Tag Archives | science

The Brains of the Earth

A normal cycle of seasonal fires in the Amazon region touched off an international hysteria, with celebrities and politicians screaming that “the lungs of the Earth are in flames.” My favorite over-reaction is lefty writer Franklin Foer proposing a kind of eco-imperialism. Because Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro has “presided over the incineration of the world’s […]

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Tweet 10-289

Five Things You Need to Read Today 1. Tweet 10-289 Donald Trump has give us a strange couple of weeks. First, he canceled a state visit to Denmark in a snit because the Danish prime minister refused to entertain the idea of selling us Greenland. The idea of acquiring Greenland, by the way, is not […]

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Salon of the Refused, Episode 14

Episode 14 of my video and podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk with Steven Pinker, author of Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress, about the legacy of the Enlightenment. The conversation includes: exactly how good the state of the world is, “thick” versus “thin” philosophy, the […]

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Why I Don’t “Believe” in Science

For some years now, one of the left’s favorite tropes has been the phrase “I believe in science.” Elizabeth Warren stated it recently in a pretty typical form: “I believe in science. And anyone who doesn’t has no business making decisions about our environment.” This was in response to news that scientists who are skeptical […]

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Salon of the Refused, Episode 8

Episode 8 of my video and podcast series, Salon of the Refused, is now available. I talk with Alex Berezow, Vice President of Scientific Affairs at the American Council on Science and Health, about misunderstandings and misrepresentations of science in the news. The conversation includes: how DNA ancestry tests are like horoscopes, the fundamental problems […]

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The Vindication of Reason

Nathanael Blake invites me to “discuss our differences over a bottle of whiskey and a large stack of books.” I’ll say yes to the whiskey, though I’ll have a few additions of my own to make to his list of books. This is his introduction to a case that the Enlightenment ideal of rationality is […]

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Hurricane Florence Proves that Weather Is Climate

During the approach of Hurricane Florence, the left has been going all Pat Robertson on us, claiming that the storm is a higher power’s vengeance on America for our wickedness. No, it’s not God who is sending this storm to smite us for our sinful debauchery. It’s global warming that has come to punish us […]

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What Does It Mean to Be a Parrott?

Five Things You Need to Read Today August 30, 2018 1. Overhanging Existential Dread A while back, I described the dominant mood of the Trump presidency as one of “overhanging existential dread.” For every good thing we get out of this administration–say, a reasonably good Supreme Court appointment or two–there is always the question looming […]

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How to Defend the Enlightenment Without Really Trying

The Trump era—which has been characterized by a rise of anti-intellectualism, the ideological muddling of the right, and a swerve toward illiberalism on both sides of the political debate—has, by way of compensation, also produced a mini-revival of interest and debate about the philosophical ideas of the Enlightenment. One of the most prominent entries in […]

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Science That Lives by the Narrative Can Die by the Narrative

“Science” is all the rage these days, particularly among those who preen themselves as the “party of science.” We’re not just supposed to love science. We’re supposed to love it with an intensity so great, we need to drop the F-bomb to express it. We’re supposed to learn about science from popularizers who are alternately […]

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