All entries by this author

Rise in Mumps Cases in Scotland *

May 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Rise illustrates value of mass immunisation programmes, BMA says. … Read the rest

Save the Imaginary Beast! *

May 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Sweden has a mythical lake-dwelling Something on its Endangered Species list.… Read the rest

Why Do Archbishops Still Get Attention? *

May 4th, 2004 | Filed by

‘In a culture not characterised by respect…we are strangely reluctant to criticise irrational beliefs.’… Read the rest

US Losing its Edge in Science *

May 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Europe now the world’s largest producer of scientific literature.… Read the rest

A Tory Bohemian in Small-town Michigan *

May 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Burkean, Kirkian conservatives are more communitarian than libertarian.… Read the rest


May 3rd, 2004 11:26 pm | By

It’s been a busy day – and a good one. Arts and Letters Daily linked to that wonderful article by Edmund Standing on postmodernist views of gender, for a start. And I posted another terrific article, this one by Allen Esterson. And various other odds and ends – such as this takedown of Kent Hovind in Flashback. I particularly like the quoted extract from his dissertation (with proper names altered because Hovind doesn’t allow his dissertation to be quoted, which is not normal scholarly practice, but he clearly has his reasons) –

He was born in 1809 and died about 1880. He was very anti-Christian and tried to influence anyone he could not to believe in God. He was very

Read the rest

Goodhart on Reactions to His Diversity Essay *

May 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

Some of the responses seemed knee-jerk – as if he were attacking a religion.… Read the rest

Eagleton on Said as Humanist – of Some Sort *

May 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

Said’s concern was justice, not identity.… Read the rest

Kass or Nussbaum on Disgust? *

May 3rd, 2004 | Filed by

Is disgust more allied to prejudice or to conscience?… Read the rest

Freud Returns?

May 3rd, 2004 | By Allen Esterson

The May 2004 issue of Scientific American carries an article on Freud and some recent research in neuroscience with the title “Freud Returns”. Below are some comments on the article by Allen Esterson.

I never cease to be astonished at the confidence with which erroneous assertions about Freud are made in articles such as “Freud Returns” in the May 2004 issue of Scientific American, written by Mark Solms, psychoanalyst and neuroscientist. For instance, Solms writes: “When Freud introduced the central notion that most mental processes that determine our everyday thoughts, feelings and volitions occur unconsciously, his contemporaries rejected it as impossible.” This piece of psychoanalytic mythology has been shown to be false by historians of psychology since the 1960s and … Read the rest

Theism is Mandatory in US Government *

May 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Rep. McDermott rebuked for failing to mention deity in Congress.… Read the rest

Eastern European Versions of the Holocaust *

May 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Many kinds of barriers prevented Europe from understanding itself…… Read the rest

Oh Look – the NY Times Has Lost its Mind! *

May 2nd, 2004 | Filed by

Read it and scream – a puff piece for a creationist ‘theme park.’… Read the rest

Say What?

May 1st, 2004 9:57 pm | By

It’s all been quite instructive – in fact, now I think of it, it couldn’t have been better if I’d planned it that way. I didn’t, I hasten to add, but it would have been fiendishly clever if I had. I’d be another Milgram or Rosenhan, a designer of some sort of thought experiment: what happens when a rational, secular empirical form of inquiry attempts to combine with a non-rational religious ‘faith-based’ form of inquiry? Sparks fly, is one answer.

There is more than one problem with trying to mix religion into non-religious enterprises like history or science. The obvious, glaring problem of course is the fundamental difference between making up one’s findings and discovering them. But even beyond that, … Read the rest

Catch Up With Chris Mooney *

May 1st, 2004 | Filed by

One good science story after another.… Read the rest

Sugar Lobby and Bush Admin Pressure WHO *

May 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Sugar doesn’t make people fat and vegetables are bad for you. Got that?… Read the rest

Determinism, Agency, Bats, Ghosts *

May 1st, 2004 | Filed by

An anthology of thinking about thinking avoids headache-donation.… Read the rest

New Doubts About MMR Study Data *

May 1st, 2004 | Filed by

Experts claim samples could have been contaminated and were incorrectly reported.… Read the rest

Irreconcilable Differences

May 1st, 2004 12:03 am | By

Okay, I finally jumped. I took pity on the poor anguished people at Cliopatria, one in particular, who urged me to leave four or five times yesterday. No actually that’s not true – the taking pity bit. The urging five times is true! Ding, ding, ding, in came the emails, one after another, rebuking me for my sins and asking ‘Are you going to go?’ Terrific fun, because yesterday was also the day we were doing the last final positively last edits on the Dictionary, and I wasn’t really in urgent need of extra interruptions. But that’s okay, that’s no one’s fault. At any rate – of course as soon as people started pushing me toward the door I came … Read the rest

Sharia in Ontario *

Apr 30th, 2004 | Filed by

‘Muslims would no longer have an excuse not to follow sharia…’… Read the rest