The place of religion in democratic secular countries

There is a religion which oppresses women, which is enthusiastically adopted by marginalised groups, which hates democracy and which has declared the modern world to be a heresy they call “Americanism”. This religion, which is run entirely by men, demands of its adherents loyalty to a small group of clerics overseas, in a pseudostate set Read More…

Bastardry: On protest and on fascism

I attended the March in March protest against the current government of Australia yesterday. My legs still hurt. I’m sure that demonstrations were not so arduous thirty years ago. I noticed that this was a privative demonstration. It was not about something so much as against something, and the something it was against varied by protestor. Some Read More…

The discrimination of the age

There are many kinds of undue and harmful discrimination in modern society, all of which collectively tend to privilege a few. Women are treated with less respect and given fewer opportunities than men; heterosexuality is privileged over “deviant” forms of sexual identity and the alphabet community (currently LGBT and variants) has fewer rights than the 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…

Eww, I stepped in some evolutionary psychology and other crap

*Sigh* I try and try to stay out of the muck, but they keep pulling me back in! I saw what I thought was a careful and rather overly-documented critique by Edward Clint of a talk by Rebecca Watson against evolutionary psychology (EP). It was full of references and arguments, devoid of ad hominem, and well Read More…

Why is Darwin’s theory so controversial?

So asks this essay and gets the whole thing wrong. Darwin’s theories (plural) are not controversial because they imply that species are mutable. This was a widely held view by preachers, moralists, Aristotelians, naturalists, breeders, formalists, folk biology, and even biblical translators. Darwin was not controversial because he implied racist ideas about humans. He never Read More…

Scientism and methodological naturalism

So I’ve been busy with work, and finding a flat and preparing to move. Larry’s been busy tearing strips off those who argue that the ENCODE data shows the genome is mostly functional (only if you think that doing anything happens to be functional). But I hadn’t forgotten his latest claim that methodological naturalism is Read More…