All entries by this author

NHS Head Dismisses Charles’ Demands *

Mar 1st, 2004 | Filed by

‘The NHS will use anything that evidential research shows works.’… Read the rest

Daniel Boorstin *

Mar 1st, 2004 | Filed by

The New York Times obituary.… Read the rest

Antipathy and Propathy

Mar 1st, 2004 12:09 am | By

I was planning in any case to say a few things about the case for the other side. In a laborious attempt to be fair, to avoid groupthink and confirmation bias, etc. No not really, that’s only a joke – there actually are some things to be said for the other side that I find persuasive. Not for the basic truth claims of religion, but for the idea that religion can be a good thing in some ways. (Not much of an admission, believers will think, but it’s the best I can do.) I was planning to do that today in any case and then by pure coincidence I got a reminder or reinforcement from Chris Bertram at Twisty SticksRead the rest


Mar 1st, 2004 12:08 am | By

Are we all awash in a sea of mutual agreement and back-patting and groupthink here? Is all this discussion of lame defenses of religion just another smelly little orthodoxy*? Do we agree with each other too much, with the result that we are smug and arrogant, as the beleaguered minority that doesn’t agree with us says? My colleague probably thinks so, even though he’s just as critical of religion as I am. He thinks blogs tend to foster groupthink; he’s just written a very good column on the subject for TPM. He also thinks a lot of other skeptical things about blogs, which is tiresome of him. No doubt he thinks I’m being very pompous, vain, boring, etc, as some … Read the rest

Ian Bell Reviews Francis Wheen *

Feb 29th, 2004 | Filed by

A cool, dispassionate look at Wheen’s Mumbo Jumbo.… Read the rest

Daniel Boorstin *

Feb 29th, 2004 | Filed by

The Washington Post obituary.… Read the rest

Is the French Government Anti-Intelligence? *

Feb 29th, 2004 | Filed by

French intellectuals have signed a petition to that effect.… Read the rest

US Trade Embargo Extended to Research *

Feb 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Treasury Department warns against publishing scientific research from Iran, Libya, Sudan, Cuba.… Read the rest

The Hubble Telescope is Doomed *

Feb 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Bush administration has redirected NASA resources to Mars and moon trips.… Read the rest

Prince Charles Makes Fool of Himself – Again *

Feb 28th, 2004 | Filed by

More “alternative” treatments should be available on the NHS.… Read the rest

A Defense of Whig History

Feb 28th, 2004 | By Christopher Orlet

Not long ago the television show Biography aired a documentary on the life of Henry Ford, founder of the Ford Motor Company. Midway through the film came the obligatory two minutes concerning Ford’s anti-Semitic rantings, his Nazi medal, and his anti-Jewish newspaper The Dearborn Independent. When it came time to put Ford’s anti-Semitism into perspective, the film-makers explained that Ford’s views were part and parcel of growing up on a Reconstruction-era farm in southeast Michigan, and as such the great man was no different than anyone else of his time and place. The film-makers didn’t go into the reasons why the good folks of southeast Michigan should be naturally anti-Semitic. There were after all no Jews to speak of in … Read the rest

Another Bad Defense

Feb 27th, 2004 11:27 pm | By

We’ll get back to the religious discussion (and anyway it’s continuing in a lively manner in the comments), but other things come up in the meantime. This item may seem like just a bit of self-advertising, but it isn’t really. I hadn’t even seen it until today, and didn’t know about it, so I feel I came by it honestly. That is to say, I would have linked to it anyway, even if it had not been by someone who writes a column for B&W; I would have linked to it if I’d never heard of Julian. I would have done a Note and Comment as well, because he mentions some ideas I’ve been scratching away at lately, and others … Read the rest

MMR Parents Denied Legal Aid *

Feb 27th, 2004 | Filed by

No evidence to justify a legal case against MMR manufacturers.… Read the rest

Julian Baggini ‘Not Extreme Enough’ *

Feb 27th, 2004 | Filed by

Race and culture are not inseparable, and simplification doesn’t help.… Read the rest

The Future of Multiculturalism *

Feb 27th, 2004 | Filed by

Guardian readers react to David Goodhart’s essay on diversity versus solidarity.… Read the rest

Solidarity Can Conflict With Diversity *

Feb 27th, 2004 | Filed by

The left’s love affair with diversity may come at the expense of the values it once championed. … Read the rest

Simple-minded but Nonetheless Bigoted *

Feb 27th, 2004 | Filed by

Christopher Hitchens detests Gibson’s movie with a passion.… Read the rest

Beagle found? *

Feb 27th, 2004 | Filed by

Not some random lost dog, but Darwin’s ship.… Read the rest

Not Only Where but Also What

Feb 26th, 2004 7:08 pm | By

Funny, it didn’t even seem like that much of a storm. I went out for a walk in it, thinking it was just a common or garden variety storm. I didn’t turn back after five minutes because I was drenched, so it can’t have been raining all that hard! It was certainly raining sideways, thanks to the wind, but I have been in many harder rains. I was wet when I got back but not soaked. And yet there were floods. And then awhile later there was more wind, and then there was a sudden unpleasant absence of electricity, which lasted more than seven hours. Nature can be so obstructive.

I was going to say something about meaning (and what … Read the rest

A Counter-cultural Antiques Roadshow *

Feb 26th, 2004 | Filed by

Review of Curtis White’s The Middle Mind deplores ‘torn-jeans prose.’… Read the rest