All entries by this author

Oh Look – the NY Times Has Lost its Mind! *

May 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Read it and scream – a puff piece for a creationist ‘theme park.’… Read the rest

Say What?

May 1st, 2004 9:57 pm | By

It’s all been quite instructive – in fact, now I think of it, it couldn’t have been better if I’d planned it that way. I didn’t, I hasten to add, but it would have been fiendishly clever if I had. I’d be another Milgram or Rosenhan, a designer of some sort of thought experiment: what happens when a rational, secular empirical form of inquiry attempts to combine with a non-rational religious ‘faith-based’ form of inquiry? Sparks fly, is one answer.

There is more than one problem with trying to mix religion into non-religious enterprises like history or science. The obvious, glaring problem of course is the fundamental difference between making up one’s findings and discovering them. But even beyond that, … Read the rest

Catch Up With Chris Mooney *

May 1st, 2004 | Filed by

One good science story after another.… Read the rest

Sugar Lobby and Bush Admin Pressure WHO *

May 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Sugar doesn’t make people fat and vegetables are bad for you. Got that?… Read the rest

Determinism, Agency, Bats, Ghosts *

May 1st, 2004 | Filed by

An anthology of thinking about thinking avoids headache-donation.… Read the rest

New Doubts About MMR Study Data *

May 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Experts claim samples could have been contaminated and were incorrectly reported.… Read the rest

Irreconcilable Differences

May 1st, 2004 12:03 am | By

Okay, I finally jumped. I took pity on the poor anguished people at Cliopatria, one in particular, who urged me to leave four or five times yesterday. No actually that’s not true – the taking pity bit. The urging five times is true! Ding, ding, ding, in came the emails, one after another, rebuking me for my sins and asking ‘Are you going to go?’ Terrific fun, because yesterday was also the day we were doing the last final positively last edits on the Dictionary, and I wasn’t really in urgent need of extra interruptions. But that’s okay, that’s no one’s fault. At any rate – of course as soon as people started pushing me toward the door I came … Read the rest

Sharia in Ontario *

Apr 30th, 2004 | Filed by

‘Muslims would no longer have an excuse not to follow sharia…’… Read the rest

Paul Gross Joins Panda’s Thumb *

Apr 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Co-author of Higher Superstition and now Creationism’s Trojan Horse: The Wedge of Intelligent Design.… Read the rest

John Maynard Smith *

Apr 30th, 2004 | Filed by

The New York Times obituary.… Read the rest

Bush Does the Lysenko Thing *

Apr 30th, 2004 | Filed by

Lysenko ought to be a warning, but perhaps Bush is no better at history than science.… Read the rest

Look Out! Atheists! *

Apr 30th, 2004 | Filed by

‘The absence of faith seems to be a major barrier between people in our society.’… Read the rest

My Baby Done Come Back and Gone Again

Apr 29th, 2004 8:36 pm | By

My baby done gone last month but it came back for a little while for some last improvements. We’ve improved the squalling little thing within an inch of its life, and now we’re through. Finished. Done. That baby is so over. That baby is history. That baby has to go out and make its own way now. We’ve got better things to do. At this point, having nails driven through our eyes would seem like better things to do.

And yet, oddly, however sick of it all I am, I still find it funny. There I am proofreading away, with my eyes glazing and the lower half of my body getting ever more paralyzed – and I still find … Read the rest

Class Dismissed

Apr 29th, 2004 6:49 pm | By

I belatedly added a couple of blogs to the select few in Links yesterday: The Panda’s Thumb and Pharyngula. I’ve been meaning to add both for awhile, and finally got around to it yesterday. I’m very picky about blogs in Links, partly because my colleague doesn’t like blogs to begin with, and much more because I think the longer such lists are the less useful they are. There are lots of interesting, entertaining, well-written etc blogs out there, as well as lots of the other kind, but they’re on subjects that are not all that relevant to B&W, so I don’t include them. Thus you can assume that if a blog is in Links, it is [clears throat grandly] … Read the rest

Another Academic Jumps *

Apr 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Erin O’Connor is also getting out.… Read the rest

Stop Teaching Chemistry but Keep Media Studies? *

Apr 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Leading UK scientists protest university’s plans to close chemistry department.… Read the rest

This Science is Nonsense *

Apr 29th, 2004 | Filed by

Max Steuer of LSE on ‘pretend’ social science and the ‘post’ and ‘beyond’ style.… Read the rest

The Hindu on Darwinism and ID *

Apr 29th, 2004 | Filed by

A larger issue in clash between science and religious obscurantism.… Read the rest

Ineffable and Unknowable?

Apr 28th, 2004 8:02 pm | By

I was going to post this as a reply at Cliopatria, but then it went on a bit longer than I intended, and seemed (yet again) less anodyne than I feel I need to be on this subject in that location. Maybe I’m wrong to feel that way, but…I’m not convinced, and so far what people have said has just convinced me of the opposite. At any rate. Ralph said this in answer to a question about why say G_d –

As I suspect you know, there is a long tradition in Judaism of using g_d. It transliterates the Hebrew which has no vowels and it respects the unknowable, mysterious, ineffable qualities of ultimate reality. It isn’t a “naughty” word,

Read the rest

New Sharia Laws in Nigerian State *

Apr 28th, 2004 | Filed by

Thieves have had amputations and several women sentenced to death in Zamfara.… Read the rest