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Inevitably links go out of date.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.


A Straw Other *

Nov 20th, 2002 | Filed by

Passive-aggressive avowals of philistinism, mandarin prose and postmodern hermeneutics combined with barbarian thrusting at the gates, and other odd combinations.… Read the rest



Drones should leave school at 14 *

Nov 19th, 2002 | Filed by

School leaving age should be tied to needs of economy, boffin says. But what of education as a good in itself?… Read the rest



Neoclassical Economics and Evidence *

Nov 19th, 2002 | Filed by

An experiment shows that, contrary to neoclassical market theory, efficiency can depend on experience.… Read the rest



Science is Self-correcting *

Nov 18th, 2002 | Filed by

Because scientists often disagree, therefore we might as well believe whatever we like? Scientific American says No.… Read the rest



History and Truth, Again *

Nov 17th, 2002 | Filed by

Is natural science a better model for historians than social science?… Read the rest



Between Tabloid and Treatise *

Nov 16th, 2002 | Filed by

An anthology of the best of Lingua Franca, and its ‘mingling of intellectual excitement with human folly and intrigue peculiar to academia.’… Read the rest



Germaine Greer in Piss-taking Mode *

Nov 16th, 2002 | Filed by

A mix of fanciful evolutionary psychology, teasing and polemic for weekend reading.… Read the rest



Immortal Roswell *

Nov 16th, 2002 | Filed by

Archaeologists have investigated the crash site of either a weather balloon or an alien ship. If they find it was the former, will the alien story go away?… Read the rest



Newton the Inadvertent Egalitarian *

Nov 15th, 2002 | Filed by

Gravity is the great equalizer, it makes the rich fall down with the poor.… Read the rest



Amanda Foreman on Biography *

Nov 14th, 2002 | Filed by

What is history, what is theory, is biography a branch of history or is it creative writing (let’s hope not!), is theory as important as research, do readers want narrative, and more questions.… Read the rest



What works versus what ought to work *

Nov 13th, 2002 | Filed by

James Traub on the conflict between research and ideology in US education, where a priori beliefs have ‘tremendous force’ in shaping judgments of effectiveness.… Read the rest



Bernard Williams Talks to Guardian Readers *

Nov 12th, 2002 | Filed by

The philosopher answers questions on the Guardian’s Discussion Board, including one from Butterflies and Wheels.… Read the rest



Pooh Goes PoMo *

Nov 12th, 2002 | Filed by

Frederick Crews updates his perplexed Pooh with lashings of jargon, obscurantism, and pretention.… Read the rest



The last hope *

Nov 11th, 2002 | Filed by

Surely adult education is the best weapon against woolly thinking. It would be nice if it could be well funded.… Read the rest



Is Grade Inflation Real? *

Nov 10th, 2002 | Filed by

Or are there other explanations. ‘Maybe instructors used to be too stingy with their marks and have become more reasonable.’ Hmm.… Read the rest



Holocaust Denial and the French Courts *

Nov 9th, 2002 | Filed by

A French court has ordered an encyclopaedia publisher to remove a passge from the next edition that questions the numbers killed at Auschwitz.… Read the rest



But the psychology of stupidity is so interesting! *

Nov 8th, 2002 | Filed by

‘Economists had long assumed that beliefs and decisions conformed to logical rules.’ What a strange thing to assume. But Kahneman and Tversky did the studies that corrected the mistake.… Read the rest



Favorable review of Pinker’s book in The Nation *

Nov 7th, 2002 | Filed by

Are the stars reversing course? If evolutionary psychology is accepted in The Nation, perhaps the protracted attempt at denial finally is ending.… Read the rest



Dawkins on the Church *

Nov 6th, 2002 | Filed by

The damage religion does to the mind is worse than sexual abuse by the parish priest.… Read the rest



National Geographic Strangely Uncritical *

Nov 6th, 2002 | Filed by

An article about the conflict between preservation of a historic site and use by an ‘alternative’ religion gives oddly short shrift to the scholarly half of the equation.… Read the rest