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Inevitably links go out of date.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.


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



Two for the price of one *

Nov 5th, 2002 | Filed by

The intersection of two vexed subjects, evolutionary psychology and the differences between men and women, is examined in A Mind of Her Own.… Read the rest



Sinister people or hoaxers? *

Nov 5th, 2002 | Filed by

A Sokal Hoax turned back to front? And why does the Chronicle of Higher Education call it just deserts?… Read the rest



Dignity and *

Nov 4th, 2002 | Filed by

Mystery, humility, human finitude; science has nothing to say about who we are; the self cannot be an illusion; free will must be true…Such are the platitudes that greet a book on bioethics by a presidential pundit.… Read the rest



Proving the point *

Nov 4th, 2002 | Filed by

Steven Pinker points out that New York Times book reviewer resorts to the very fallacy the book is about.… Read the rest



Bizarre claims *

Nov 2nd, 2002 | Filed by

Philosophers will insist on getting Dawkins wrong.… Read the rest



Credentials *

Nov 2nd, 2002 | Filed by

Philosophers uncover conceptual connections and thus help to make ethical debate better informed.… Read the rest



David Lodge thinks *

Nov 2nd, 2002 | Filed by

Which tells us more about consciousness, fiction or cognitive science?… Read the rest



Anyone’s neighbour *

Nov 1st, 2002 | Filed by

‘It could be you’. Perhaps a more useful suggestion about the Nobel prize than about the lottery.… Read the rest



Truth and lies *

Nov 1st, 2002 | Filed by

Bernard Williams defends the truth, while also exploring when we need to tell lies.… Read the rest



Cargo cult science *

Nov 1st, 2002 | Filed by

‘Statistics show’ is a mere rhetorical device in education research, used to support whatever policy one favors. Research in cognitive psychology shows promise.… Read the rest



Tragic view *

Nov 1st, 2002 | Filed by

Are John Gray and Steven Pinker saying the same dismal thing about human hopes, and are they right to be saying it?… Read the rest



One way to introduce the two cultures *

Oct 31st, 2002 | Filed by

A computer scientist teaches liberal arts students an intelligent skepticism about computer technology…and what binary numbers are.… Read the rest



Mormon correctness *

Oct 31st, 2002 | Filed by

Even practicing Mormons can have a hard time conforming to the rules at Brigham Young University.… Read the rest



Rorty on Williams on truth *

Oct 30th, 2002 | Filed by

Are analytic philosophers ‘hard-working public relations agents for contemporary institutions and practices’? Or are neo-pragmatists hard-working Artful Dodgers…… Read the rest



Oh, brilliant, pay the fun teachers more *

Oct 30th, 2002 | Filed by

Link lecturers’ pay to how popular they are with students? Might there be some drawbacks to that idea? … Read the rest



Where groupthink can lead *

Oct 30th, 2002 | Filed by

The Salem witch trials are interesting not because of the occult aspect but as an example of ‘senseless self-destruction’.… Read the rest



Fiction and consciousness studies *

Oct 29th, 2002 | Filed by

David Lodge, while evading ‘the false intimacies of celebrity,’ discusses his new book of essays on that intersection.… Read the rest



Shocking news: teenagers are easily bored *

Oct 29th, 2002 | Filed by

More teenagers report being bored at school in the UK than in other industrialised nations. Let us hope the response is not to replace teachers with videos.… Read the rest



Scientists were unpopular then too *

Oct 29th, 2002 | Filed by

Even in that supposed heyday of reason, attacks on freethinkers were a favourite sport.… Read the rest