Breaking Down Cass Review Myths and Misconceptions: What You Need to Know: Part 2

16th April, 2024 3

Continued from Breaking Down Cass Review Myths and Misconceptions: What You Need to Know: Part 1 The Myths (Part 1) … Myth 1: 98% of all studies in this area were ignoredMyth 2: Cass recommended no Trans Healthcare for Under 25s.Myth 3: Cass is demanding only Double Blind Randomised Controlled Trials be used as evidence in “Trans Healthcare”Myth 4: There were less than 10 detransitioners out of 3499 patients in [read more…]

Breaking Down Cass Review Myths and Misconceptions: What You Need to Know: Part 1

14th April, 2024 22

It has now been just little under a week since the publication of the long anticipated NHS independent review of gender identity services for children and young people, the Cass Review. The review recommends sweeping changes to child services in the NHS, not least the abandonment of what is known as the “affirmation model” and the associated use of puberty blockers and, later, cross-sex hormones. The evidence base could not [read more…]

Brighton Sceptics and the Reece’s Pieces

22nd November, 2023 0

from the twitter thread. Let me tell you about “Reece’s Pieces”. So, Brighton Skeptics were to hold a talk in January between Hannah Barnes and Helen Lewis. Barnes was the journalist who wrote a book exposing the debacle of the Tavistock gender clinic and how it was desperately failing vulnerable children. What a perfect topic for a public critical thinking meeting! It involves the failure of evidence-based medicine, the ideological [read more…]

Getting AI to write a Thesis on Transgender and Non-binary Archaeology.

4th April, 2023 4

So, today we discovered that The University of York is going to offer the ex-mayor of Bangor a PhD scholarship to study “Transgender and Non-Binary Archaeology”. Given the very concepts of “transgender” and “non-binary” did not exist until a few months ago, the archaeological record is likely to be mainly located in high street litter and topsoil. Call me old-fashioned, but my PhD was mostly about coming up with some [read more…]

The Muddling of the American Mind – Part II

22nd March, 2023 16

Apologies for the delay on publshing Part II. The weight of muddle proved too much for me at times! But I thought I must publish as far as I got… This is Part II of an appraisal of Steven Novella’s claim that it is “not scientifically controversial” that science is not a “binary” of male and female but a “bimodal distribution”. (Part 1 here) In short, is sex a discrete [read more…]

The Muddling of the American Mind: Part I

23rd July, 2022 76

In a recent blog post on the web site Science Based Medicine, Steven Novella asks the question “What does the science actually say about biological sex?” His motivations are made quite clear in the opening paragraphs where he wants to clear up “misconceptions” about sex that mean we do not know how “best to approach people who identify as transgender or non-binary”. But rather than clear up misconceptions, Novella wades [read more…]

On the Sex Deracination Gambit

19th July, 2021 19

Prospect Magazine is an “intellectuals’” magazine in the UK covering arts, society, science and politics. Their Summer issue contains an essay by journalist Angela Saini called “What is a woman?”. I wrote a twitter thread detailing how this essay is a good example of a type of argument used to trick people into thinking sex is not a well established scientific concept. This is that (slightly edited) twitter thread… This [read more…]

The Decline and Fall of Science-based Medicine

7th July, 2021 19

The philosophy of science-based medicine (SBM) is a response to perceived shortcomings in the practice of evidence-based medicine. EBM is the movement that strives to make medical treatments less dependent on the authority and experience of doctors, and instead put authority in the best available clinical evidence for that treatment. “EBM is the conscientious, explicit, judicious and reasonable use of modern, best evidence in making decisions about the care of [read more…]

On the Ontology and Epistemology of Sex

9th April, 2021 17

Much confusion appears to exist in popular discussion about the nature of sex. This has political importance at the moment, most visibly in recognition of people with trans identities in law and society. Confusions abound around conflations of the terms sex and gender, but, most fundamentally, about what a sex is, and what it means for an organism, animal or human, to have a sex. What is a sexed body? [read more…]

Scepticism and The Social Ubiquity of Magical Thinking

24th February, 2021 2

An essential read for any sceptic is the early 19th Century classic, The Golden Bough by Cambridge Scholar Sir James Fraser. Fraser set out to catalogue, describe and categorise the various forms of magic and religion around the world. It is a dense and rich book full of all sorts of traditions, beliefs, rituals and rites. The book sets out the principles of Sympathetic Magic early on. Sympathetic Magic is [read more…]

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