Human Exceptionalism

chimpanzés famille
chimpanzés famille

Using Bonobos to Bash Human Exceptionalism

The other day I heard an interview on NPR’s “All Things Considered” about bonobos and their capacity for “culture.” A couple of reporters were talking about a journal article for eLife, “Social Learning: Does culture shape hunting behavior in bonobos?” Read More ›
Close-up shot of microscope with metal lens at laboratory.
Photo by kkolosov on Adobe Stock

The Ideological Corruption of Science

Why don’t many people “trust the science” anymore? Perhaps because science, as an institution, has fallen prey to the same ideological infection that has invaded and corrupted many other institutions. But it is too rarely discussed, which is why a Sunday Wall Street Journal column by theoretical physicist Lawrence Krauss is so important. Read More ›
African American man in a hospital bed.
Stock photo by digitalskillet1 on Adobe Stock

The Deadly “Quality of Life” Ethic

Something evil happened recently in Austin. Michael Hickson, a forty-six-year-old African-American man with quadriplegia and a serious brain injury, was refused treatment at St. David’s Hospital South Austin while ill with COVID-19. Read More ›
Photo by Katarzyna Grabowska

Independence Day and Renewed Vigor

Happy Independence Day! As America marks July 4th, it’s worth taking a few moments to pause in gratitude for the Declaration of Independence and its lasting importance for what America’s framers recognized about the human person, the source of human dignity, and the nature of human rights. Clarke Forsythe, Senior Counsel at Americans United for Life (and a colleague and friend) writes in National Review today on why the Declaration still matters for all Americans: Amid our national dialogue over race and justice, my family’s reading of the Declaration of Independence will be even more meaningful than usual this Fourth of July. At the core of the Declaration — the founding political document of America — is the principle that the Read More ›

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon
woman in green shirt beside woman in blue shirt

Why Fear Masks?

A friend asked for my thoughts about a new performance of Monteverdi’s “Beatus vir” (1640) by the Prague “early music” group Collegium 1704. It’s disturbing to see the combination of beautiful music, beautiful setting, beautifully produced video, even the instruments are beautiful (the interestingly shaped bows, for example, true to the historical period) — and then the COVID masks the performers all wear. The Latin text is Psalm 112, “Praise ye the Lord. Blessed is the man that feareth the Lord.” If I ran Collegium 1704, I suppose I would do just as they did. If you’re an artist, you want people to say, “Did you see…? What do you think of…?” In that, they succeeded. Yet the images are Read More ›

Doctor Injecting Patient With Coronavirus Vaccine
Licensed from Adobe Stock

Dershowitz Wrong: Government Can’t Compel You to Take COVID-19 Vaccine

Harvard law professor emeritus Alan Dershowitz has made quite a media stir by claiming that the government can force us all to receive COVID-19 vaccines if one is developed. But And the government certainly doesn’t have “the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm.” Read More ›
Photo by Ahmed Zayan

Nevada Governor Partially Bars Use of Malaria Drug for Coronavirus

Some not bright people tragically poison themselves with a fish-tank cleaner because an ingredient in the compound is similar to those in the anti-malaria drugs that anecdotally have helped people deathly ill with coronavirus. Then, Nevada governor Steve Sisolak signs an emergency order preventing the medications’ use treating the virus in Nevada, which certainly seems extreme. What’s going on? Predictably, the AP story blames Trump: Nevada’s governor has signed an emergency order barring the use of anti-malaria drugs for someone who has the coronavirus. Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s order Tuesday restricting chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine comes after President Donald Trump touted the medication as a treatment for the virus. Trump last week falsely stated that the Food and Drug Administration had just approved the Read More ›

Photo by Katarzyna Grabowska

Biden’s Coronavirus Adviser Wants to Die at 75

Joe Biden has announced the creation of a “Public Health Advisory Committee,” consisting of Democratic experts to advise him about how to best grapple with the coronavirus during the campaign. The bioethicist Ezekiel Emanuel — the most famous person on the committee — made headlines a few years ago by writing that he wants to die at age 75 before becoming "feeble, ineffectual". Joe Biden is 77. Read More ›