All entries by this author

PBS Messes Up Again *

Mar 29th, 2008 | Filed by

Goldin carefully explained the science behind phthalate safety research; her effort was wasted.… Read the rest

Lebanon Bans ‘Persepolis’ *

Mar 29th, 2008 | Filed by

Because somebody maybe thinks it perhaps might annoy Hizbollah possibly.… Read the rest

Ben Goldacre on an Anti-abortion Hoax *

Mar 29th, 2008 | Filed by

No, the baby didn’t push his hand out and wave to the crowd.… Read the rest

Pope is a Catholic Shock *

Mar 29th, 2008 | Filed by

US newspapers keep discovering that yes, the Pope does believe all that. Yes, still.… Read the rest

Cardinal Agrees to Meet Embryo Researchers *

Mar 29th, 2008 | Filed by

Only condition: the scientists must be willing to accept instruction from Churches on basic morality.… Read the rest

Jesus and Mo Discuss Frankenstein Babies *

Mar 28th, 2008 | Filed by

Mo points out emotive misleading language.… Read the rest

Martha Nussbaum on America’s Puritanical Streak *

Mar 28th, 2008 | Filed by

All of us, except the independently wealthy and the unemployed, take money for the use of our body.… Read the rest

UN HRC Passes Islamic Resolution on Defamation *

Mar 28th, 2008 | Filed by

Resolution cites deep concern about the defamation of religions, urges governments to prohibit it.… Read the rest

Project to Inquire into Religion *

Mar 28th, 2008 | Filed by

Experiments to look at the mental mechanisms needed to represent an omniscient deity.… Read the rest

Parvez Sharma’s Film ‘A Jihad for Love’ *

Mar 28th, 2008 | Filed by

Sharma doesn’t believe that the Iranian authorities are conducting an antigay witch-hunt.… Read the rest

The Swat Valley Taliban *

Mar 28th, 2008 | Filed by

‘Those promoting “enlightened moderation” are the agents of darkness,’ says Fazlullah.… Read the rest

The Taliban in the Swat Valley *

Mar 28th, 2008 | Filed by

The Taliban are growing in popularity partly because the state is not functioning. … Read the rest

Many Muslim Children Kept Out of School *

Mar 27th, 2008 | Filed by

Hajra Bibi taken out of school at puberty; parents wanted her to cook for male relatives.… Read the rest

Campaigners Support Wakefield *

Mar 27th, 2008 | Filed by

BBC accuses medical experts of seeking to ‘discredit’ Wakefield’s ‘findings.’… Read the rest

Return of the ‘Framing’ Debate *

Mar 27th, 2008 | Filed by

Nisbet tells Dawkins and Myers to ‘Lay [sic] low and let others do the talking.’… Read the rest

Seumas Milne on Religion and Secularism *

Mar 27th, 2008 | Filed by

Startling new thoughts on the wave of atheist books, atheists as fundamentalists, Dawchens.… Read the rest

Polly Toynbee on Selective ‘Conscience’ *

Mar 27th, 2008 | Filed by

Fundamental questions of who rules are raised if Catholic ministers get a special dispensation denied to other ministers. … Read the rest

The news from Lodi

Mar 27th, 2008 11:04 am | By

Girls yanked around like so much furniture.

Like dozens of other Pakistani-American girls here, Hajra Bibi stopped attending the local public school when she reached puberty, and began studying at home. Her family wanted her to clean and cook for her male relatives, and had also worried that other American children would mock both her Muslim religion and her traditional clothes…About 40 percent of the Pakistani and other Southeast Asian girls of high school age who are enrolled in the district here are home-schooled…Some 80 percent of the city’s 2,500 Muslims are Pakistani, and many are interrelated villagers who try to recreate the conservative social atmosphere back home. A decade ago many girls were simply shipped back to their

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Just ask a professor of bioethics

Mar 26th, 2008 12:26 pm | By

And speaking of sanctimony, there’s nothing like letting a child die miserably while you pray over her instead of going to a doctor.

An 11-year-old girl died after her parents prayed for healing rather than seek medical help for a treatable form of diabetes, police said Tuesday…”She got sicker and sicker until she was dead,” [the police chief] said…[S]he had probably been ill for about 30 days, suffering symptoms like nausea, vomiting, excessive thirst, loss of appetite and weakness. The girl’s parents, Dale and Leilani Neumann, attributed the death to “apparently they didn’t have enough faith,” the police chief said. They believed the key to healing “was it was better to keep praying. Call more people to help pray,” he

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The odour of sanctimony

Mar 26th, 2008 12:00 pm | By

David Aaronovitch murmurs a quiet word in the ear of the bishop of Durham.

Sermon continues: “This secular utopianism is based on a belief in an unstoppable human ability to make a better world, while at the same time it believes that we have the right to kill unborn children and surplus old people…” Now, this is as close to a lie as makes no difference. Dr Wright may reply directly to the Times letters page, which, even in this fallen age, generally prints the words of high clergymen, to tell me which significant secularist body, or scientific group, or gaggle of atheists is it that believes “we” have the right “to kill surplus old people”?

Ah, you see, … Read the rest