All entries by this author

James Watson on Using Genetic Knowledge *

Apr 15th, 2003 | Filed by

Conservatives want to stop improvement, Watson says, but enhancement means making better.… Read the rest

They Saw It Coming *

Apr 15th, 2003 | Filed by

Archaeology Magazine worried about the looting of Iraq’s antiquities before the war began.… Read the rest

Life’s Lethal Quality Control

Apr 15th, 2003 | By Geoff Watts

One day in 1995, biologist Armand Leroi walked into Manhattan’s Strand Bookshop
and made a remarkable discovery. He came across a rather plain-looking remaindered
volume bearing the title Cancer Selection . The postdoc student had not heard of the book or its author, James
Graham. But, Leroi recalls: “I’m a sucker for odd theories of evolution, so
I bought it.” It was an impulse decision that was to have profound implications.
For buried in the book was a bold new idea that has become a muse to the young

The book was lying on a table in front of him when I visited his South London
flat. Leroi, a reader in evolutionary developmental biology at London’s Imperial
College, is … Read the rest

Lunch With Cosmides and Tooby *

Apr 14th, 2003 | Filed by

Louis Wolpert talks to the pair who have helped to make the blank slate model obsolete.… Read the rest

Human Genome Cracked (again!) *

Apr 14th, 2003 | Filed by

Three years ago a first draft, this time with 99.999% accuracy.… Read the rest

‘Conservation Support’ *

Apr 13th, 2003 | Filed by

Let us help you loosen your ‘retentionist’ export policies! That’s a nice statue there, for instance…… Read the rest

National Museum of Iraq Emptied *

Apr 13th, 2003 | Filed by

Nothing of value left, say tearful officials.… Read the rest

What Is It Like to Be a Black Nerd? *

Apr 13th, 2003 | Filed by

Especially a female black nerd. One boyfriend tried to get her pregnant to solve the problem…… Read the rest

Whose Bones?

Apr 12th, 2003 | By

Archaeology, Anthropology and other scientific, research-based, evidence-dependent fields of study sometimes come into conflict with indigenous peoples in the areas they examine. A particularly long-standing and deeply felt grievance has been the wholesale and non-consensual removal of indigenous artifacts and human remains, by mostly non-indigenous scientists, to museums and universities. Indignation at this state of affairs on the part of the people whose artifacts and relatives’ skeletons these are is entirely understandable, but it is possible that the situation has now been over-corrected.

Many scientists, historians, and researchers, while agreeing that some collections should never have existed in the first place, consider that others should not be returned now, because they are so old that direct tribal affiliation is impossible … Read the rest

Don’t Panic *

Apr 12th, 2003 | Filed by

SARS is not another 1918 flu, and breathing through a piece of cloth is a drag.… Read the rest

Yank Troops Baffle British Colleagues *

Apr 12th, 2003 | Filed by

How US soldiers behave, Daddy’s popsicle stand, and other views from world newspapers.… Read the rest

Gloomy Reality *

Apr 12th, 2003 | Filed by

Azar Nafisi and her students escaped the ‘relentless fictions’ of the mullahs by reading Lolita.… Read the rest

Tom Paulin on Hazlitt *

Apr 11th, 2003 | Filed by

Paulin considers the mystery of Hazlitt’s neglect.… Read the rest

Recognition for Hazlitt *

Apr 11th, 2003 | Filed by

The brilliant, radical, nonsense-teasing essayist gets a little overdue grave-tidying.… Read the rest

Abstract, Imaginative Thinking

Apr 10th, 2003 7:24 pm | By

It is not very astonishing, but it is nonetheless highly unfortunate, that science is under attack, given an incurious, narrow, semi-educated, fundamentalist god-botherer in the White House. Some of the battlegrounds in that attack are discussed in this article in The Guardian, which points out the rhetorical skill with which the anti-science moves are dressed up in ‘scientific’ clothes.

…these aren’t the old wars of science versus religion. The new assaults on the conventional wisdom frame themselves, without exception, as scientific theories, no less deserving of a hearing than any other. Proponents of ID – using a strategy previously unheard of among anti-Darwinists – grant almost all the premises of evolution (the idea that species develop; that the world wasn’t

Read the rest

MEPs Vote Against Stem Cell Research *

Apr 10th, 2003 | Filed by

Christian Conservatives set agenda in European stem cell research debate.… Read the rest

Internet Porn, Unfettered Access, Harassment *

Apr 10th, 2003 | Filed by

Librarians file suit over threatening behavior by porn viewers and library policy of non-interference.… Read the rest

No to Misuse of Genetic Tests *

Apr 10th, 2003 | Filed by

UK government advisors recommend strict control of genetic testing.… Read the rest

American Science Under Threat *

Apr 10th, 2003 | Filed by

How US science is in trouble on a number of fronts, because of religious pressures from the Bush administration.… Read the rest

Nonsense About ‘Partisan Bickering’ *

Apr 9th, 2003 | Filed by

The US Right is proud to be partisan, the Left (what there is of it) is keen to roll over and die.… Read the rest