Category Archives: Pseudoscience

The opposite of scholarship

John Rentoul quotes India Knight: Gove’s proposals are, to me, socialist in their intention, which is to equip every child with the sort of education that has traditionally been available to only a very few. How is that wrong? And what do left-leaning academics think they’re doing when they say, “Ooh, no, the children won’t […]

Phonies

While I’m on the subject of ideologues ignoring facts, this thread over at the Website of the obnoxious Local Schools Network is both informative and entertaining, unlike the article that started it. One of Andrew Old‘s contributions late in the debate says much of what I think about most quack educationalists in two paragraphs: And […]

“It’s not his fault, miss; he’s Anger Management.”

People will focus on what Katharine Birbalsingh said about the failure of this country’s educational establishment to serve poor black boys, but the bigger disaster, in simple numbers, is its failure to serve working-class whites. Pseudoscience, whether it’s Marxism or eugenics or anti-vaccine hysteria or educationalist psychobabble, is often characterized by rich people making money […]

“Bringing this agenda towards fruition”

The resignation of Hazel Blears reminded me again that this nation’s government now has a “Department for Communities”. Letting that phrase pass my lips without implied quotation marks would be like vomiting into my mouth without washing it out. Thanks to Kevin Harris’s “neighbourhoods” blog, I can sample a little of that department’s output, a […]

Not Dead

Thank you very much to the PooterGeeker who sent me a Minolta SLR camera, lenses and other exciting goodies. You are star. I feel guilty writing so little lately when my readers are so nice to me. The person who sent me that amazing gift is someone I have never met in my life, which […]

Master Of Science

A campaigner against Heathrow Airport’s third runway has attempted to glue himself to Gordon Brown at a Downing Street reception. Dan Glass, a member of Plane Stupid, was about to receive an award from the prime minister when he stuck out his superglued hand and touched his sleeve. Plane Stupid says Mr Glass, from north […]

“Let Them Eat Smoke!”

Norm asks two questions: People on the wrong end of social and economic inequalities don’t just experience health disadvantages from smoking, but disadvantages across the board – in every area of health, in life expectancy, in the pattern of life chances in general. Shall we impose compulsory legal norms about diet, about exercise, about whatever […]

Trouble At T’ Degree Mill

Another “shocking state of our universities today” story has appeared on the BBC news Website. A report from the Quality Assurance Agency says the degree classification system is broken. I smiled when I read this bit: The reports from the QAA raise some worries about the effectiveness of the external examiner system, in which examiners […]

Growing Up

[UPDATE: Edited to use the version of the body text that actually makes some sense with the originally posted title.] I’m not that old, so I’m often puzzled by people who make historical pronouncements in ignorance of recent, relevant history, sometimes history that happened within their lifetimes but not mine. Of course, as Catholic dogma […]

Signs Of The Times

The “pictures” included a front-page one of the torturer dressed in a pink nurse’s outfit that stopped just above the tops of her black stockings For those of you not up to date with the PooterGeek soap opera, having been made redundant from my first permanent job in science (when the Medical Research Council closed […]

The Irreligious Policemen

Not having a telly, I didn’t catch the latest from Richard Dawkins, but when I visited his Website to look for clips, I saw this photo of him: All I could think of was Michael Mann directing Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens in an atheist actioner: [A convertible Ferrari screams through downtown in slow motion, reflections […]

Jib Jab

I left The Observer on the shelf at the supermarket yesterday because it had another load of bollocks about MMR and autism on the front cover. Around the blogosphere, people who A) know some science and/or B) can be arsed to use Google show the newspaper’s science editor how to do his job: lizardoid Eustonian […]

Unrelated

There’s a movie called The Ring about a video so frightening that anyone who watches it dies. Here’s a link to a post at Drink-Soaked Trots. Like this:Like Loading…

A Weekend Trip To The Recycling Centre

I’m busy so, instead of writing my own stuff, I’ll just point at the efforts of some other bloggers. This at Fisking Central is a point worth making over and over again: Utopia doesn’t refer to a better world; it’s used to describe a perfect world. Belief in human perfectability—and its accompanying rejection of all […]

Mantel Piece

Hilary Mantel is a novelist. I haven’t read any of her books. I have read her review of magician Derren Brown’s Tricks Of The Mind in yesterday’s Guardian. Near the end of her mostly negative assessment she tries to set up a weak joke: she “hopes” that “no intellectual snobbery” will prevent Richard Dawkins from […]

The Beige Shall Inherit The Earth

I was going to dismiss this article as cobblers until I read this bit: Within a thousand years, humans will evolve into coffee-coloured giants between six and seven feet tall, [Oliver Curry] predicts. Improved nutrition and medical science will see people growing taller and fitter, while life-spans are extended to 120 years. Women … will […]

Dead Trees

“If our readers thought we put climate change on our front pages for the same reason that porn mags put naked women on their front pages, they would stop reading us.” –Ian Birrell, The Independent They’ve certainly stopped reading, Ian, though I suspect this is because your rag has become what someone neatly described as […]

Oi, Chris Brooke, No!

Chris, you’re a bright bloke, well-read, great company and all that, but this is plain daft. The Silly Bunt’s article was a steaming pile of cack and responding to her adolescent nonsense about “the Enlightenment” (and her many justified critics in blogland) by wibbling on about “Paolo Mattia Doria’s contemporary five-fold distinction” is a bit […]

…Or The Turkey Gets It

Further to the South Park / Scientology story, Richard points out that another celebrity cultist prominent believer, Tom Cruise, might have pushed Paramount to pull the “offending” episode by threatening not to co-operate in the promotion of his latest movie. There’s a chilling ultimatum: “If you broadcast that South Park episode then it’s curtains for […]

Chef Can’t Stand Heat

Scientology is evil rubbish. South Park is gloriously disrespectful of every kind of religious and ideological fairy tale. So this story LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Soul singer Isaac Hayes said on Monday he was quitting his job as the voice of the lusty character “Chef” on the satiric cable TV cartoon “South Park,” citing the […]

If Only The Comprehensive System Had Died Instead

Today’s Guardian devotes three pages to a tribute to the recently deceased educationalist Ted Wragg, who, like most educationalists, wouldn’t have known a controlled experiment if it was being performed on one of his own children with a bonesaw. A lot of the space is taken up with the “best of” his quotable declarations on […]

The Ultimate Sauce

I think I might become a Pastafarian, oo-arr! Here be an explanation, me hearties! Like this:Like Loading…

Evangelical Scientist Refutes Gravity, Sequences Human Genome

“Things fall not because they are acted upon by some gravitational force, but because a higher intelligence, ‘God’ if you will, is pushing them down,” said Gabriel Burdett, who holds degrees in education, applied Scripture, and physics from Oral Roberts University. The funny thing about this Onion story, is that the made-up fundamentalist “scientist” quoted […]

Worse Than I Thought

I knew that in Turkey Mein Kampf is a bestseller. I didn’t know that the theory of evolution was widely rejected there. Thanks to Mick Hartley and this in The Panda’s Thumb I have another reason to fear for civilization: “As a result of the BAV campaign and other efforts to denounce evolution, he adds, […]

I’d Like To Teach The World To Think

What’s most pleasing about Google’s April Fool joke today is that its text is shot through with the sort of pseudoscientific nonsense that infests thousands of real products’ copy. Like this:Like Loading…

Old News

In the year 2000 a mysterious stranger journeyed from the future to tell us about his past. His name was John Titor and this is his story. (Despite his supposed online notoriety, it wasn’t until now that I had even heard of him.) Like this:Like Loading…

There In Black And White

A couple of weeks ago The Today Programme broadcast an item about how a group of psychologists had discovered that people who prepared job applications by hand were more likely to lie in them than people who made applications through online forms. Today invited an “expert” onto the air to discuss this finding: a graphologist. […]

Watch Out For Those Feeble-Minded Tavern Girls

Following on from my James D. Watson link, yesterday a colleague of mine lobbed me a review copy of DNA and the Criminal Justice System by David Lazer. Click the smaller image below to see an interesting diagram it reproduces from a textbook in use in the early half of the twentieth century (unfortunately it’s […]

Buy Tin!

I seem to have upset the proprietor of Blognor Regis lately. Apparently I “was wetting myself over David Carr’s prehistoric Band Aid rant“. I think the figure of speech he was looking for was “taking the piss out of“. Taking the piss is a traditional British craft that some of the Beavis and Butthead types […]

No

It takes a professional philosopher to choose, of all the arguments for the existence of some kind of god, the most exquisitely wrong: “A philosophy professor who has been a leading proponent of atheism for more than 50 years has decided that God may exist after all. “Antony Flew, 81, now believes scientific evidence supports […]

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