February 2009

For anyone interested in the controversy over MMR vaccines and autism, David Gorski’s comprehensive fisking is a must-read. The exposé of that sleazy fraud Andrew Wakefield is particularly detailed. After presenting the unambiguous findings of the various “special masters”, Gorski points out what’s really going on here: Special Master Hastings recognized one of the main…

Read More Comprehensively refuting the antivaccinationists

I just learned from my mother that an old friend of ours, Ken Binning, died last weekend. Ken was an extroverted, larger than life man, with a booming laugh, a firm handshake, and a slight stutter which enhanced rather than interrupting his jovial repartee. I first met him when I was a child: Ken was…

Read More Ken Binning, RIP

I’ve just posted a review of Denis Dutton’s wonderful new book “The Art Instinct: Beauty, Pleasure, and Human Evolution”: If you’re reading this, you probably enjoy books. You take pleasure from good writing, compelling insights, and the kind of well-turned argument that gives you that “aha!” moment of recognition, identification, and delight. Imagine then the…

Read More The Art Instinct

[w]hen the GOP enforces a party line vote against the stimulus bill and then goes on Sunday morning talk shows to complain about the lack of bipartisanship in the White House, it’s like a shopkeeper complaining that he’s got no sales while he’s waving a gun at anyone who tries to enter the store. John…

Read More Quote of the day

When politicians use mutually incompatible arguments to attack the same proposal, it’s safe to say that they are more interested in scoring political points than actually participating in a meaningful debate. Here’s Andrew Sullivan on RNC posturing about the stimulus bill: On the one hand, they seem to be saying (a la McCain) that this…

Read More The extraordinary cluelessness of the Republicans