Why anti science?

Over the past few decades there has been an increasingly negative attitude by governments, pundits, religiosi and faux philosophers against science. We have seen an increase in denialism about climate change (one of the most well supported scientific models of the day), vaccination, evolution, medical research in general, and the ancillary aspects of science like Read More…

Henry Gee’s book “The Accidental Species”

I have three rules in life. One is, Never get into a land war in Asia. The second is, Locate the nearest exit. The third and most important is: When Henry Gee writes something, believe it. I first encountered Henry through his book In Search of Deep Time, which covered a field of science that Read More…

Are smarter people irreligious or just nonconformists?

There’s been a lot of discussion around the traps that studies show repeatedly that those who are atheists or otherwise irreligious are on average a bit smarter than those who aren’t. The usual ballyhoo has followed, with atheists claiming that religion makes you stupid or only stupid people follow religions, etc. I want to suggest Read More…

Drama, journalism and science

Recently the Jonah Lehrer scandal was raised again when he was paid $20,000 to speak on his journalistic dishonesty by the Knight Foundation. I cynically noted on Twitter that being honest and as accurate as I could be netted me exactly nothing in the way of honoraria (I think I got a bottle of scotch Read More…

Thoughts on gun control

There had been the Weapons Law, for a start. Weapons were involved in so many crimes that, Swing reasoned, reducing the number of weapons *had* to reduce the crime rate. Vimes wondered if he’d sat up in bed in the middle of the night and hugged himself when he’d dreamed *that* one up. Confiscate all Read More…

The Philosophy Club

There are an increasing number of initiatives to present philosophy and critical thinking to school students, and I am pleased to announce a new one in my home city of Melbourne: The Philosophy Club for ages 8 to 11. As I have argued in print, earlier conceptual acquisitions tend to greatly affect downstream beliefs, so Read More…

The decline of Australian progressivism

Australian state Queensland had an election yesterday, and the result went from a Labor government to a virtual elimination of Labor in the state parliament. This follows, and exceeds, similar defeats in New South Wales last year, and Victoria the year before. Each year, the defeats increase. Victoria went from a 13 seat majority for Read More…

The meaning of Christmas

Tony Piro creatively borrows from Peanuts. Click on the picture to see the full comic. Tony has Linus give a fairly standard view, that Christmas is based on prior religious traditions. He carefully avoids making Linus repeat the “Christmas is the birthdate of [insert deity or religious figure]” view, which so far as I can Read More…

Make Pentarrus V strong again!

Still in love, by Justin Currie

I can’t be bothered thinking and hence I will let someone do it for me. This is a piece of Justin Currie’s irony and oxymoronicity at its best.