All entries by this author

India Court Rejects Gay Petition *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Homosexuality remains illegal in India.… Read the rest

The Hijab Again *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Heureusement, they are willing to wear a beret instead.… Read the rest

A ‘Knowledge Day’ to Remember *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Chechen rebels seize schoolchildren and teachers as hostages.… Read the rest

Mob Burns Mosques in Nepal *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Violence erupted after slaughter of 12 Nepalese hostages in Iraq by Islamic militant group.… Read the rest

Oh Yes We Are! *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Probably…… Read the rest

We’re Not Alone! *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Maybe.… Read the rest

Stupidest Article You’ll Ever See in the CHE *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Dammit, education is for jobs, not just to learn stuff!… Read the rest

Panda’s Thumb Critiques Creationist Paper *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

In great detail.… Read the rest

Paper by Creationist in Real Science Journal *

Sep 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Someone from the Discovery Institute got one past the editors.… Read the rest

Ode to September

Sep 1st, 2004 10:59 pm | By

Have you noticed? It’s September. I love September, and always look forward to its arrival. Because I don’t like summer much, and I do love autumn, and then I don’t have to go back to school, so what do I care.

And since it is September – next month is October. (Seven, eight – that’s how to remember.) And at the end of October, the Dictionary comes out, and you can all rush off to the nearest Waterstones’ and buy armfuls. Yes, armfuls, I tell you – you can give them as Christmas presents. Every single person you give one to will be your friend for life – except for academic pseuds, who will be your enemy for life, so … Read the rest


Sep 1st, 2004 10:36 pm | By

I’ve been thinking about the puzzling (to me anyway) question of where all this automatic hostility to science comes from. This is not the first time I’ve thought about that question, of course; it’s not even the second, or the fifth. I think about it quite often. It is something of an enigma. There are a lot of people out there who do reliably say very dismissive things on the subject, not as if such things were controversial or debatable, but as if they were obvious and taken for granted and incontrovertible. As if it were just common knowledge among all people who pay attention even slightly, that science is root and branch wicked and harmful and to be condemned … Read the rest

Another Rhetoric Guide *

Sep 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Shame about the exclusively male pronouns though.… Read the rest

The Line Between Explanation and Sympathy *

Sep 1st, 2004 | Filed by

The problem of examining motivations without excusing.… Read the rest

Unveiling the Debate on Secularism and Rights

Sep 1st, 2004 | By Maryam Namazie

A ban on conspicuous religious symbols in state schools and state institutions has caused heated debate regarding secularism vs. religious freedoms, giving us the opportunity to reiterate our defence of secularism and women’s and children’s rights. While Islamists and their supporters have proclaimed that banning religious symbols in schools and state institutions is a ‘restriction of’ ‘religious freedoms’ or ‘freedom of belief’, ‘religious intolerance’, ‘a violation of women’s and girls’ rights’, ‘racist’, ‘discriminatory’, and so on, we believe the truth is simple and quite contrary to what they claim. In brief:

The ban is pro-secularism not a restriction of religious freedoms and beliefs: A ban on conspicuous religious symbols in state schools and institutions is but one step toward secularism … Read the rest

Henry James

Sep 1st, 2004 1:38 am | By

David Lodge has a new novel out, Author, Author. It’s about Henry James, and about writing – especially about writing. I thought Lodge’s two latest novels were really verging on bad, but this one sounds brilliant. The people on Saturday Review last week (all but one, who was tepid) competed with each other in superlatives. ‘I just, loved it,’ they kept exclaiming.

I find James quite an interesting character, and always have. His letters fascinate me. I have a lovely volume of letters beween him and his also fascinating brother William. But I find Harry even more interesting, I suppose because he’s more obsessive and peculiar – less ‘normal’ than William. Though neither of them was what you’d call … Read the rest

Lift Hijab Law or We Kill Them *

Aug 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Kidnappers of two French journalists demand end to law banning religious apparel in school.… Read the rest

Moan, Kvetch, Whine, Sneer, Bleat, Fuss, Mewl *

Aug 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Three oldish guys say what’s wrong with everything.… Read the rest

Women Are From Boston, Men Are From Birmingham *

Aug 31st, 2004 | Filed by

Ideas about gender difference based on bad or no research have a strange popularity.… Read the rest

It Isn’t Racist To Attack Homophobic Music *

Aug 31st, 2004 | Filed by

The fact that a group is oppressed doesn’t give it the right to oppress.… Read the rest


Aug 30th, 2004 8:46 pm | By

Aww. I don’t know when I’ve been so, so, so almost maudlin with emotion. So nearly overcome. So tempted to soak my delicate silk and lace hanky with tears. So hungry. (Eh? Well it’s past noon, and anyway I’m pretty much always hungry.) Norm is planning to swap anecdotes with me in the great chat-fest in the sky. And he’s chuffed to learn that we’ll both be able to, according to no less an authority than the dear achbish of Canterbury. I do love those guys. So – agile in their accomodation of dreadful beliefs along with less disconcerting ones. Yes, Jesus decides these things, and yes he sorts the sheep from the goats and sends the goats (or is … Read the rest