Trial deepened rift between Iran’s reformist government and hardline judiciary.… Read the rest
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Her family says Ottawa should bring Iran before international court, citing cover-up.… Read the rest
Activists destroy crops in France. Starving millions not consulted.… Read the rest
He does not call himself ‘the devil’s chaplain’ though.… Read the rest
Recent events in both France and England have again focused attention on the wearing of the veil, headscarf or hijab by women from Muslim communities. Is this, as Islamists claim, an issue of religious freedom? Or is it rather, as many women of Muslim origin would argue, about oppression?
The French government, who recently banned the wearing of headscarves in schools and public institutions are in no doubt. Nor was the judge in Luton, England, who decided that requiring a Muslim girl to wear a standard school uniform – and no veil – was not an infringement of her religious rights.
Suddenly the veil has become a major issue. Veiling the heads and bodies of little girls and adolescents has … Read the rest
Well. Aren’t I stupid. How did I manage to miss this? The link is right there on Ibn Warraq’s site. I just didn’t do enough exploring. Well, I’ve done it now, so don’t you miss this one. It’s loaded with great stuff. Look at the articles page for instance. Read There’s no such thing as Voluntary Hijab!. If only I’d had that article to cite during all those arguments about the hijab last winter, with all those people who simply couldn’t see any reason at all why someone might support the ban. Seeing the reasons but still not agreeing I could have understood, but that’s not how it went. It was weird. But none of that crap on … Read the rest
Since people kept asking for a RSS feed, I’ve put one together. But it’s kind of at a beta-testing stage, since I programmed it – using Perl – without the faintest real idea about what I was doing. If (when) people find problems with it, if they could email me at j e r r y at b u t t e r f l i e s a n d w h e e l s dot com that’d be very useful.
Thanks. … Read the rest
That science (Dawkins apart) didn’t score well; nor did politics or law.… Read the rest
Richard Dawkins is favourite public intellectual by a wide margin.… Read the rest
What was that we were saying about identity, and groups, and being forced into those groups by other people? We were saying a lot of things – so let’s say a few more while we`re at it.
I’ve been re-reading Meera Nanda’s marvelous (albeit horrifying) book Prophets Facing Backward. If you haven’t read it – you’re missing something. I thought a couple of quotations would be apropos. Page 16:
Holist views of nature and society in which the collective is held to be larger than the individual, the orgnaism more than the sum of its parts, are eminently suited for illiberal and totalitarian philosophies. Such philosophies can mobilize individuals to sacrifice their freedom for the sake of the
The Army Corps of Engineers is still resisting scientific study of KM.… Read the rest
A movie full of platitudes about cultural diversity and self-esteem – the counter-Fahrenheit 911?… Read the rest
Keeping the opinions of the science community at the heart of political debate, where they belong. … Read the rest
Bush administration shapes scientific findings to fit political agenda.… Read the rest
Why are novels about millions being tortured to death so popular?… Read the rest
I can’t resist adding another example – because it seems to me to be so grotesque. It’s from a column by Nicholas Kristof, whom Brian Leiter calls ‘one of the leading “no ideas and the ability to express them” columnists at the New York Times.’ (How convenient to happen on that description just after I read the Kristof column. Doncha just love it when things fall into your lap like that? Serendipity?) The column is a brief look at one of the Rapture books, a phenomenon I’ve talked about here more than once. It starts with a pretty passage:
Jesus merely raised one hand a few inches and a yawning chasm opened in the earth, stretching far and wide enough
You don’t mind if I go on thrashing the equine do you? No, of course you don’t, because you’re used to it. I repeat myself a lot. But then arguments are like that – they go on and on, inconclusively, cumulatively, incrementally. Who knows if one is making any progress or not? But if one thinks there is a point worth making or defending, one goes on.
Marc Mulholland has a new post on all this today. A much politer post than I deserve, too. But I still disagree with much of what he says. For instance:
Some of the criticisms raised deny the reality of group identities, asserting in classical liberal fashion that there is no such thing as
Conservatives using conflict over fish to gut the science behind Endangered Species Act. … Read the rest
Peter J. Swales, author of numerous pioneering essays exploring the early history of psychoanalysis, is unimpressed by Mark Solms’s article in the April 2004 issue of Scientific American, “Freud Returns”. Here we reproduce an unpublished letter to Scientific American which questions Mark Solms’s competence in the field of Freud scholarship, together with an addendum and postscript.
Letters to the Editors
May 10, 2004
In reproducing a diagram from an 1895 manuscript, Mark Solms endeavours to portray Sigmund Freud as both percipient and prescient by drawing special attention to the “contact barriers” between neurons whose action he there supposedly “predicted”. Solms elaborates: “Two years later English physiologist Charles Sherrington discovered such gaps and named them synapses”. In truth, … Read the rest
Is it unconscionable if we:
Answers on a postcard.… Read the rest