All entries by this author

Full Text of David Bell’s Speech *

Jan 19th, 2005 | Filed by

On teaching ‘reasoned citizenship.’… Read the rest

Speaking Up

Jan 18th, 2005 11:46 pm | By

I plan to improve N&C by talking less. More links and quotations from the articles linked, and less of me commenting on them. That will be an improvement, right? Right.

There is this article in the Guardian about some reactions to David Bell’s speech to the Hansard Society in which he expressed some reservations about ‘faith’ schools.

The head of the government’s education watchdog prompted an angry reaction from Muslim leaders yesterday after claiming that the growth of Islamic faith schools posed a challenge to the coherence of British society. In a deliberate intervention criticised as “irresponsible” and “derogatory” by senior Muslim representatives, the chief inspector of schools David Bell claimed that a traditional Islamic education did not equip Muslim

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Replies to Hobsbawm *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Valid truths only emerge from free, fair and open discussion.… Read the rest

Muslim Schools Promote Education for Girls *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Chairman of Association of Muslim Schools disagrees with Ofsted chief’s comments.… Read the rest

Fatuity Knows no Bounds Department *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Humans pay someone actual money to talk to their pets.… Read the rest

Letters to Guardian on Livingstone *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Why does mayor talk to fundamentalists but not liberal Muslims or victims of Islamist repression?… Read the rest

Three Muslims Criticize Inspector of Schools *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Article labels them ‘leaders’ and ‘senior representatives.’… Read the rest

Faith Should Not Be Blind *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Chief Inspector of Schools warns against religious segregation.… Read the rest

Chatroom Call to Jihad *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Omar Bakri Mohammed tells listeners: ‘you are obliged to join.’… Read the rest

Two Parents Resist Another Vardy Academy *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Vardy schools accord equal importance to creationism and theories of evolution.… Read the rest

Secularists Fight Back *

Jan 18th, 2005 | Filed by

Against the encroachment of religion on public policy and on the rights of non-believers.… Read the rest

Your Own

Jan 17th, 2005 10:29 pm | By

I had a thought earlier today [medium close-up of Nigel Hawthorne as Sir Humphrey after Hacker has told him he’s just had an idea – expression of delighted surprise: ‘Prime Minister!’]. Yes very funny; anyway, I had this thought.

A bit from Daughters of France, Daughters of Allah:

Amiri was the first Muslim woman I contacted in Paris, and she cried as we spoke on the telephone. That day she had received an e-mail saying, “Do you realize what you are doing to your own people?” It was, she told me, one of many threatening messages she had received, and they were not to be taken lightly.

The thought was just about the meaning of that phrase – ‘your … Read the rest

An Observation

Jan 17th, 2005 9:12 pm | By

Here’s a good passage. Not apropos of anything in particular, I just happened to read it and I liked it so thought I would pass it on. It’s from Three Seductive Ideas, by Jerome Kagan, page 44.

Some scientists are uncomfortable with this level of uncertainty because they seek facts that are unlikely to be proven wrong. They resemble hunters who, having trapped a secret of nature, want it to stay fixed on the trophy wall forever. Other scientists are chess players who derive joy from following the many complex rules for doing science – the correct assignment of subjects, the proper balancing of conditions, the most appropriate statistical analyses. Those who are butterfly chasers – a third group

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Metaphors Comfort in Face of Big Scientific Ideas *

Jan 17th, 2005 | Filed by

Making figures of speech out of our problems is not the way to solve them. … Read the rest

Therapy for Addiction to Therapy *

Jan 17th, 2005 | Filed by

Making addiction an identity is not all that therapeutic.… Read the rest

Center for Inquiry for Secularism and Science *

Jan 17th, 2005 | Filed by

US universities need counterweight to Campus Crusade for Christ.… Read the rest

Interview with Astronomer Royal Martin Rees *

Jan 17th, 2005 | Filed by

‘One idea many of us are pursuing is a grander concept of the physical world.’… Read the rest

The Pretty Woman Theory of Prostitution *

Jan 17th, 2005 | Filed by

Takes Paglia’s claim that prostitutes are not victims but outlaws at face value.… Read the rest


Jan 16th, 2005 8:09 pm | By

Well this is good. Meera Nanda’s article in the New Humanist is apparently being widely read and discussed. Someone who edited it says so here:

It’s moments like these I like best about my job: getting some recognition, even from total strangers, for a piece I spent hours and hours editing: Meera Nanda’s piece on the intellectual treason of postmodernist scholars from the January 2005 issue of New Humanist is being picked up on various arts&ideas websites and personal blogs, people are reading it, some are even commenting on it. It’s good to see these ideas going beyond the narrow readership of NH – thanks to the internet.

There is another comment on the diffusion of Meera’s New Humanist … Read the rest

Eric Hobsbawm in Defence of History *

Jan 16th, 2005 | Filed by

Not true that ‘my truth is as valid as yours, whatever the evidence.’… Read the rest