Quantum 109 – Islamist Extremism & Atheist Fundamentalism

This week’s podcast – Quantum of Solas 109 – is out now on iTunes, Podbean and the Solas website here:


  1. Islam. The doctrine of abrogation is never mentioned whenever it is frequently stated that Islam is a religion of peace, which results in passive, sagacious, nodding of acquiescence all round.

    Male reproductive organs as a social construct? No doubt the authors are Richard Head the First and the Second. On what level of social construct is a brain that comes up with this guff. Where their heads head assuming they are not not a virtual realities, mere intelligence that is artificial? Surely, female organs, then, become social deconstructs and we return to a binary nature. And the in-betweenies will not know whether they are in the process of construction or deconstruction.

    If their brain organs are socially constructed how can they be relied on to function physiologically, along with heart, lung, skin, eyes and all the other organs, I suppose this hypothesis expands to include all the animal world. Do dogs socially construct their sexual organs?

    It’s easy to ridicule at length, but they, the authors, are messing up real people.

  2. In an otherwise excellent podcast, you made a comment on the article by Boghossian and Lindsay, suggesting that peer-review is a joke. I agree that peer-review has its flaws, but this article does not show it. This is a pay-per-publish journal that has no serious standing in the social sciences. An article on Salon, “Why the “Conceptual Penis” hoax was a bust: It only reveals the lack of skepticism among skeptics” outlines several reasons why this hoax was a flop. Cheers

    1. Thanks….I think that peer review is of course a good idea – but it has often been turned in to something else and doesn’t take account of bias of the peers…and indeed the whole system. The way it has been used in recent years (to exclude and shut down) means that it itself has come into disrepute.

  3. That famous Atheist Fundamentalist , Richard Dawkins, has conceded that religions ( other than the indigenous Arab Religion ) possesses some usefulness.


    Dr Dawkins’ new – found views were shared ( as he doubtless knows ) by intelligent men of Ancient Greece and Rome who appreciated the social utility of Religion while not themselves believing in the Supernatural.

  4. Peer review and research:

    1 Sir Muir Grey was an instigator of the Cochrane Collaboration in the NHS due to the concern over the poor quality of peer review, including non disclosure.

    2 Today, I caught part of a program on BBC Radio 4. There was discussion on the effect of abortion on men. There was a significant comment that there wasn’t much research as there were fears that the results could be used by the pro-life, anti abortion lobby. It’s also likely that it would be difficult to obtain funding for that research, for similar reasons.

    From the little I heard, men could be badly affected, notwithstanding a feminist dismissing it out of hand, being of consequence in a woman’s exclusive decision, even when pressed by the female presenter, to accede to the view that the father should be involved.

    Would a feminist qualitative researcher disclose their feminism, which would affect the questions asked, the what, why, how and who of the subjects and scope and conclusion of the research

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