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Inevitably links go out of date.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.

GM Foods Could Be Good For You *

Nov 29th, 2002 | Filed by

Are unthinking objections to genetically modified food indicative of a world view which is at odds with the rational, open and questioning values of science?… Read the rest

Greatest Happiness v. Winners and Losers *

Nov 29th, 2002 | Filed by

Alan Ryan explains John Rawls’ insight into the flaw in Utilitarianism.… Read the rest

They Respectfully Disagree *

Nov 29th, 2002 | Filed by

Christopher Hitchens and Katha Pollitt argue about The Nation, Iraq, Viagra, Norman Mailer, pacifism, guilt by association, whither the left, and more.… Read the rest

Impostor Syndrome and Banal Jokes *

Nov 28th, 2002 | Filed by

Susan Greenfield discusses women in science.… Read the rest

Universities and Egalitarianism *

Nov 28th, 2002 | Filed by

Arnold and Huxley, Leavis and Snow, dustmen and doctors, prostitution and debt, tuition or taxation, all part of the argument.… Read the rest

Where is the Outrage? *

Nov 27th, 2002 | Filed by

Salman Rushdie ponders all the new ‘Rushdies’ that are springing up around the world.… Read the rest

Oh So That’s What Truth Is! *

Nov 27th, 2002 | Filed by

“We will defend it because it is truth, and you can’t deny truth.” Thus spake the Chief Justice of the Alabama Supreme Court of his monument to the Ten Commandments.… Read the rest

Nussbaum on Rawls *

Nov 26th, 2002 | Filed by

Martha Nussbaum on John Rawls’ much-needed correction of Utilitarian-economist versions of morality.… Read the rest

‘Philosophical laughing’ *

Nov 26th, 2002 | Filed by

Groups can encourage people to take extreme positions, whence innovation is born.… Read the rest

‘Tell that to the Buddha’ *

Nov 25th, 2002 | Filed by

David Lodge’s book on consciousness and fiction is too accomodating to cultural relativists who say the self is a peculiar Western invention, but interesting anyway.… Read the rest

Death Sentence for Heresy *

Nov 24th, 2002 | Filed by

A historian reports on the death sentence for a colleague in Iran who dared to call for an end to blind obedience from the laity.… Read the rest

Another Disputed Tenure Decision *

Nov 24th, 2002 | Filed by

As so often in these cases, opinions differ on whether there are legitimate reasons or only political ones for a denial of tenure.… Read the rest

Popular History and its Enemies *

Nov 24th, 2002 | Filed by

Is the problem that the work is over-simplified, or that it’s commercially succesful? Orlando Figes is not the first to wonder.… Read the rest

Advertisers Influence Drug Research *

Nov 23rd, 2002 | Filed by

Ad agencies own companies that ghostwrite articles for medical journals.… Read the rest

Grammar for Language Teachers *

Nov 23rd, 2002 | Filed by

It is difficult to teach a language without learning it first.… Read the rest

What of Step-dogs and Step-sofas? *

Nov 22nd, 2002 | Filed by

Simon Blackburn says Steven Pinker omits too much middle ground in The Blank Slate.… Read the rest

Yes I mean No I mean Yes *

Nov 21st, 2002 | Filed by

Harvard invites then uninvites then ununinvites poet Tom Paulin to lecture.… Read the rest

Speech Code for Harvard Law *

Nov 21st, 2002 | Filed by

Is it diversity or is it self-serving special pleading, Dershowitz asks.… Read the rest

‘Our genes are even stupider than we are.’ *

Nov 21st, 2002 | Filed by

Louis Menand is not keen on The Blank SlateRead the rest

Imagination, Memory, Interpretation *

Nov 20th, 2002 | Filed by

Story, fiction, narrative; fact, evidence, truth; and patrolling the border between them.… Read the rest