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Inevitably links go out of date.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.


Catherine Bennett says circumcision is bad too *

Jul 27th, 2012 | Filed by

Secular circumcision has been declining in Britain in the decades since doctors ceased to extol its allegedly “hygienic” effects, much cherished by Victorians.… Read the rest



Disinformation about Burma’s Muslim “cleansing” *

Jul 27th, 2012 | Filed by

The pictures are of earthquake victims.… Read the rest



Somalia: Dr Hawa Abdi nominated for Nobel Peace Prize *

Jul 27th, 2012 | Filed by

She has saved tens of thousands of lives in her hospital, while providing an education to hundreds of displaced children at the Waqaf-Dhiblawe school.… Read the rest



Josephine Jones on an appalling ‘alkaline’ diet plug in the Mail *

Jul 25th, 2012 | Filed by

The claims are unsubstantiated, and they make no sense. Nice work, Mail on Sunday.… Read the rest



Steven Novella warns of sports-related pseudoscience *

Jul 25th, 2012 | Filed by

Don’t believe the hype, don’t believe in magic, be skeptical of claims for scientific support, and don’t waste money on expensive versions of products.… Read the rest



Alexander Cockburn 1941-2012 *

Jul 24th, 2012 | Filed by

Cockburn pioneered the persona for which Hitchens became better known: the Oxford leftie litterateur/journalist who said what his bland Yank counterparts lacked the wit to utter on their own.… Read the rest



Nick Cohen on FGM and the racism of the respectable *

Jul 24th, 2012 | Filed by

Beyond continuing a barbaric tradition – and one should never underestimate the appeal of doing what has always been done – FGM ensures that women remain the property of men.… Read the rest



Why is the world ignoring Burma’s Rohingya? *

Jul 23rd, 2012 | Filed by

Buddhist attacks on the Rohingya Muslims in Burma have picked up over the last few weeks following the rape and murder of a Buddhist woman in May.… Read the rest



Pakistan: UN polio doctor shot, critically injured *

Jul 22nd, 2012 | Filed by

Pakistan is one of only three remaining countries where polio is still endemic. The others are
Afghanistan and Nigeria.… Read the rest



Giles Fraser on being a communitarian, not a liberal *

Jul 22nd, 2012 | Filed by

“What I take to be the essence of liberalism is a belief that individual freedom and personal autonomy are the fundamental moral goods.” Nope.… Read the rest



Women Under Siege on rape as a weapon of war *

Jul 22nd, 2012 | Filed by

In Libya, rape is seen as an assault on a family and a community’s honor, not just a crime against an individual.… Read the rest



Creationism in Keswick *

Jul 21st, 2012 | Filed by

Alex Gabriel finds a Noah’s Ark display. It has charts and explanations and everything, very sciencey.… Read the rest



Lawsuit charges “repressed memories” were planted *

Jul 20th, 2012 | Filed by

Three women now charge they were brainwashed at a St. Louis-area psychiatric  facility into believing that they had repressed memories of childhood sexual  abuse.… Read the rest



Carl Zimmer explains chromosome fusion *

Jul 20th, 2012 | Filed by

And joins Nick Matzke in trying to explain it to creationists on Facebook.… Read the rest



Lack of evidence that popular sports products work *

Jul 19th, 2012 | Filed by

A team at Oxford examined 431 claims in 104 sport product adverts and found a “worrying” lack of high-quality research, calling for better studies to help inform consumers.… Read the rest



Will the Catholic church be forced to take responsibility? *

Jul 19th, 2012 | Filed by

A landmark hearing at the Supreme Court in London will consider who is responsible for compensating victims of child abuse by Catholic priests.… Read the rest



Giles Fraser stands up for coercion *

Jul 18th, 2012 | Filed by

Liberals think informed choice is a basic right, therefore Fraser regards “the liberal mindset as a diminished form of the moral imagination.”… Read the rest



German pharmaceuticals pay journo to smear Ernst *

Jul 18th, 2012 | Filed by

A newspaper accuses the companies of funding the journalist to denigrate critics of homeopathy, especially Edzard Ernst.… Read the rest



Ghaffar Hussain talks to Alom Shaha *

Jul 18th, 2012 | Filed by

Many of us find it impossible to believe in god and it can be liberating and life-enhancing to fully embrace this lack of belief and live our lives without religion.… Read the rest



54% of Americans would vote for an atheist as president *

Jul 18th, 2012 | Filed by

Which is an improvement, but atheists still win the “would not vote for” poll at 43%, edging out Muslims at 40%.… Read the rest