All entries by this author

Duking it out on the air *

Sep 26th, 2002 | Filed by

Shouting match over genes versus parents ruffles calm of Radio 3.… Read the rest

It’s not the parents *

Sep 25th, 2002 | Filed by

Steven Pinker says parents have less influence than they think, while peers have more.… Read the rest

It’s the parents *

Sep 25th, 2002 | Filed by

Oliver James says emphasis on genes to explain human nature is a way to escape guilt.… Read the rest

Truth-skeptics make truth-claims *

Sep 24th, 2002 | Filed by

Bernard Williams points out that Nietzsche did not settle for ironic chat or a smug nod at deconstruction-work, and nor should we.… Read the rest

Deconstructing cant *

Sep 23rd, 2002 | Filed by

Twist and turn, avoid details, oversimplify: such postmodern tricks tarnish the integrity of the left.… Read the rest

Brakes off or on? *

Sep 22nd, 2002 | Filed by

Simon Blackburn on the meaninglessness of exhortations to tolerate all points of view.… Read the rest

But what is the evidence? *

Sep 22nd, 2002 | Filed by

Difference feminism as separate education for schoolgirls relies on few and narrow studies, Margaret Talbot says.… Read the rest

Trickster deity preferred to Darwin *

Sep 21st, 2002 | Filed by

Philip Gosse explained the fossil evidence as God’s little joke.… Read the rest

Is there no justice? *

Sep 19th, 2002 | Filed by

Outraged father wonders who decided that parents should help children with homework. Surely that’s someone else’s duty.… Read the rest

Grade deflation not a good idea either *

Sep 18th, 2002 | Filed by

Exams board chief intervened to mark down bright students by way of making A level scores strike a ‘balance’.… Read the rest

Only an interventionist designer will do *

Sep 17th, 2002 | Filed by

Another entry for the Intelligent Design shelf. No Free Lunch claims that complexity requires intelligence, but reviewer is not persuaded.… Read the rest

Gas on inner men and their dilemmas *

Sep 17th, 2002 | Filed by

Geneticist Steve Jones predicts redundancy for men, and is aghast at popularity of ‘masculinity industry’ in American universities.… Read the rest

Politics and science must be disentangled *

Sep 16th, 2002 | Filed by

Steven Pinker chides critics of Wilson and Dawkins for ’25 years of pointless attacks’… Read the rest

Three cheers for Balkanization *

Sep 16th, 2002 | Filed by

Home secretary David Blunkett is under attack for saying English is a useful language in the UK.… Read the rest

Time to sweep up Angela’s ashes *

Sep 15th, 2002 | Filed by

Oxford historian Roy Foster takes on tearful or nostalgic myths of Ireland’s past.… Read the rest

The Ancient World As Seen By Afrocentrists

Sep 15th, 2002 | By Mary Lefkowitz


At some schools and universities in the USA today students are learning a version
of ancient history that is strikingly different from what is being taught to
their counterparts in Europe.[1] This new narrative cannot be reconciled with
the traditional account, which is still being taught in the vast majority of
schools and universities. Advocates of the revisionist version ("the Afrocentric
narrative") claim that because of their inherent prejudice against Africans
and peoples of African descent, the traditionalists have ignored a significant
body of evidence. Advocates of the traditional version of ancient history insist
that their version ("the Eurocentric narrative") offers the best available
account of the known facts. Thus in the debate between the two groups there
is … Read the rest

Biography as Story Time

Sep 14th, 2002 8:16 pm | By

Two articles in The New Republic in the past year or two, one about Theodore Roosevelt and the other about John Adams, are also about the oversimplification of history. Wilentz says the Adams biography is too reverential and respectful, too much of a hagiography. Stansell says the Roosevelt is too incurious, too movie-like and you-are-there-ish, too long on detail and much too short on questions and analysis. Is this inevitable in writing popular biography and history? Does one absolutely have to choose between writing a book that’s fun and entertaining and not too difficult, and one that actually explores and interrogates the subject rather than merely telling a story about it? Is it entirely out of the question to present … Read the rest

‘I prefer unification to reduction’ *

Sep 14th, 2002 | Filed by

Steven Pinker talks to the New York Times about worries over equality and free will that influence our views of the mind.… Read the rest

Astronaut thumps moon landing doubter *

Sep 14th, 2002 | Filed by

Would faking a moon landing be more difficult than actually doing one? Probably, but the myth lives on.… Read the rest

Disturbances in the field *

Sep 13th, 2002 | Filed by

In a frivolous-Friday mood, The Guardian offers links to both credulous and skeptical material on crop circles.… Read the rest