All entries by this author

Judge’s Decision in Dover Case [pdf] *

Dec 20th, 2005 | Filed by

‘while encouraging students to keep an open mind and explore alternatives to evolution, it offers no scientific alternative’… Read the rest

Celebrations at Panda’s Thumb *

Dec 20th, 2005 | Filed by

Hooray hooray hooray.… Read the rest

Unseen Power Theory Ruled Out *

Dec 20th, 2005 | Filed by

Now Pat Robertson will be really cross.… Read the rest

Judge Rules Against ‘Intelligent Design’ *

Dec 20th, 2005 | Filed by

Says several school board members repeatedly lied to cover their motives.… Read the rest


Dec 19th, 2005 11:33 pm | By

Mush. Most people can’t seem to think or talk about this subject without resorting to mush. To inaccurate assumptions and woolly language and category mistakes and undefined terms that need defining. To mush.

Editing it today – 33 years later under the same title – is the Guardian’s religious affairs correspondent, Stephen Bates. He defends it enthusiastically. He said: “I am by no means averse to including humanist or secularist writers but I tell all would-be contributors that the column is intended, in my opinion, to be a space for non-polemical or philosophical reflection. This means not attacking the beliefs of others. In my experience, humanists and atheists find this very difficult…”

Well maybe that’s because they’re profoundly puzzled by … Read the rest

Wacka wacka

Dec 19th, 2005 11:05 pm | By

The decision in Dover will be handed down soon.

Legal experts said the big question was whether Judge Jones would rule narrowly or more broadly on the merits of teaching intelligent design as science. Proponents of the theory argue that living organisms are so complex that the best explanation is that a higher intelligence designed them.

Here we are back at that legs question. That sentence does look so very silly. ‘Proponents of the theory argue that living organisms are so complex that the best explanation is that a higher intelligence designed them while somehow not being so complex that it itself requires explanation.’ ‘Proponents of the theory argue that living organisms are so complex that the best explanation … Read the rest

Sands Shift Under the Case for Interventionism *

Dec 19th, 2005 | Filed by

And labels get confused: left, right, realist, internationalist, moral idealist, neoconservative…… Read the rest

Ignatieff in Dubious Company Over Torture *

Dec 19th, 2005 | Filed by

With U.S. lawmakers banning abuse, where does Liberal stand, asks Haroon Siddiqui.… Read the rest

Arguing Over Torture *

Dec 19th, 2005 | Filed by

David Luban on loading the dice, Jeremy Waldron on drawing the line, Michael Walzer on dirty hands.… Read the rest

Scott McLemee on Voltaire Almighty *

Dec 19th, 2005 | Filed by

The great man lived into his 80s largely thanks to knowing just when to grab his luggage.… Read the rest

Gotta Have ‘Protected Space’ for Religion *

Dec 19th, 2005 | Filed by

It’s only feeble ideas that need all this protection.… Read the rest

Secularists too Powerful? Where Would That Be? *

Dec 19th, 2005 | Filed by

What with ‘faith’ schools, vicars patrolling supermarkets, secularists banned from Thought for Day.… Read the rest

Another Blow Struck Against Learning

Dec 18th, 2005 6:36 pm | By

And there is this horrible item. Part of the heart-warming series ‘how can we make women’s lives more helpless and deprived and nasty than they already are?’

Taliban insurgents in southern Afghanistan have executed a school teacher in front of his pupils for refusing to comply with warnings to stop educating girls.

Well of course they have, because that kind of behavior interferes with the whole project. Sets it right back. What good is is for the Taliban to keep valiantly struggling to take away every single right and capacity and freedom and pleasure and opportunity and chance that women have, if evil thugs like this teacher are going to come along and educate them? Is he crazy? The … Read the rest

Not This Again

Dec 18th, 2005 6:13 pm | By

What a lot of nonsense the hooray for theocracy crowd does talk. Distortions, omissions, fantasies, strawmen, non sequiturs, aimless babbling – no trick is too cheap, apparently.

Resistance to politically correct attempts to expunge Christianity from our culture – the conversion of Christmas into “winterval” is symptomatic – should be encouraged, but one can push the defence of Christianity farther by imagining what Western society would be like without it…It was and is a highly cosmopolitan and egalitarian religion, recognising neither Greek nor Jew, bond nor free. That, in addition to such novel ideals as charity, compassion and peace, and the status attached to women, differentiated Christians from a surrounding society based on cruelty, hedonism and organised slavery. Imagine

Read the rest

Bush Wants Secularism in Iraq but not in US *

Dec 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Why should theocrats abroad listen when theocrats in US appear to be running the place?… Read the rest

Without God, People Will Worship Jamie *

Dec 18th, 2005 | Filed by

‘Scruffy Irish pop stars and smart chefs are the new moral arbitors.’… Read the rest

Trust in God or Jamie *

Dec 18th, 2005 | Filed by

God heads a creaking pantheon of authority figures, from political magi to celebrity hairdressers.… Read the rest

Nigerian Women Riot Over Bike-taxi Ban *

Dec 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Fight back.… Read the rest

Taliban Murder Teacher for Teaching Girls *

Dec 18th, 2005 | Filed by

‘He had received many warning letters from the Taliban to stop teaching, but he continued.’… Read the rest

School Ignores Equality Commission Ruling *

Dec 17th, 2005 | Filed by

Islamic College Amsterdam will continue to require woman teachers to cover heads.… Read the rest