All entries by this author

New York Review of Books on Dawkins *

Feb 8th, 2004 | Filed by

Discussion of religion unfortunately evasive.… Read the rest

Scientists Criticise Tissue Law *

Feb 8th, 2004 | Filed by

Law requiring written consent for tissue samples from dead will undermine reseach, say scientists.… Read the rest

Amateur Cultural Revolution *

Feb 7th, 2004 | Filed by

Someone is killing off Iraq’s educated class – doctors, intellectuals, human rights workers.… Read the rest

Deepak, Oprah, Merlin, Chicken Soup and All *

Feb 7th, 2004 | Filed by

The sleep of reason begets people who pay attention to gurus.… Read the rest

He’s Not Making This Up *

Feb 7th, 2004 | Filed by

David McKie reviews Francis Wheen’s How Mumbo-Jumbo Conquered the WorldRead the rest

Where Do Oranges Come From? *

Feb 7th, 2004 | Filed by

What does it mean that George Monbiot has a bowlful? Are they the only fruit?… Read the rest

What is ‘Occidentalism’? *

Feb 6th, 2004 | Filed by

Ian Buruma on dreams of local authenticity and cultural uniqueness.… Read the rest

Conviction Quashed in Abuse Case *

Feb 6th, 2004 | Filed by

More than 100 doubtful cases being investigated by Historic Abuse Appeals Panel.… Read the rest

‘Science Wins Ancient Bones Battle’ *

Feb 6th, 2004 | Filed by

Native Americans want to bury bones; court rules relationship impossible to establish.… Read the rest

Kennewick Man Can Be Studied *

Feb 6th, 2004 | Filed by

Federal appeals court rules: skeleton should be released for study by archaeologists.… Read the rest

A Diabolical Liberty

Feb 6th, 2004 2:00 am | By

Yikes! Weird! Someone I don’t know and have never heard of – had a dream about me. Nothing icky, at least not that he said, but – still, an odd notion. Next thing you know I’ll be dreaming about C–n the Un——-le. He’ll be staring at me through a monocle and holding a copy of Swallows and Amazons.… Read the rest

Brief and to the Point

Feb 5th, 2004 8:40 pm | By

Thought for the day. I like to give you a good eloquent quotation now and then – actually had I but world enough and time I would do it more often than that, several times a day probably, because I’m always running into sentences that just seem to distill a lot into that one small frame. I just read this one in Meera Nanda’s new book (which of course you should all read):

Intellectuals, whose job it is to agitate and educate on behalf of universal and humane values, began to see the protection of traditions from the onslaught of modernity as more important than combating the tyranny of traditions on social relations.

See what I mean? That sums up … Read the rest

New Rhetorical Tricks by Antievolutionists *

Feb 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Scientific controversy is not the same as political: there is no middle ground.… Read the rest

‘Conservative Lysenkoism Redux’ *

Feb 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Chris Mooney attends Congressional hearing on ‘sound science’ – which isn’t.… Read the rest

Peer Review and Politics *

Feb 5th, 2004 | Filed by

Chris Mooney looks at a wolf in sheep’s clothing.… Read the rest

Green Myth vs. the Green Revolution

Feb 5th, 2004 | By Thomas R. DeGregori

The Underlying Belief System

Gail Omvedt speaks of a “a distorted image of farmers held by a section of the urban elite” in India as well as in developed countries. This mythic image:

depicts them romantically but demeaningly as backward, tradition-loving, innocent and helpless creatures carrying on their occupation for love of the land and the soil, and as practitioners of a “way of life” rather than a toilsome income-earning occupation. These imagined farmers have to be protected from market forces and the attacks of multinationals, from the seductions of commercialization and the enslavement of technologies (Omvedt 1998).

Modern agriculture and the food supply it provides, along with modern medicine and the pharmaceuticals and technological devices it uses and the … Read the rest

What Did Sokal & Bricmont Really Say?

Feb 4th, 2004 7:10 pm | By

Francis Wheen was on Start the Week Monday to talk about his new book How Mumbo Jumbo Conquered the World. The book sounds like just our sort of thing in a way, being about various forms of delusion and what a lot of them there are about nowadays – but in another way it doesn’t, quite, because it apparently doesn’t limit itself the way we do. Mind you, there’s disagreement about how much we limit ourselves, and how much we ought to, which gets back to that ‘What was the question?’ N&C I did a week or two ago. But still. However expansive a view I take, I don’t attempt to cover every kind of delusion I can think … Read the rest

Who Needs Hubble When We Have Astrology? *

Feb 4th, 2004 | Filed by

What’s the New York Times doing publishing astrology on the Op-ed page?… Read the rest

Hubble Telescope May Be Saved *

Feb 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Protests from star-gazers may win reprieve for indispensable window on cosmos.… Read the rest

What Exactly is Media Literacy? *

Feb 4th, 2004 | Filed by

Is ‘reading’ tv the exact equivalent of reading books?… Read the rest