by Denyse O'Leary
A friend writes to draw my attention to New Humanist wondering what is happening at New Scientist:
Last week we had Turkey's leading science magazine being forced to spike a story on Darwin, but could we now have a similar story somewhat closer to home? The blogosphere is awash with news that the New Scientist have pulled a piece from their website entitled "How to Spot a Hidden Religious Agenda", in which their book reviews editor Amanda Gefter explains the key signs she looks out for when deciding if a "science" book is in fact a creationist tract. At the URL where the article was, all that remains is the message, "New Scientist has received a complaint about the contents of this story. It has temporarily been removed while we investigate. Apologies for any inconvenience", along with the 643 comments the article must have received before it was pulled.The Skepticism Examiner give details of what was in the article, including what must have been the opening paragraph:
Oddly, the blog post mentions me:
Some general sentiments are also red flags. Authors with religious motives make shameless appeals to common sense, from the staid - "There is nothing we can be more certain of than the reality of our sense of self" (James Le Fanu in Why Us?) - to the silly - "Yer granny was an ape!" (creationist blogger Denyse O'Leary). If common sense were a reliable guide, we wouldn't need science in the first place.
Well, I think Gefter should try a litttle common sense, and maybe she wouldn't be in this mess.
I presume that Gefter is annoyed with me for accurately describing New Scientist as the National Enquirer of pop science mags, principally based on this performance by herself.
For the record, I was not the one who complained, although I am not in fact a creationist in any meaningful sense of the word. People like Gefter typically just say whatever they want anyway; it's better not to get into it with them. I am pretty sure that, in any event, the blogosphere isn't really awash with a tsunami of news about this. These people all take themselves way too seriously.
Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose
Catching up here: But remember, there isn't a debate over Darwinism; No end to the evil, I guess; Also from the evil Discos - Debate over Behe's Edge of Evolution; Podcasts in the intelligent design controversy; Intellectual freedom in Canada: Fire. Them. All. News Roundup - Hey, spring hasn't been cancelled after all! Gotta hand it to the ol' boy; Science has a future after all - but it isn't Darwinism; Gene, gene, the meadow is green - and where are you when I need to blame you for something?; Intelligent design and popular culture: Biomimicry So you acknowledge that Darwinism is in fact a cult?; Poll: In Darwin's birthday year, people want to hear alternatives; From my mouth to God's ear: Ben Stein gets a bore-free evening at home!; The Dino-Birds land ... again?; Attempt a zillion to one to exonerate Darwin of racism; Intellectual freedom in Canada: Stephen Harper: Maybe
not just a dish rag?; Honour killings - why we don't accept it here
Toronto-based Canadian journalist Denyse O'Leary (www.designorchance.com) is the author of the multiple award-winning By Design or by Chance? (Augsburg Fortress 2004), an overview of the intelligent design controversy. She was named CBA Canada's Recommended Author of the Year in 2005 and is co-author, with Montreal neuroscientist Mario Beauregard, of The Spiritual Brain: A neuroscientist's case for the existence of the soul (Harper 2007).
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