All entries by this author

Outrage! Press Release on Pope *

Apr 4th, 2005 | Filed by

Attacks on human rights of women and gays immoral; condom ban cost millions of lives.… Read the rest

The Pope Has Blood on his Hands *

Apr 4th, 2005 | Filed by

The Vatican condemned condoms, which might have saved countless Catholics from an agonising Aids death. … Read the rest

Pope Ignored Reformists, Vatican Banned Condoms *

Apr 4th, 2005 | Filed by

John Paul replaced reformist cardinals and bishops with traditionalists.… Read the rest

On Happiness *

Apr 4th, 2005 | Filed by

Bentham, economics, envy, Freud, Klein, alientation, solidarity.… Read the rest

Einstein Was on a Roll *

Apr 4th, 2005 | Filed by

So he produced a real belter for his June offering: On the Electrodynamics of Moving Bodies.… Read the rest

Einstein as Writer *

Apr 4th, 2005 | Filed by

Letters best source of his caustic humour, humanity, impatience, various passions.… Read the rest

Gertrude, Gertrude, What is the Answer?

Apr 3rd, 2005 7:44 pm | By

A bit more on this ‘science can’t answer the why questions’ trope. Because it’s a surprisingly enduring and frequently-heard one, and yet it’s completely worthless. If it’s so worthless, why is it so enduring and so often repeated? Because not enough people say often enough how worthless it is? That must be it. Okay so let’s all start saying that more often, and maybe with our combined weight we can beat it to death.

What the silly phrase means is that science doesn’t permit itself to make up answers to why questions, whereas religion and ‘theology’ do. The idea that that makes religion and theology superior rather than grossly inferior is ludicrous.

You could play that game in all sorts … Read the rest

Russell Jacoby on Shock-Horror of Liberal Universities *

Apr 3rd, 2005 | Filed by

Conservatives distrust unregulated intellectuals.… Read the rest

Chandra v Eddington on the Fate of White Dwarf Stars *

Apr 3rd, 2005 | Filed by

Chandra did the maths, Eddington said It Could Not Be.… Read the rest

Review of Book on Unreason *

Apr 3rd, 2005 | Filed by

Reviewer asks some dubious questions.… Read the rest

Church Demands Monopoly on Superstition *

Apr 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

Time to stop calling it faith; superstition is the right word.… Read the rest

Even a Catholic Theologian Can See *

Apr 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

A ‘fraudulent church that has calcified and become senile behind its glittering façade.’… Read the rest

Ad Hoc Grievance Committee Report *

Apr 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

The report on allegations about faculty conduct at Columbia.… Read the rest

Middle-Eastern Studies at Columbia *

Apr 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

Report finds no evidence of anti-Semitism in department.… Read the rest

Nightwaves: Is Science Too Powerful? *

Apr 2nd, 2005 | Filed by

Norman Levitt, Julian Baggini and A S Byatt discuss. … Read the rest

Night Waves

Apr 2nd, 2005 5:16 am | By

Well it’s a good thing I listen to Night Waves occasionally, or I never would have known about this – which makes me think I really ought to shout at I mean remonstrate with Julian for not telling me, because I can hardly imagine anything more directly up B&W’s street. Well I ask you – two of the four panelists have contributed to B&W, and one of those two contributes on a regular basis, often, every two weeks, or thereabouts. So listen to it – it’s as interesting as it sounds.

The only trouble is, Nighwaves makes the usual tedious stupid mistake and has a theologian join in, and he does way too much of the talking, and says fatuous … Read the rest

More From the R-Man

Apr 1st, 2005 9:02 pm | By

A little more Rorty, for your amusement, and for the irritation of people who are irritated by my take on Rorty.

Pragmatism, by contrast, does not erect Science as an idol to fill the place once held by God. It views science as one genre of literature – or, put the other way around, literature and the arts as inquiries, on the same footing as scientific inquiries…Some of these inquiries come up with propositions, some with narratives, some with paintings. The question of what propositions to assert, which pictures to look at, what narratives to listen to…are all questions about what will help us get what we want (or about what we should want.

That’s from Consequences of Pragmatism page … Read the rest

Tell Them, Gov

Apr 1st, 2005 7:52 pm | By

Well done, governor of Illinois. Step up, other 49 governors.

Gov. Rod Blagojevich filed an emergency rule Friday requiring pharmacies that sell contraceptives to fill prescriptions for birth control quickly, following recent incidents in which a Chicago pharmacist refused to fill orders for contraceptives because of moral opposition. “Our regulation says that if a woman goes to a pharmacy with a prescription for birth control, the pharmacy is not allowed to discriminate who they sell it to and who they don’t,” Blagojevich said in a news release. “The pharmacy will be expected to accept that prescription and fill it … No delays. No hassles. No lecture. Just fill the prescription.”

Well said. A little bluntness is welcome and necessary … Read the rest

Republicans Worried About Flight From Reason? *

Apr 1st, 2005 | Filed by

Judge Greer needs bodyguards, Judge Birch reminds Congress of role of Constitution.… Read the rest

Illinois Governor Files Emergency Rule *

Apr 1st, 2005 | Filed by

Outlaws precription refusal by pharmacists. ‘No delays. No hassles. No lecture.’… Read the rest