All entries by this author

Monaghan on Caton on Freeman on Mead *

Jan 10th, 2006 | Filed by

Review of a historian’s take on an anthropologist’s take on an anthropologist.… Read the rest

Eric Foner Tries to Remind Us of Reconstruction *

Jan 10th, 2006 | Filed by

Forever Free is a reminder of the immense, lasting cost of squandered opportunity. … Read the rest

Chris Mooney on the Kitzmiller Decision *

Jan 10th, 2006 | Filed by

Propaganda campaigns are one thing, and courtrooms are another. Fortunately.… Read the rest

Norman Geras on Crimes Against Humanity *

Jan 10th, 2006 | Filed by

The idea of crimes against humanity is a new one, and needs justification and defense.… Read the rest

Science and Religion

Jan 9th, 2006 10:52 pm | By

If you want to hear some thoroughly silly reactions to Dawkins on God, listen to the latest Saturday Review.

First you get a bit of soundtrack, of the cheery perky dense evangelical telling Dawkins what’s what.

Ted Haggart: ‘We fully embrace the scientific method, as American evangelicals – and we think, as time goes along, as we discover more and more facts, that we’ll learn more and more about how God created the heavens and the earth – ‘

Dawkins points out that the evidence shows the earth to be 4.5 billion years old, Haggart says (perkily, cheerily), ‘You know what you’re doing?’ and explains that he’s paying attention to just part of the scientific community, and that maybe … Read the rest

Carlin Romano Reviews a History of Astrology *

Jan 9th, 2006 | Filed by

‘A few bouts of “astrologese” and you’re ready to knock the wizard’s cap off the author’s head.’… Read the rest

Interview With Simon Critchley *

Jan 9th, 2006 | Filed by

Heidegger’s work has ‘a dangerous power that I try to inoculate myself against and always fail.’… Read the rest

Lancet Article on Female Abortion [registration] *

Jan 9th, 2006 | Filed by

10 million missing females, and the absolute number is likely to grow in the future.… Read the rest

Selective Abortion of Females in India *

Jan 9th, 2006 | Filed by

Half a million babies are aborted every year because they are girls, says Lancet study.… Read the rest

A Call for an End to ‘Faith’ Schools in Scotland *

Jan 9th, 2006 | Filed by

‘Religion and education should not be joined.’… Read the rest

Resistance is not Futile

Jan 8th, 2006 11:18 pm | By

The Herald on Dawkins on religion on channel 4.

This new two-part documentary, which begins on Channel 4 tomorrow, asserts that there is no safe or defensible middle ground between science and religion, its thesis being that even the moderate followers of Islam, Judaism and Christianity are deluded, defective and potentially dangerous…It is in this capacity that Dawkins travels to various theological flashpoints…challenging a full range of beliefs and their advocates. And for an ambassador, he is not particularly diplomatic. The programme takes its cue from a statement Dawkins made immediately after September 11, 2001: “[Religion is] lethally dangerous nonsense. Let’s now stop being so damned respectful!”

Well, we’ve tried diplomacy, and what has it gotten us? Only more … Read the rest

Marginal Comments

Jan 8th, 2006 7:31 pm | By

There are some oddities in this piece on books about how to read Derrida and Marx.

The assumption of Granta’s How to Read series is that readers will go on to read at least some of the works discussed. Including this author in a series of this sort, aimed at a “general reader”, invites an interesting question: should one read Derrida? Is his work important, something with which any intelligent person should be familiar? In the grand scheme of things, perhaps not, but the question is complicated. What might it mean to say that an author is important, not just in a particular field, but for society as a whole?

What, indeed? Surely it’s fairly obvious that one has … Read the rest

Self-censorship, Mental Torture, Provocation *

Jan 8th, 2006 | Filed by

‘The cartoons did nothing that transcends the cultural norms of secular Denmark.’… Read the rest

You’re Simply Not Allowed to Attack Religion *

Jan 8th, 2006 | Filed by

‘You can attack their politics or their football team, but not their faith.’… Read the rest

ID’s Big Problem: Who Designed the Designer? *

Jan 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Design is not a real alternative to chance at all because it raises an even bigger problem than it solves.… Read the rest

Be Careful in Interpreting Poll Results *

Jan 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Unlike scientists, the general public does not understand that belief takes no part in scientific thinking.… Read the rest

Oi, George, What About This Leaky Roof? *

Jan 8th, 2006 | Filed by

How easy is it for Galloway’s constituents to contact him? Vikram Dodd finds out.… Read the rest

When in Doubt, We Ditch Logic *

Jan 8th, 2006 | Filed by

Brain-imaging study finds that the higher the level of uncertainty, the more instinct, not logic, will rule.… Read the rest

How to Read Derrida and Marx *

Jan 8th, 2006 | Filed by

‘Disconnected from political engagement, reading lacks urgency.’ It does?… Read the rest

Nick Cohen on ‘The Root of all Evil?’ *

Jan 8th, 2006 | Filed by

See the Colorado preacher lose his boyish charm.… Read the rest