Category Archives: Skeptics

'A Plea in Law for Equal Marriage'

As many of you know, I won the 2012 Law Society of Scotland Essay Award for a piece entitled ‘A Plea in Law for Equal Marriage’. The question to which my paper was a response was this: An MSP would like to bring forward a member’s bill in the Scottish Parliament. She would like it […]

‘The Scope of Skepticism’

Very good interviewers are few and far between: most interviewers manage to alienate someone. For my part, I find Jeremy Paxman’s self-aggrandisement as irritating as Chris Moyles’s faux idiocy — and that’s just as a watcher and listener. I’ve also lost count of the number of interviews I’ve gone through where the interviewer wants to […]

Tit for tat, or the Vicar of Bray

We are going to have to get better at managing difference, people. I learn via Catallaxy that one of the anti-gay signatories to the ‘Doctors for the Family’ senate submission has resigned from his position on Victoria’s Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. I carry no brief for ‘Doctors for the Family’; fellow Skeptic Chrys Stevenson […]

The quintessential brains trust

… Marie Curie: the only person ever to win two Nobel prizes in two sciences. I am currently in examination hell, hence my diminished substantive contributions to the blog. I will be out of gaol on May 24 (last exam) and will then take a week or so off, but I’m afraid not much more than […]

Don’t climb that ladder

A real life study: Stephenson, G. R. (1967). ‘Cultural acquisition of a specific learned response among rhesus monkeys.’ In: Starek, D., Schneider, R., and Kuhn, H. J. (eds.), Progress in Primatology, Stuttgart: Fischer, pp. 279-288. [A gentle tip of the hat to Terje P] ———————————- Also: our viewing stats have gone fairly silly since Larvatus […]

Survivors’ Guilt

I’m blogging about Easter again, sorry. This time spurred by an online conversation between friends about the appropriateness or not of being wished “Happy Easter” on Good Friday. Classicists of the world, wrack off – yes I DO know the entire event was probably lifted from pre-existing pagan rites of spring, but for the purposes […]

What Would Joseph Kony Do?

What would Joseph Kony do If he were here right now? He’d burn a blond gay muppet or two, That’s what Joseph Kony’d do. Last week, it emerged that the M25 — for those not in the know, the ‘London Orbital’ and Britain’s biggest carpark — was turning into a tourist attraction, presumably by means of […]

The Notpology

Apologising for something one does not think is wrong is not very nice. Apart from anything else, it is insincere. I have done it several times in my life, once publicly. The public apology was not a success for anyone concerned (me or those who disliked me), and I have long since retracted it. Sometimes […]

The Religious Education Dilemma, Again

We just got a notice from my daughter’s state school yesterday inviting us to choose which religious education class we’d like to enrol her in. There were a multitude of choices: Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Ba’hai, Buddhist and Hindu (an accurate reflection the nature of her school, I think). Finally, there was the choice to ‘opt […]

Advice, please…

We try to avoid meta around these parts, but the trainwreck on the #equalmarriage thread has prompted some necessary thinking on all our parts, and an admission from me. First, the thinking. This blog — in having four writers with differing politics — is a risky venture. Going by other blogs around the traps, a […]