Latest News

Welcome to our archive of news stories relevant to the project of fighting fashionable nonsense. The stories are drawn from the electronic pages of the world’s media. On this page, you’ll find links to those stories that have been featured on Butterflies and Wheels during the current year. At the bottom of the page, you’ll find links to separate archives of stories from previous years.

We’re always pleased to hear about news stories that you think should be featured on Butterflies and Wheels. Just send an email here, if you want to point one out to us.

A note about links

Inevitably links go out of date. We suggest, therefore, that you make hard-copies of the stories that particularly interest you.


Jonathon Narvey on court-ordered religion *

Aug 14th, 2012 | Filed by

The judge could have told the child, “You are free to choose your religion, or no religion. You can be a Jew or a Christian. You can choose to worship no deity at all.”… Read the rest



Herb Silverman on secularism and harassment *

Aug 14th, 2012 | Filed by

People don’t say hooray for sexual harassment, but they do argue over what it is.… Read the rest



Witchcraft child abuse in London is under-reported *

Aug 14th, 2012 | Filed by

Tim Loughton, the children’s minister, said that a “wall of silence” is obscuring the full scale of cruelty where beliefs in evil spirits is common.… Read the rest



Thousands rally in Tunisia for women’s rights *

Aug 13th, 2012 | Filed by

Thousands rallied on Monday to protest a push by the Islamist-led government for constitutional changes that would degrade women’s status.… Read the rest



New study doubts interbreeding with Neanderthals *

Aug 13th, 2012 | Filed by

Similarities between the DNA of modern people and Neanderthals are more likely
to have arisen from shared ancestry than interbreeding, the study reports.… Read the rest



The pope has a butler *

Aug 13th, 2012 | Filed by

Who will go on trial for leaking papers out of a desire to combat “evil and corruption everywhere in the Church,” according to a prosecutor in the case.… Read the rest



Morocco: Should pre-marital sex be legal? *

Aug 13th, 2012 | Filed by

Should a cleric issue a fatwa saying a newspaper editor should die for saying yes to that question?… Read the rest



Mars rover makes detailed crater image *

Aug 13th, 2012 | Filed by

This is the first view scientists have had of a fluvial system from the surface of Mars.… Read the rest



Mars rover makes first colour panorama *

Aug 13th, 2012 | Filed by

It’s low resolution, but pretty enough and interesting enough to share, Mike Malin explains.… Read the rest



Drug company suing academic over a paper in NEJM *

Aug 13th, 2012 | Filed by

A large German pharmaceutical company is threatening a Danish academic with libel over a paper  published in The New England Journal of Medicine.… Read the rest



Why homeopathy doesn’t work *

Aug 12th, 2012 | Filed by

The 200C dilution would require 10^320 universes or so just to find one active
particle.… Read the rest



The Gore Vidal interview that Variety didn’t publish *

Aug 12th, 2012 | Filed by

“I’m very belligerent and I’ve not had it. I’m ready to lead a crusade against the Party of God.”… Read the rest



David Rakoff interviews on Fresh Air *

Aug 11th, 2012 | Filed by

“I had a beautiful childhood and a lovely childhood. I just didn’t like being a child. I didn’t like the rank injustice of not being listened to.”… Read the rest



Jon Wiener on David Rakoff *

Aug 11th, 2012 | Filed by

He was funny and smart about many things, including politics in America.… Read the rest



Author Heidi Holland found dead at S. Africa home *

Aug 11th, 2012 | Filed by

She chronicled the rise of Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe from freedom fighter to power-obsessed leader.… Read the rest



Russian Orthodox church says it’s totally right *

Aug 11th, 2012 | Filed by

Church attendance is declining, therefore it’s ok to punish Pussy Riot.… Read the rest



Abstract of Nature article on fossils from Koobi Fora *

Aug 9th, 2012 | Filed by

The new fossils confirm the presence of two contemporary species of early Homo, in addition to Homo erectus, in the early Pleistocene of eastern Africa.… Read the rest



New human species identified from Kenya fossils *

Aug 9th, 2012 | Filed by

The discoveries suggests that at least three distinct species of humans co-existed in Africa.… Read the rest



Saudi cleric lists things forbidden to women in sport *

Aug 9th, 2012 | Filed by

Mixing with men, or men watching her run or fall down or laugh or cry or quarrel with another female athlete, or mount a horse, or practice gymnastics or wrestling.… Read the rest



Father, brother detained on charges of beating woman *

Aug 9th, 2012 | Filed by

They were released on bail on July 18, and on July 21 she was dead. What a coincidence.… Read the rest