity is "adding" up cumulatively in HIV. Dr. Behe has three more installments coming, and this will be very interesting to watch to see if he overwhelmingly counters this assertion of Dr. Musgrave's! It seems on the surface, in my unqualified opinion, that Dr. Musgrave is trying to make the best out of a hopeless situation, as far as overcoming fitness landscape is concerned, by giving more credit than is due to certain changes in HIV. But then again I do not really know the true strengths and weaknesses of his arguments. Hopefully this will be thoroughly cleared up by Dr. Behe, so that EOE is proven to the nth degree, to even evolutionists themselves. bornagain77
Off Topic: Dr. Behe is readdressing Abbie Smith's, ERV's, assertion of protein binding site generation for HIV. http://www.amazon.com/gp/pdp/profile/A3DGRQ0IO7KYQ2/103-0047538-2939066 This reply is interesting in that, Dr. Behe, is pointing out that the (destructive) protein/protein binding site ERV claims as novel is actually a conserved function across ape and humans. Thus it appears her claim for even destructive protein/protein binding is in jeopardy of being overturned. There are three more responses that Dr. Behe is going to issue in the next day concerning this on his amazon blog. It seems the "Edge of Evolution" might be getting a little tighter for evolutionists from what I can gather. bornagain77
This referenced site does doesn’t offer any explanation of their criteria. The only clue is that the site states that it assesses “readability,” and it provides its assesssment in terms of grade level. This likely relates to one of the standard readability indices used in education to determine readability of children’s books. It computes readability based on the average number of syllables per word and the average number of words per sentence. The site hasn’t sampled the various blog sites ahead of time and made any kind of subjective determination of readability; in fact, I doubt that there is any human intervention involved in using this site, other than the user typing in the url. I would imagine that once a url is entered, criticsrant.com uses standard software (essentially, that found in any good word processors, with which you can determine readability of any passage.) to sample a few paragraphs selected at random. The software determines the average number of syllables per word and the average number of words per sentence; it then applies a standard formula and computes grade level. No need to take the results with a grain of salt as long as you accept that this is a completely objective process and only offers a relative comparison. Readability indexes are helpful, but they do not consider the best motivator of all: Interest in the material. And the most important item is missed --- DOES THE BLOG SUCCESSFULLY PRESENT WHAT IT PURPORTS TO PRESENT CLEARLY, COMPREHENSIVELY AND LOGICALLY ? I imagine that most good bloggers or web site producers monitor the readability of their site content to ensure they aren’t writing over the heads of their target audience. SeekAndFind
The low down on Readability tests Check here And notice: What is readability? Readability describes the ease with which a document can be read. Readability tests, which are mathematical formulas, were designed to assess the suitability of books for students at particular grade levels or ages. "Things they can do 1. Their primary advantage is they can serve as an early warning system to let the writer know that the writing is too dense. They can give a quick, on-the-spot assessment. They have been described as "screening devices" to eliminate dense drafts and give rise to revisions or substitutions. 2. In some organizational settings, readability tests are considered useful to show measurable improvement in written documents. They provide a quantifiable measure of improvement or simplification. Things they can't tell you and why * how complex the ideas are * whether or not the content is in a logical order * whether the vocabulary is appropriate for the audience * whether there is a gender, class or cultural bias * whether the design is attractive and helps or hinders the reader * whether the material appears in a form and type style that is easy or hard to read " So in fact lower ratings actually mean more accessible to the average person. It has nothing to do with intelligence. Readability is a function accessibility to a given audience. I passed a software tips & tricks blog into the tester and it gave a College (post grad) level! Yet the page had nothing on it of any special difficulty - just a lot more informatics terms that an average Joe might not know. So let's all understand that the whole point is not who's smarter. It's who writes more readable, accessible material. In that case a more readable blog is preferable for the overall public. And that's exactly what we want. Borne
This is why writing teachers are skeptical of the promises of educational technology. The Ed Tech folks are always claiming that technology will make their work easier, but the writing teachers know that it just validates BS. getawitness
LOL, that is too funny. So those web pages that eschew obfuscation, and state their ideas clearly, are rated lower than sites that cloud over their ideas with obscure words. Now if there were a truth index, I wonder how the various sites would rate? bornagain77
Also, here's what one blogger wrote concerning the readability test site in question:
Hahaha …. this tool is flawed :-). It just checks the contents of ONLY one page :-). My last 3 posts were of pictures, and it gave me an “Elementary School” rating, and then i gave it the url of my “Geeky / Linux” category, and it gave me a “College” rating. Then, i fed it the url of my research page on my personal homepage, and it gave me a “Genius” rating … hahaha … talk about multiple personalities. So, to fix your rating, just post one highly technical page, and you are all set :-). A certified genius ;-).
IOW, the test is not an IQ test. It is not an end-all test. It seems to measure the size of words and the technicalese used more than anything else. Another more complete testing engine can be found here Borne
Barry: (1) According to http://www.m-w.com/dictionary (see hoise) the correct phrase is "hoist with one's own petard" or "hoist by one's own petard" - "on" is not listed, and the root form of the verb is "hoise" (which explains why we say "hoist by one's own petard" rather than "hoisted" as you suggested. To be fair, however, the dictionary also lists "hoist" as an alternative form of "hoise," and the past participle of "hoist" is "hoisted." (2) The reason why one cannot be hoist ON one's own petard is that one cannot be blown up ON one's own bomb; one can, however, blown up BY or WITH it. Or as one reader of "The Sydney Morning Herald" put it (see http://www.smh.com.au/news/Big-Questions/What-is-a-petard-and-how-do-you-get-hoist-by-your-own/2004/11/19/1100748185402.html?from=storyrhs ): 'It is not a flagpole, so the common usage "hoist on one's own petard" makes no sense.' (3) Your definition of petard as "a seige (sic) device that lifted a bomb up beside a wall" is a little different from most that I have seen on the Web. Merriam Webster lists two definitions under "petard": 1 : a case containing an explosive to break down a door or gate or breach a wall; 2 : a firework that explodes with a loud report. Other Web sites define a petard as a medieval small bomb used to blow up gates and walls when breaching fortifications. I'm not an expert on medieval history, so make of that what you will. (4) I'm sure you remember the old spelling rule, "i before e, except after c." Although the rule has many exceptions, (which are discussed at the Wikipedia Web site http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/I_before_e_except_after_c ), the article unfortunately lists "siege" as a word that conforms to the rule. vjtorley
If you want to measure the quality of the readability engine just enter in some partly grammatically correct gibberish into a blog then run the engine against it. Maybe something like this:
Pootwattle's critique of the relationship between the appropriation of the anesthesia of forgetting and the invention of narrative qua narrative throws out the metatextual baby with the textual bathwater. The rhetoric of civil society replays (in parodic form) the figuralization of early modern textuality. The politics of metaphoric exchange chronicles the de-eroticization of structural identity. Upon the discourse of collecting as a cultural practice works toward the de-eroticization of narrative qua narrative. My intemperate yet persuasive attack on the relationship between the conceptual logic of the abyss and the (re)formation of teleological narrative narrowly avoids withdrawal into conscious unreadability. A dissection of the relationship between the marketing of the preprofessional and the linguistic construction of linguistic transparency should be applied to the study of Joyce. It was a loosely organized musing on the relationship between the radiosterilization of disciplinary boundaries and the disintegration of the public sphere is sure to redefine the boundaries of the field. Her recovery bombs science after the implicit phenomenon. A vanishing jungle splits a dogma. If science decides morality, what then is morality? A cigarette skirts science over an unsupported sock. Does a folk coordinate malfunction opposite morality? A misunderstood fustillarian declines next to a critic. The furthest contributor equips religion. Our fashion inflicts religion outside a collar. Will the landscape terrify your rhythm? The done detail reigns before a royal. A medical journal omits science in a pointer. An orientating graduate crushes science within the workshop. Science breaks past the terminator. He is a parceling, intellectualized, systematizing privatizing evilest. Oestrogen's vaporization legalize centigram troweling adapters. Tranquillizer casebooks penciled mesmerizes temporize hypothesizes. Commercialized popularization immobilization's fagots armorers paneled. Disorganized flavorless hurrayed immobilization authorizations pluralizing. Worshiping moralizing psychoanalyze systematizing departmentalizing synthesized. Compartmentalizes ionizers Rouble's maximized tranquillizer's overemphasize. Duelist's rancor pluralizes hemophiliac stenciled misdemeanors. Libeling visualization amortizes vapors and moisturizes humorlessness. The neighborly demoralized hydroplane carries a womanizer's parenthesizes in victualed brackets.
---------------- Just to analyze the analyzer and see how well it passes. Borne
Off Topic; Experts find jawbone of pre-human great ape in Kenya http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20071113/sc_nm/ape_human_africa_dc bornagain77
Off Topic: Double Trouble What Really Kil^led The Dinosaurs http://news.yahoo.com/s/livescience/20071112/sc_livescience/doubletroublewhatreallykilledthedinosaurs bornagain77
In its original Middle French sense, petard adumbrates jet propulsion. D.A.Newton
Aesahaettr, yes, I know what a petard is, a seige device that lifted a bomb up beside a wall. "By" is the more ususal sense, but the original (in Hamlet) is "with." "On" does no violence to the meaning. BarryA
Gosh, Barry, looks like you can't catch a break today. It's supposed to be "hoisted BY my own petard," not "ON my own petard." Why, it almost sounds like you don't even know what a "petard" is. ;-) Aesahaettr
I frequently look at Instapundit and it is one of the top blogs on the internet. Its author is a law professor at the University of Tennessee and won the best individual blog on the internet. It is rated as junior high. These rating seem to mean very little. UD gets some very long posts and I am sure the writers often can not turn their posts into will written English paragraphs when they are trying to say a lot in a short time. In order to be timely they feel they have to write the posts without the editing that would go into other documents. This probably goes for other blogs too which use abbreviations etc that would not be part of normal considered writing. jerry
firstthings.com got genius... I honestly didn't see that one coming... bork
Apparently this tool only examines the web page you are directing it to examine. For example, if I direct it to the front page of UD I receive "high school". If I direct it to one of Dave's recent articles I receive "college (undergrad)". So the ranking depends on what content is currently on the front page. Patrick
Just for fun I inserted UD and it came back “High School,” which means that the general discussion at this blog is at a high school level.
There was a thread here a while back about papers that were hoaxes intended to make fools of peer reviewers. I'm guessing they would have been graded "genius" on the basis of readability, while something like Shakespeare's "To be or not to be, that is the question" might have been rated as "elementary school". I'll take easy to read depth (or even plain horse sense) over difficult to read silliness any day! ;) russ
WordPerfect has a Flesch-Kincaid readability indicator. You can access it also online at http://www.standards-schmandards.com/exhibits/rix/. You could take postings from here and other blogs and compute an exact reading-grade level. William Dembski
I checked ISCID and it was rated at "genius." William Brookfield
to specs: You are right. Ouch; I've been hoisted on my own petard. BarryA
I tried to check out the Bad Astronomer's blog, and it couldn't give me a level. My LiveJournal account (jasini.livejournal.com) came back as high school level, while a friend of mine's came back as junior high. I think she writes much more complicated stuff than I do. I wonder how they judged. Jasini
Have no idea how this blog tool works, but I tested it with two sites: scienceblogs.com/pharyngula/ and evolutionnews.org pharyngula comes back as "junior high", and evolutionnews comes back as "genius". I don't see how this can be accurate if pharyngula scored so high... shaner74
I hate to be a spoilsport, Barry, but you checked pandasthumb.com, which is a parked website. Pandasthumb.org comes back as College (postgrad). But, I thanks for finding this website. It will provide me some entertainment on my lunch hour. specs
Did you spell pandasthumb.org correctly? When I inserted PT it came back with
College (postgrad)
Thanks to one of our commenters for pointing out this website that calculates the reading level of blogs. Just for fun I inserted UD and it came back “High School,” which means that the general discussion at this blog is at a high school level. I then inserted Pandas Thumb and it came back “Elementary School.”
This could be the reason ID people look at themselves as a higher level :-) kairos

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