All entries by this author

Conspecific of Lucy Found in Ethiopia *

Sep 21st, 2006 | Filed by

Stunningly complete skeleton of 3 year old female Australopithecus afarensis found in Awash region.… Read the rest

Why the IAEA Matters *

Sep 21st, 2006 | Filed by

Because once the inspectors are barred, speculation and exaggeration move in.… Read the rest

Elif Shafak Acquitted of ‘Insulting Turkishness’ *

Sep 21st, 2006 | Filed by

Government may amend Article 301 which makes ‘denigrating Turkish national identity’ a crime.… Read the rest

Michael Walsh on the Pope *

Sep 21st, 2006 | Filed by

Pope’s desire to re-Christianise Europe underlies his Regensburg address.… Read the rest

No Good Blaming the Internet for Sockpuppetry *

Sep 21st, 2006 | Filed by

Deception is deception, whatever the medium.… Read the rest

Andrew Brown on Dawkins on God *

Sep 21st, 2006 | Filed by

Why does religion persist in the face of arguments and evidence?… Read the rest

Scott McLemee on Walter Benn Michaels *

Sep 21st, 2006 | Filed by

‘Michaels will have none of this repackaging of racist pseudoscience as “anti-racist” cultural relativism.’… Read the rest

The public arena has grown hostile to reason

Sep 20th, 2006 10:13 pm | By

I went to hear Chris Mooney on his book tour on Sunday, at dear Ravenna Third Place, which I have known since before it was born. He mentioned that he’d heard Al Gore was going to do a book about the war on reason, and sure enough. I’ve always found Gore too conservative in many ways, but on the other hand I’ve always liked his, shall we say, anti-anti-intellectualism, or ‘wonkishness’ as it’s usually called. Wonkishness is a good thing.

As described by editor Scott Moyers, the book is a meditation on how “the public arena has grown more hostile to reason,” and how solving problems such as global warming is impeded by a political culture with a pervasive

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Shabnam Ramaswamy’s Women’s Court *

Sep 20th, 2006 | Filed by

Tells men she is like Durga with her ten hands. In one hand a stick, in another a law book, in another a flower.… Read the rest

Interview with Walter Benn Michaels *

Sep 20th, 2006 | Filed by

Race gives a certain fantasy of what equality is: a world that is equal if there are no racists.… Read the rest

Walter Benn Michaels on the Trouble with Diversity *

Sep 20th, 2006 | Filed by

‘We like to talk about the differences we can appreciate, and we don’t like to talk about the ones we can’t.’… Read the rest

Gore Writing Book on ‘the Assault on Reason’ *

Sep 20th, 2006 | Filed by

On public hostility to reason: problem-solving impeded by unwillingness to let facts drive decisions.… Read the rest

Indolink on Nussbaum on Hindutva *

Sep 20th, 2006 | Filed by

New book traces background of Gujarat riots in ideology of the Hindu right. … Read the rest


Sep 19th, 2006 6:50 pm | By

George Johnson in SciAm offers some welcome clarity.

…there has been a resurgence in recent years of “natural theology”–the attempt to justify religious teachings not through faith and scripture but through rational argument, astronomical observations and even experiments on the healing effects of prayer….Owen Gingerich, a Harvard University astronomer and science historian, tells how in the 1980s he was part of an effort to produce a kind of anti-Cosmos, a television series called Space, Time, and God that was to counter Sagan’s “conspicuously materialist approach to the universe.” The program never got off the ground, but its premise survives: that there are two ways to think about science. You can be a theist, believing that behind the veil

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Fresh Air on Christian Zionism *

Sep 19th, 2006 | Filed by

Christian Zionists don’t want peace in the Middle East. The Messiah is on his way!… Read the rest

Michael Sandel and Thomas Nagel Discuss *

Sep 19th, 2006 | Filed by

Rawlsian liberalism, abortion, the status of the fetus, political liberalism, why they matter.… Read the rest

Timothy Garton Ash on Islam in Europe *

Sep 19th, 2006 | Filed by

Frets about something called ‘Enlightenment fundamentalism.’… Read the rest

Theism and Science Not All That Compatible *

Sep 19th, 2006 | Filed by

‘What sounds like a harmless metaphor can restrict the intellectual bravado that is essential to science.’… Read the rest

Pregnancy Centers Give Disinformation on Abortion *

Sep 19th, 2006 | Filed by

Report says 20 of 23 federally funded centers gave false or misleading information about abortion risks.… Read the rest

Brenda Maddox’s Biography of Ernest Jones *

Sep 18th, 2006 | Filed by

Psychoanalysis turned out to be more like a religious cult or a fractious, fissile political party than a science. … Read the rest