All entries by this author

A Fun Project

Feb 18th, 2004 9:05 pm | By

I linked a few days ago to an excellent article by Chris Mooney about a long article promoting ‘Intelligent Design’ in the Harvard Law Review. It’s worrisome stuff.

Still, you can understand why a rave review in the Harvard Law Review would get the ID crowd excited. Such a publication represents intellectual legitimization of a sort that traditional creationists never achieved. “The whole game plan here is to credential the movement,” observes Florida State University law professor Steven Gey, a specialist in legal issues surrounding the teaching of evolution. Gey calls the Harvard Law Review piece “very weak” in its assessment of the legal case for teaching ID in public schools. But he adds, “I suspect this Harvard note

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Colloquy With David Horowitz *

Feb 18th, 2004 | Filed by

How would the promotion of ‘intellectual diversity’ actually work? Many questions.… Read the rest

Political Standards versus Academic Criteria *

Feb 18th, 2004 | Filed by

Would Horowitz’ plan invite too much meddling by the state in academic matters?… Read the rest

Aux Armes, Intellectuels! *

Feb 18th, 2004 | Filed by

Petition accuses French centre-right government of war on intelligence.… Read the rest

Intellectual Diversity *

Feb 18th, 2004 | Filed by

David Horowitz wants to clarify and extend existing principles of academic freedom.… Read the rest

We Need Not More Theory but More Mettle *

Feb 18th, 2004 | Filed by

If you’re going to teach ethics, teach about self-deception.… Read the rest

Sleeping In An Age Of Waiting

Feb 17th, 2004 11:28 pm | By

Okay, so it’s obvious that the Deluded Socialists are a bit odd. I mean look at their names for starters (P. Traven, D.S. Burton, P. S. Burton, Ben Illin, et al). What’s with the Burton twins? I can’t believe they’re married – after all that’s hardly revolutionary – but I’d lay odds that they’ve both adopted “Socialist” as a middle name. Shame they’re named after a gentleman’s clothing outlet, though.

But what is striking is just that they are extraordinarily boring. Now, it’s a truth almost universally acknowledged that there isn’t going to be a socialist revolution any time soon (well, at all, really). And sure, Marxist theory is pretty much a joke – and hell, I’ve read an awful … Read the rest

The Hazlitt Comparison

Feb 17th, 2004 10:56 pm | By

You may remember that I talked about Hazlitt’s Letter to Gifford recently. I forget what made me think of it then – I think it was something I was discussing with Scott McLemee, but I misremember what. Something has put it in my head again. Memory is an odd thing. Anyway, this is what I said last time. Somehow I just feel like saying it again.

The letter to Gifford starts off briskly:

Sir, You have an ugly trick of saying what is not true of any one you do not like; and it will be the object of this letter to cure you of it.

There are so many people around who have that ugly trick, these days. How … Read the rest

Some Items

Feb 17th, 2004 7:33 pm | By

Right. As promised, some further evidence. I’m just going to shove some things in here in a not particularly organized way, for now. I’ll do a more organized version later, for In Focus. This will be part of the rough draft.

There is this from the Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society for example:

I am talking here as a veteran women’s right activist, as a political activist that has defended freedom and equality, and has fought against a religious dictatorship i.e. the Islamic Republic of Iran. I am talking here as the first hand victim of religious suppression and tyranny. I am talking here as the first hand victim of political Islam…How many cases of honour killings are

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Feb 17th, 2004 3:38 pm | By

The waiters are at it again – they seem to be obsessed. I want to say just a couple of things, as briefly as possible, by way of setting the record straight. There are other people out there criticising B&W and also me, that I’m ignoring. But the waiters fight dirty, and I want to make that clear. 1. They accuse me of prevarication – of, in fact, lying, though they avoid that actual word, perhaps because it’s actionable. But prevarication and concealment is the charge.

Among these other commenters is Ophelia Benson of Butterflies and Wheels. Two days ago she came clean at last on her own blog…Pot and kettle indeed – assuming, as we must, that Ophelia herself

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Azar Majedi In Defence of Secularism *

Feb 17th, 2004 | Filed by

‘How many beatings and actual house arrests of girls will be needed for us to say stop?’… Read the rest


Feb 17th, 2004 2:21 am | By

Right. Let’s see if I can discuss the hijab debate without dragging in my King Charles’ head, the anonymously abusive waiting socialists. Oh look, no I can’t, there it is now. Yes I can – I did that on purpose.

It has been decreed by omniscient (albeit nameless) people who can see into the minds of other (not nameless) people that I have been pretending all this time to be somewhat divided, to have qualms, to see the point of arguments on both sides. It’s not in fact true that I’ve been pretending, but I’ve stopped havering now. Some of the arguments I’ve read over the past few days have pushed me off that fence. There is what seems to … Read the rest

Ishtiaq Ahmed on Nationalism, Nation and Umma *

Feb 16th, 2004 | Filed by

Equality was a spiritual norm but slaves and women were subordinated.… Read the rest

Yuk Factor in Action *

Feb 16th, 2004 | Filed by

Bush administration’s ‘compromise’ on cloning research limits US scientists.… Read the rest

The Bad Astronomer *

Feb 16th, 2004 | Filed by

Phil Plait combats simple ignorance as well as deliberate deception.… Read the rest

Idiot Savant? Moi?

Feb 15th, 2004 6:26 pm | By

It can be quite interesting, in an unnerving sort of way, seeing people blogging about Oneself. I’ve been seeing quite a lot of that lately, partly because of the religion and hijab discussions, both of which get people agitated. I’m certainly not going to comment on all of them – I’m not that much of an egomaniac (oh yes you are, oh no I’m not, are, amn’t) – but once in awhile one will suggest an interesting thought or line of inquiry. There is this one for example.

“Some people come into the world as idiot savants, having no choice but to concentrate all their energies on the study of their one small corner of the universe. The results can

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‘Intelligent Design’ in Harvard Law Review *

Feb 15th, 2004 | Filed by

How the pseudoscientific ID movement enhances its credibility and credentials.… Read the rest

Divisions Over Hijab *

Feb 15th, 2004 | Filed by

Teachers are relieved, some Muslims are angry, others are pleased.… Read the rest

Religious Education Should Include Atheism *

Feb 15th, 2004 | Filed by

Institute of Public Policy Research has advice about compulsory RE in schools.… Read the rest

Simon Blackburn Writes a Screenplay *

Feb 14th, 2004 | Filed by

O Martin! O Hannah! The demonic! The abyss of longing! Cut, print.… Read the rest