Two views on tipping

Half of the British population born in 1851 died before they were 50. Half of those born today will reach 95. This trend is not uniquely British.

Saying #AllahisGay can get you banned from entering Britain, apparently

These photos are seriously underreported

Sessions Fires McCabe

JONATHAN TURLEY

McCabeThis evening, I discussed why I thought Attorney General Jeff Sessions would fire Andrew McCabe.  Now that has come to pass in a late night announcement that McCabe has been terminated just 24 hours before his retirement (and eligibility for a pension).

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When, exactly, did India get a nuclear weapon?

Shashank Joshi

French Mirage 2000N carrying a nuclear-capable missile (India operates the Mirage 2000H variant) French Mirage 2000N carrying a nuclear-capable missile (India operates the Mirage 2000H variant). Photo from The Aviationist

According to one senior air force official, “In the early 1990s, the air force was thinking of one-way missions. . . . [I]t was unlikely that the pilot deployed on a nuclear attack mission would have made it back.”

A senior Indian defense official privy to this effort disclosed to the author that, until [Kargil in 1999], the air force had no idea (1) what types of weapons were available; (2) in how many numbers; and (3) what it was expected to do with the weapons.


In the latest IS (the journal, not the jihadist group!), Gaurav Kampani has a fascinating article on India’s nuclear weapons [1].

He makes a conceptual distinction (p79-80) between  a nuclear device (“an apparatus that presents proof of scientific principle that a nuclear explosion will occur”) and actual weaponization (“building compact reliable…

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Is evolutionary psychology worthless?

Why Evolution Is True

There’s been a lot of kerfuffle on the intertubes about the value of evolutionary psychology, the field that studies the evolutionary roots of human thought, language, and behavior. I want to weigh in here with my answer to the question posed in the title, and my answer is, “Certainly not!”

Now I am known as a critic of evolutionary psychology, and I have been quite critical. For example, I’ve published two scathing critiques (one with Andrew Berry) of Randy Thornhill and Craig Palmer’s unfounded theories of the adaptive significance of rape (see references below). I have gone after the popular distortions of evolutionary psychology that appear in the press or books (e.g., my comments on David Brooks’s New Yorker article “Social animal”—an article subsequently turned into a dreadful book). And I have criticized some evolutionary psychologists for failing to police the speculative excesses of their colleagues.  But I’ve never…

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When offense trumps truth: the demonization of “inconvenient ideas”

Why Evolution Is True

The Conversation site has featured a lot of stinkers lately, but occasionally a good piece manages to sneak in. One of these is by my old friend, philosopher and writer Russell Blackford: “Don’t shoot the messenger when confronted with inconvenient ideas“.

As we know, there are certain ideas that, in many political circles—and Blackford is talking about both Left and Right here—are not to be expressed because, although they might be true, they contravene the political narrative of the group.

For the Left, evolutionary psychology is one of these. The field, though it sometimes uses unacceptably low standards of evidence, also has an undeniably intriguing and worthwhile purpose: to figure out what part of our behaviors and thoughts reflect natural selection in our ancestors. After all, if our bodies show traces of our evolutionary ancestry—and they do in spades—then why not our minds?

Yes, culture can alter behaviors…

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Sex, Gender and Bullshit Part 3: The Science of Dating

The case against education (Part 1) – interview with Bryan Caplan

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