All entries by this author

Bad Science *

May 2nd, 2003 | Filed by

Photograph your aura, avoid perfect spheres, keep SARS under holistic control.… Read the rest

Lukewarm or Bad-tempered *

May 2nd, 2003 | Filed by

Were Einstein and Newton mildly autistic? Or were they just too clever for small talk.… Read the rest

Cognitive Sex Differences *

May 2nd, 2003 | Filed by

The subject is a political minefield, but research is the only way to distinguish between facts and fact-free stereotypes.… Read the rest

L.A. Book Festival

May 1st, 2003 8:15 pm | By

There was a tiny local skirmish in the ongoing battle between scientists and their various critics, teasers and self-appointed scourges a few days ago at the Los Angeles Book Festival, which was shown on the defiantly uncommercial tv channel Cspan. The critic was one Jeffrey Schwartz, who made a bizarrely impassioned, over-emphatic near-oration on the perils of ‘scientism,’ the putative belief of scientists that only what can be measured is real and that science claims it knows everything worth knowing. Schwartz spoke fervently about the importance of inner experience (do a lot of people dispute that nowadays? Isn’t behaviorism kind of, like, over?) and claimed that it too should be treated as science, that there were ways (not specified) of … Read the rest

Neurotheology *

May 1st, 2003 | Filed by

Happenings in the brain interact with what we already know and want.… Read the rest

Interview With Daniel Dennett *

May 1st, 2003 | Filed by

Meaning doesn’t need magic, good ideas spread better than bad ones, reflection and choice matter.… Read the rest

Not New but Too Good to Miss *

May 1st, 2003 | Filed by

Critical theory grad student gets a little overwound, deconstructs Burrito Bandito.… Read the rest

Bigger, Realer America

May 1st, 2003 12:04 am | By

I generally do my best to ignore political commentary and rhetoric, especially of the right wing variety, because all it does is annoy, not to say infuriate. But once in awhile I bump into some by accident, and it’s invariably even worse than I had imagined. A few evenings ago for instance I tripped over some absurd person on tv (and not even on Murdoch’s Fox channel, but on Gates’ msnbc) ranting about those liberal elitists who dare to disagree with President Bush. That’s the definition of elitism? Disagreeing with Bush? Because…what? Bush was born in a mud hut? Bush is the twelfth child of Mississippi sharecroppers who got where he is today by sheer force of brains and talent? … Read the rest

Public Health Science Supplanted by Ideology *

Apr 30th, 2003 | Filed by

‘Family values’ trump science and evidence under Bush administration.… Read the rest

Nonpseudoarchaeology Fights Back *

Apr 30th, 2003 | Filed by

Alternative archaeology argues by attacking skeptics rather than answering their questions.… Read the rest

Gays and Lesbians Denied Human Rights Protection *

Apr 29th, 2003 | Filed by

What of inalienable rights in a world of cultural relativism?… Read the rest

Who Else? *

Apr 29th, 2003 | Filed by

Of course, the Sugar Lobby is exactly the right group to tell the WHO whether sugar is healthy or not, having no financial interest in the matter.… Read the rest

Anti-Science and Pseudo-science *

Apr 28th, 2003 | Filed by

Loyalty, deference and solidarity replace rational thought and evaluation of evidence.… Read the rest

Deep in Denial *

Apr 27th, 2003 | Filed by

David Aaronovitch says much of the Left considers America far worse than Saddam’s human rights record.… Read the rest

Statistics? What Statistics? *

Apr 27th, 2003 | Filed by

Crime figures go down but three out of four people still think they’re going up.… Read the rest

Robotic Reactions *

Apr 27th, 2003 | Filed by

Mush-headed sentimentality and reluctance to think about religious motivations prevent clear thinking after September 11.… Read the rest

Back and Forth *

Apr 27th, 2003 | Filed by

Child-rearing has been a site of fashionable nonsense for at least a century.… Read the rest

Oh That’s Who Likes Goddesses! *

Apr 26th, 2003 | Filed by

Saddam Hussein ‘wrote’ a ‘novel’ and, er, borrowed a painting of a ‘goddess’ for the cover. Very spiritual, she looks.… Read the rest

Interview With Steve Jones *

Apr 26th, 2003 | Filed by

A conversation about gender, sex, males as parasites, and dinner parties.… Read the rest


Apr 25th, 2003 7:10 pm | By

There was an interview with John Brady Kiesling on Fresh Air last night. He is the former mid-level diplomat who wrote a letter of resignation shortly before the war in Iraq started. The interview was both interesting and depressing, though not very surprising. Kiesling thinks nation-building and democracy-establishing in Iraq will require far more money and attention than the US has any intention of bestowing on them, that the tensions between Kurds and Shiites are going to be even worse than Saddam was, that the US has thrown away the good relations with Europe that the State Department has spent years and the efforts of people like Kiesling building up, and that the US fails to realise how much it … Read the rest