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Inevitably links go out of date.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.


Misanthropes can stay that way *

Oct 28th, 2002 | Filed by

Good news: people who urge grouches to ‘cheer up, you’ll live longer’ are wrong.… Read the rest



Sexist or witty? *

Oct 28th, 2002 | Filed by

Is a poster of a shirtless woman at a Motor Show a stupid throwback to the ’50s or an amusingly knowing and harmless bit of fun? What does it mean that a woman designed the poster? And that a government minister (also a woman) is not amused?… Read the rest



Galileo and the gang *

Oct 27th, 2002 | Filed by

Is the conflict between science and religion inevitable, or a result of tactical decisions?… Read the rest



First rule: get the evidence right *

Oct 27th, 2002 | Filed by

If you want to make an argument, it’s no good saying the flood ate your homework.… Read the rest



Trinidadian guppies and Arabian babblers *

Oct 26th, 2002 | Filed by

Shouting at predators, risk-taking, the Big Mistake Hypothesis, altruism; the questions about cooperation and evolution go on being asked.… Read the rest



The power of facing unpleasant facts *

Oct 26th, 2002 | Filed by

One independent thinker with an aversion to tribalism and cant pays his respects to another.… Read the rest



Not new and not science *

Oct 25th, 2002 | Filed by

There is a difference between science and computational play; metaphors can illuminate but not predict.… Read the rest



Tversky and Kahneman on irrationality *

Oct 25th, 2002 | Filed by

Nobel prize-winner and his late colleague explored the illogical ways humans make decisions.… Read the rest



Report undermines its own message *

Oct 25th, 2002 | Filed by

Nuffield Council on Bioethics releases report on behavioural genetics, but guides the press to focus on peripheral issue of designer babies.… Read the rest



Hot and cold running Psychoanalysis *

Oct 25th, 2002 | Filed by

Is extensive therapy necessary both to survive family life and to raise children who can survive family life?… Read the rest



Suspect anyone wearing a halo *

Oct 24th, 2002 | Filed by

Hitchens thinking through Orwell and himself at the same time.… Read the rest



Guns and probate *

Oct 24th, 2002 | Filed by

Mistakes in evidence, however small, can undermine a case.… Read the rest



Ideologically driven review *

Oct 23rd, 2002 | Filed by

Historians dispute a review by a non-historian who seems to have read a different book.… Read the rest



To forget the past… *

Oct 23rd, 2002 | Filed by

As evidence of Stalin’s mass killings is uncovered, many Russians don’t want to know.… Read the rest



Martyrdom myth defies the facts *

Oct 23rd, 2002 | Filed by

The political uses of putative martyrdom, and the dangers.… Read the rest



Questioning the motives *

Oct 21st, 2002 | Filed by

Has inequality increased in the last two or three decades, and is it a problem if it has, and is it invidious even to mention the subject, and if so, why?… Read the rest



Hermeneutics of New Jersey *

Oct 20th, 2002 | Filed by

Deconstructing, psychoanalysing, close reading or rather viewing, rewinding ‘The Sopranos’…are academics watching a little too much television?… Read the rest



How to discuss controversial subjects honestly *

Oct 18th, 2002 | Filed by

Jared Diamond reviews book on evolutionary explanation of religion in which contentious, often oversimplified ideas are treated fairly.… Read the rest



Nurture versus nurture *

Oct 18th, 2002 | Filed by

What seems like the reasonable compromise position, that human nature is half genes and half upbringing, can still get it wrong, Steven Pinker says. Sometimes it’s 100% one or the other.… Read the rest



Journalists adore, biologists not so much *

Oct 16th, 2002 | Filed by

Paul Gross considers the reputation of Stephen Jay Gould among colleagues as well as the general public, and finds some discrepancies.… Read the rest