Science

CRB: Giving up Darwin

Featured image We conclude our week-long preview of the new (Spring) issue of the Claremont Review of Books (subscribe here) this morning. I stretched our preview to from three days to five in part because of my indecision, in part because of my desire to give readers a glimpse of the many highlights on display in this issue. I think we have a good thing going. We conclude with a highlight of »

Dinosaurs and Liberal Fossils

Featured image Lots of interest right now in a New Yorker article, “The Day the Dinosaurs Died,” about a paleontological find in North Dakota that purports to encapsulate the moments and hours after the dinosaur-killing meteor struck 66 million years ago. It’s a fun read, though some scientists have been expressing skepticism—perhaps borne of jealousy? The research hasn’t been published yet in a peer-reviewed journal! What—do we need to replicate an asteroid »

You Think What You Eat?

Featured image Back in December I brought you the latest social science findings about the ideological meaning of . . . coffee choices. Sure enough, liberals do drink more lattes than conservatives, in part, the authors of the study speculated, because a preference for latte could somehow be connected to a more cosmopolitan, internationalist outlook, whereas the xenophobia of conservatives inclined them against liking Eurotrash beverages. Whatever. But the joke was on »

Liberal Social Darwinism In Action

Featured image I think it was our pal Charles Kesler who once remarked that “Social Darwinism” was the only kind of Darwinism that liberals oppose, though to be sure it is actually the progressive left that the label “Social Darwinism” fits most accurately. In any case, the liberals of Seattle seem determined to give Darwinian survival of the fittest a good workout. From NPR this week: Washington State Officials Declare State Of »

Why Scientists Are Distrusted

Featured image The latest issue of Nature magazine has a fascinating article that goes some of the way in vindicating Ronald Reagan’s infamous “gaffe” about how trees cause air pollution (because they do), but offers much much more about the problems of politicized and supposedly “settled” climate science. The article is called “How Much Can Forests Fight Climate Change?“, and it walks through just how unsettled this question is. The subhed to »

Nathan Glazer, RIP

Featured image Sad news today of the passing of the sociologist Nathan Glazer at the age of 95. Glazer was among those liberal social scientists who, starting in the late 1960s, began having serious second thoughts about the liberal policy paradigm. As the New York Times puts it in its obituary notice: Mr. Glazer’s turn to neoconservatism followed an almost paradigmatic path. Throughout the 1950s, and even after he went to work »

The Great Issue of Our Time…

Featured image …is whether, as a people, we are too dumb to sustain a democracy. This question arises often; for me, most recently, upon seeing this Daily Mail headline: “Twitter user stuns the internet with math that proves one 18-inch pizza has more in it than TWO 12-inch helpings.” The theory was posted by U.S.-based Twitter user @fermatslibrary. Theory. Supported by a graphic, the theory proves that one 18 inch pizza is »

Settled Science: There Really Are ‘Latte Liberals’

Featured image I’m sure most readers took note of the hoax identity politics academic journal articles recently, but I have found a real article that you could easily suppose to be a hoax. The article is “The Real Reason Liberals Drink Lattes,” and it appears in PS, which is a secondary journal of the American Political Science Association (APSA). (That’s PS, not BS, you wiseacres out there!) This relevant bit of social »

When Did NASA Go to Pot?

Featured image If you study the history of NASA’s Apollo program in the 1960s, one thing you come to realize is that the tight timetable to reach the moon by the end of the decade meant that NASA didn’t have time to ossify into a bureaucracy, and they did things (i.e., took risks) in those days that would never be permitted today. But you knew NASA had slipped into the maw of »

“Ban the Box” Gets Boxed in Again

Featured image We reported here last year about research showing that a favorite Obama policy initiative known as “Ban the Box” (that is, prohibit employers from inquiring about a person’s criminal history on employment applications) was having the opposite effect, and was increasing discrimination against blacks. Two women economists writing in the Quarterly Journal of Economics concluded: Our results support the concern that BTB policies encourage racial discrimination: the black-white gap in »

Science: The Cultural Politics of Gluten

Featured image And now for something completely different. . . Sometimes science can be positively hilarious, except when it sets up another screen for detecting bigotry and sexism. That’s the case for a brand new study just out from the National Institutes of Health entitled “Too picky for my taste? The effect of the gluten-free dietary restriction on impressions of romantic partners.” Summary: turns out that being gluten-free is just fine if »

Conservatives Pass the Smell Test

Featured image Oh those wacky social scientists. In past years we’ve noted the social “science” findings that conservatives are supposedly paranoid, dumb, authoritarian (though in one celebrated case, the study gots its codes backwards and it was actually liberals who were all of these things), but also that conservatives are better looking than liberals, and even smell better, too. But it turns out—can you believe it?—that conservatives have a better sense of smell »

Is America a Seething Hotbed of Racism and Bigotry?

Featured image The premise of diversity training at places like Google (and the various identity politics departments in universities that churn out endless theories of racism, sexism, etc. that back it up) is that implicit racism, sexism and all-around bigotry is pervasive in American society. Maybe DNC members like Bull Connor no longer turn firehoses on blacks in the South, and maybe Democratic jurists like Roger Taney no longer openly proclaim white »

An Emetic for Gore

Featured image Ten years ago, after An Inconvenient Truth appeared, I produced my own 48-minute video lecture on what’s wrong with Al Gore’s account of the whole matter, which I called An Inconvenient Truth—Or Convenient Fiction? (It’s still up on YouTube, along with a short update I did one year later, but both are way out of date now, so I don’t especially recommend them.) I just haven’t got it in me to suffer »

Apoc-Eclipse After Action Report

Featured image The Power Line Northwest News Bureau is now styling by the pool after an exhausting morning of eclipse chasing. Is this one of Daniel Boorstin’s “pseudo-events,” or just the media coverage, whose dire warnings of epic traffic jams out here in central Oregon were totally not true at all? But somehow this image does seem accurate: Faithful Power Line reader and punchline provider David Deeble points out that democracy must »

Apoc-eclipse Preview

Featured image As mentioned the other day, I’ve trekked up to central Oregon, near Bend, to take in the total eclipse tomorrow. They’re calling it “apoc-eclipse,” but I think the predictions of traffic armageddon is fake news, rather like the predictions for massive gridlock at the 1984 LA Olympics, where in fact just the opposite occurred—it saw the least traffic congestion in years. Some other time maybe I’ll explain why this is »

Silicon Valley’s Next Gender Thoughtcrime

Featured image Power Line can announce that it has identified the next Gender Thoughtcrime offender in Silicon Valley, and it is a doozy. First, here are a few samples from the transgressing article (author ID and publication reference at the end): [O]ver the past 15 years or so, there’s been a sea change as new technologies have generated a growing pile of evidence that there are inherent differences in how men’s and »