All entries by this author

Malleus Mallificarum is Back *

Dec 30th, 2005 | Filed by

Vatican’s 1999 manual on exorcism sparks global surge in – exorcism. Brilliant.… Read the rest

Religious Demagoguery Never Palls in US *

Dec 30th, 2005 | Filed by

‘If you don’t stick up for the baby Jesus, who are you going to stick up for?’… Read the rest

Vicar Complains About Secularist ‘Agenda’ *

Dec 30th, 2005 | Filed by

Secularist defends ‘quotidian ethics based on our common humanity.’… Read the rest

Education is Escape for Muslim Women in Europe *

Dec 30th, 2005 | Filed by

Escape from controlling Muslim radicals and social codes enforced by fathers and brothers.… Read the rest

Stanford Displays Theory Books Without Apology *

Dec 29th, 2005 | Filed by

Others express desire for ‘theory with less jargon, that is comprehensible.’ Oxymoron?… Read the rest

A Reading Crisis? *

Dec 29th, 2005 | Filed by

Is it a crisis if people read older books instead of newer ones? Theirs instead of ours?… Read the rest

DNA Tests Ordered on Gujarat Mass Grave *

Dec 29th, 2005 | Filed by

More than 1,000 people, mostly Muslims, were killed in the 2002 riots.… Read the rest

Hunt for Attackers in Bangalore *

Dec 29th, 2005 | Filed by

No motive has so far been established and no group has said it carried out the attack. … Read the rest

ID Needs Mockery Along With Judicial Decisions *

Dec 29th, 2005 | Filed by

Spaghetti monster and songs about incompetent design may reach more holdouts.… Read the rest

In the Mail

Dec 29th, 2005 1:57 am | By

Well, there was a surprise. I opened the mailbox this afternoon and what was sitting on top but the Continuum catalogue. Continuum Philosophy 2006, it says. Ooooh, thought I, all excited. Jeremy mentioned a few weeks ago that he’d got one in the post, but I thought I wasn’t going to get one. But now here it was. I was excited because JS told me our book was featured. I liked that idea.

So, after a suitable interval, after doing various things and going up and down various flights of stairs and getting everything just so, I found a pair of scissors under a pile of books and papers (piles of books and papers are a permanent feature around here, … Read the rest

But What’s at the Top?

Dec 28th, 2005 6:54 pm | By

And another thing. That idea that Dennett mentioned in the Spiegel interview.

…the idea that it takes a big fancy smart thing to make a lesser thing. I call that the trickle-down theory of creation. You’ll never see a spear making a spear maker. You’ll never see a horse shoe making a blacksmith. You’ll never see a pot making a potter. It is always the other way around and this is so obvious that it just seems to stand to reason.

That’s the idea that ‘Intelligent Design’ is all about, of course. The argument from incredulity – we just can’t believe that something as complex as a cell could have turned up without being designed. The argument from nonexplanation … Read the rest


Dec 28th, 2005 5:01 pm | By

Well great. Just great. Wonderful. Brilliant. Meera’s in India right now, and she was going to be presenting a paper at a science conference. Well, I hope to hell it wasn’t this one!

A gunman has burst into a science conference in the southern Indian city of Bangalore, opening fire and injuring at least five people, police said. The gunman escaped after firing his automatic rifle at the Indian Institute of Science…The victims were said to be scientists and laboratory technicians attending the conference.

Good move. Well done, gunman – that’s the ticket. Don’t want any pesky scientists cluttering up the place in India, do we. No – what possible use could scientists and lab technicians be in India?!… Read the rest

Emeritus Professor of Mathematics Mourned *

Dec 28th, 2005 | Filed by

Puri specialised in operational research, had won many awards for his work.… Read the rest

Retired IIT Professor M C Puri Killed in Attack *

Dec 28th, 2005 | Filed by

According to police, four to five persons opened fire with automatic weapons outside conference.… Read the rest

Martha Nussbaum on Religious Terror in India *

Dec 28th, 2005 | Filed by

Right-wing Hindu extremists who condone violence against minorities are still powerful.… Read the rest

Debt Displaces Liberal Education *

Dec 28th, 2005 | Filed by

U. of Phoenix founder: ‘We’re not going for that “expand their minds” bullshit.’… Read the rest

The Little Red Book Affair *

Dec 28th, 2005 | Filed by

Some believed the student, some doubted, so questions were pressed…… Read the rest

Human Remains Found at Gujarat *

Dec 28th, 2005 | Filed by

India’s CBI to investigate claims that remains are those of victims of religious riots in 2002. … Read the rest

Gunman Attacks Indian Institute of Science *

Dec 28th, 2005 | Filed by

At least five injured at science conference in Bangalore.… Read the rest

A Short Way With Atrocities *

Dec 28th, 2005 | Filed by

Don’t prosecute people who mention them, just forget they ever happened.… Read the rest