Category Archives: journalism

The New Scientist goes Templeton

This issue isn’t yet available through my library’s e-journal site, and it may not be an issue at all but a special collection, one dealing with “The Big Questions” Sound familiar? That’s because it’s the John Templeton Foundation’s main theme:   New Scientist’s “Big Questions”, as touted on one site, includes the following: The Big Questions The […]

The “selfish gene” redux: Aeon magazine collects opinion on the metaphor

Last December, David Dobbs published a jeremiad in Aeon magazine called “Die, selfish gene, die”.  And I criticized it in two posts (here and here), while Richard Dawkins, who of course coined the term “selfish gene,” and Steven Pinker also took issue with it. I’ll summarize Dobb’s original thesis by quoting my initial post on it: At […]

New Republic publishes my Shroud of Turin piece

Just for the record, The New Republic has published my Shroud of Turin piece—moderately rewritten, touched up, and supplemented with other stuff. They’ve called the piece “Pseudo-scientists are still trying to convince you that the Shroud of turin is real. Don’t believe them.” Thanks to the readers’ suggestions, I’ve added Richard Carrier’s objections to the […]

Muncie Star-Press’s biggest stories of 2013 omit the Ball State ID affair

Reader Amy sent me the list of this newspaper’s top stories of the year. As you may remember, Muncie, Indiana was where Ball State University (BSU) canned Eric Hedin’s “science” course on Intelligent Design (ID), a victory in the battle against creationism. That story was covered extensively by the Muncie Star-Press and got national attention, not […]

So long, and no thanks for all the Fish

Stanley Fish has written his last “Opinionator” column for the New York Times, and I can’t say I’m sorry to see him go.  His writing was dreadful (and he’s an English professor!), his opinions cranky and quirky (see here, for instance). He was the intellectual equivalent of the old man who yells, “Hey, kids! Get […]

David Frost died

I’ve just learned from CNN and the Guardian that British journalist and broadcaster David Frost has died at age 74.  The Guardian notes that he died of a heart attack while on a cruise ship—the Queen Elizabeth that was sailing from London to Lisbon.  As the Guardian reports: The 74-year-old, whose programmes included That Was […]

Chicago Tribune makes winsome internet mistake

From Gizmodo: It looks as though they’ve fixed it, but for a glorious 16 minutes this was the Chicago Tribune homepage. It is self-evidently wonderful, but let’s still talk about just how wonderful it is. Cat image. Test, test, test, test, test, test, test. Headline test. The cat is a kitten. The kitten is grey. […]

Heffernan’s creationism: was it a scam?

Three days ago I highlighted an anti-evolution essay by Virginia Heffernan, a formerly popular journalist who is now a correspondent for Yahoo News. Her piece,  “Why I’m a creationist,” was a remarkably obtuse celebration of ignorance. In essence, Heffernan maintained that she was a creationist because the Bible told a better story than did Darwin, and […]

Irresponsible journalism: The Chronicle of Higher Education goes to bat for woo-driven evolution

You can never predict what slant a science reporter will produce after interviewing you for a piece—especially a piece on evolution. The truth of evolution, and the solidity of the modern “neo-Darwinian” version, is old news, and reporters are always looking for some new “hook” to sell their stories. What better hook can there be […]

New attacks on New Atheists (and one defense)

I have neither the heart nor the time to reprise or analyze the latest salvo of attacks on New Atheists, so I’ll just list them here (with a brief quote from each) if you’re interested. These have, in fact, all appeared in the last few days, so something is afoot. As a palliative, there’s one […]


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