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Entries Tagged as 'Science'

The Boundaries of Science

June 7th, 2010 · 24 Comments

Quondam colleague John Timmer at Ars Technica writes up a recent study on how people cling to cherished beliefs in the face of countervailing scientific evidence.  The conclusion—they fall back on the idea that the question is somehow outside the domain of science—seems plausible enough, and it’s certainly not hard to think of bogus moves […]

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Tags: Science · Sociology

The Curious Incident at the American Spectator

April 13th, 2010 · 31 Comments

If you’ve ever wondered what a lobotomy in print form looks like, search no further than this tedious, rambling piece in The American Spectator by Daniel Oliver. The author strokes his chin, at great length, over the question of why, in all The New York Times‘ recent reporting on sexual abuse by priests, “the word […]

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Tags: Religion · Science · Sexual Politics

The Redactor’s Dilemma

December 8th, 2009 · 10 Comments

It’s been a good week for document dumps—especially if you’re interested in surveillance policy. On top of Chris Soghoian’s revelations about telecom location tracking requests and a slew of leaked telecom and social networking site surveillance manuals for law enforcement at Cryptome, I’ve also been poring over the FOIA documents on cell phone lojacking obtained […]

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Tags: Privacy and Surveillance · Science

Some Fatherly Advice on Mammograms

November 27th, 2009 · 4 Comments

Like many of my friends, I’ve been struck by the sudden backlash against the new federal guidelines recommending that women begin getting regular mammograms at age 50 rather than age 40. Surely most of the people carping (I thought) lacked the knowledge base required to know at what point the benefit of detecting and treating […]

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Tags: Science

Darwin: Too Hot for US?

September 14th, 2009 · 11 Comments

I’m happy to join in a bout of public lamentation over our national ignorance of—and hostility toward—science, but I’m extremely skeptical about this story, which seems to be getting a good deal of bloglove.  The premise is that a critically-hailed biopic about Charles Darwin isn’t finding a U.S. distributor because it will be “hugely divisive” […]

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Tags: Art & Culture · Journalism & the Media · Religion · Science

Here Comes the Sunstein

September 11th, 2009 · 6 Comments

I’m happy to see scholar Cass Sunstein finally confirmed to head OIRA despite the bizarre attempt to paint him as a fire-breathing radical determined to seize your guns—presumably using the mutant mastery of magnetism with which all OIRA directors are endowed.   The panic might have been avoided if, instead of mining his academic work […]

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Tags: Journalism & the Media · Science

A False Gotcha

July 15th, 2009 · 2 Comments

Quinn  Hyler is very eager for someone to press Sonia Sotomayor about how differences in judging may stem from inherent physiological differences. I hate to disappoint him, but there’s a thoroughly boring answer he could have unearthed himself with about ten seconds of research. The line originates in a speech Sotomayor gave that was exclusively […]

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Tags: Law · Science · Sexual Politics

Racism. You Know, for Kids.

July 10th, 2009 · 22 Comments

Mother Jones flags as “Racist Outrage of the Day” a report from a Philadelphia swim club that rescinded a deal to let minority kids from an inner-city summer camp use their pool, apparently in the wake of complaints from members. From the original report: “I heard this lady, she was like, ‘Uh, what are all […]

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Tags: Science · Sociology

A “God-Shaped-Hole” Shaped Hole

May 7th, 2009 · 21 Comments

James Joyner flags the following from Andrew Stuttaford at Secular Right: Belief in a deity (or deities), and the desire to worship it or them, is an almost universal aspect of human nature. This not something that can be wished or indoctrinated away, and it’s pointless and maybe even destructive to try. It’s far better, surely, […]

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Tags: Religion · Science

Empathic Justice

May 6th, 2009 · 3 Comments

Ryan Sager picks an unfortunate example to make a valid point about the idea of “empathy” as a qualification for a seat on the Supreme Court: Now, I’m not necessarily arguing that it’s right [in the famous Trolley Problem] to push the fat man — or for the government to “push the fat man.” But […]

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Tags: Law · Moral Philosophy · Science