-- Reality bites – especially in a war
Disinformation – what it is, who promotes it, and how to combat it.
Nord Stream terrorism, UN failure, and “Official Secrets”
Secret “war-crime” warrants by International Criminal Court is mischief-making
Getting the full story about Ukraine
The west vs the rest – the world is changing
Ukraine commemorates Nazi collaborators
Do New Zealanders no longer support Ukraine?
The subtlety of neo-Nazi influence in Ukraine – ignored by our media
Where are Ukrainian refugees going? – an update
Is New Zealand covertly supporting the glorification of neo-Nazism?
Following the war in Ukraine – an update
Russian anti-war protester goes to see for herself
You can’t understand Ukraine without acknowledging its deep divisions
Once again, those Russian neo-Nazis – the Wagner group
A heartwarming story about a Ukrainian prisoner of war
Over 50 POWs killed. A military accident or a cynical war crime?
Ukraine/Russia war, an intelligence operation or a sting, Ukrainian and UK spies, and Bellingcat
Mainstream media defends poor journalism by smearing good journalism
Ukraine war – a shocking failure of our mainstream media
How is the war going?
Why should Ukraine listen to lame duck Boris Johnson?
Ukraine war – a failure of honest diplomacy and reason
British volunteer soldier in Ukraine speaks up
What about those Russian neo-Nazis?
Neo-Nazis in Ukraine – stages of denial
Confusion about neo-Nazis in Ukraine-Russia war
Neo-Nazis in Ukraine. Comedians are often more truthful than politicians.
Ukraine – a beginner’s guide
Why the silence on censorship?
Everything You Know About Ukraine Is WRONG
Some sense on the Russia-Ukraine war
British volunteer soldier in Ukraine tells his story
Virtue signaling over Ukraine
Fluoridation and child IQ – the problem of counting chickens before they hatch
August ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
July ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
June ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoridation group tells porkies about NZ fluoridation review
Opponents of fluoridation all at sea with new legislation
Update of NZ fluoridation review timely and useful
May ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation contribution to heavy metals in drinking water is too low to measure
April ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Hip fractures in the elderly and fluoride – contradictory evidence
March ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
An open letter to Paul Connet and the anti-fluoride movement
February ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Data dredging, p-hacking and motivated discussion in anti-fluoride paper
Censorship: Thinking you are right – even if you’re wrong
Embarrassing knock-back of second draft review of possible cognitive health effects of fluoride
The promotion of weak statistical relationships in science
Can we trust science?
January ’21 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
I don’t “believe” in science – and neither should you
December ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Science is often wrong – be critical
November ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Hyping it up over fluoridation
September ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
August ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
July ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Even studies from endemic fluorosis areas show fluoride is not harmful at levels used in fluoridation
Canadian studies confirm findings of Broadbent et al (2015) – fluoridation has no effect on child IQ
Child IQ in countries with endemic fluorosis imply fluoridation is safe.
Anti-fluoride 65 brain-fluoride studies not evidence against fluoridation
June ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking delayed
Another study used by anti-fluoride activists actually shows community water fluoridation OK
May ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
When scientists get political: Lead fluoride-IQ researcher launches emotional attack on her scientific critics
New study touted by anti-fluoridation campaigners actually indicates fluoridation is safe
No relationship of bone cancer to fluoridation – another new study the anti-fluoride brigade will attempt to ignore
New review finds fluoride is not a developmental neurotoxicant at exposure levels relevant to fluoridation
April ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoride campaigners still rely on irrelevant studies
Author confirms anti-fluoridation activist misrepresentation of her work
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 6: Incestuous relationship of these studies
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 5: Don’t censor yourself
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 4: Till et al (2020)
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 3: Riddell et al (2019)
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 2: Green et al (2019)
Anti-fluoridation propaganda now relies on only four studies. 1: Bashash et al (2018)
March ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
No; a new study from Ethiopia does not indicate fluoridation is bad for your bones
Anti-fluoridationists put faith in new “strong” studies to provide evidence missing in draft NTP review
Industry-funded translation can introduce bias in selection of studies for scientific review
Another embarrassment for anti-fluoride campaigners as neurotoxic claim found not to be justified
February ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Beware of scientific paper abstracts – read the full text to avoid being fooled
January ’20 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation and sex steroid hormones – or the mouse that roared
What are the recent fluoride-IQ studies really saying about community water fluoridation?
December ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation science and political advocacy – who is fooling who?
Scientific integrity & fluoridation – Dr Ghali responds
Sleep disorders and fluoride: dredging data to confirm a bias
Some fluoride-IQ researchers seem to be taking in each other’s laundry
Statistical manipulation to get publishable results
Scientific integrity requires critical investigation – not blind acceptance
November ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoride propagandists appear not to read the articles they promote
The anti-fluoride brigade won’t be erecting billboards about this study
October ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
ADHD and fluoride – wishful thinking supported by statistical manipulation?
Experts complain to funding body about quality of fluoride-IQ research
What do these mother-child studies really say about fluoridation?
September ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Biostatistical problems with the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
Fluoridation – A new fight against scientific misinformation
An evidence-based discussion of the Canadian fluoride/IQ study
More expert comments on the Canadian fluoride-IQ paper
Politics of science – making a silk purse out of a sow’s ear
August ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Bye, bye to the collusion lie
If at first you don’t succeed . . . statistical manipulation might help
Anti-fluoride activists misrepresent a new kidney/liver study
July ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
MH17 tragedy- 5 years on
June ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Chemical watchdog confirms suppressed report but justifies the suppression
May ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Does international chemical watchdog cherry-pick evidence to confirm a bias?
Psychology of Russiagate – an adult discussion for a change
April ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Russiagate – Some insights into its origins and results
Russiagate: Lessons for the media. But will they listen?
March ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Aftermath of the Mueller report – the media starts looking at itself
Mueller report to be released mid April – but it will be redacted
Collapse of the “Russiagate ” myth exposes how corporate media has failed
Getting out alive – why we should always demand evidence
Terrorism in Christchurch – some thoughts
“Disinformation” and the mainstream media
February ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
January ’19 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Preempting the annual misrepresentation of NZ dental health data by anti-fluoride activists
December ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation: Another study shows stopping fluoridation bad for child tooth decay
November ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Media manipulation – the tail wags the dog
Protection of teeth by fluoride confirmed – yet again
And you thought Russiagate could not get sillier.
Trump and the media – codependents wallowing in the mud
Julian Assange’s mother appeals for her son’s freedom
October ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Nuclear dangers if INF treaty abandoned could be worse than in the 1980s
Fluoridation and ADHD: A new round of statistical straw clutching
September ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
September ’18 NZ blog ranking – delayed
Flight MH17 tragedy in Ukraine – new evidence
Novichock detection and the Salisbury tourists
A more convincing take on prenatal maternal dietary effects on child IQ
Fluoridation: “debating” the science?
Opportunities and problems for grassroots activism offered by the internet
August ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Who is weaponising the vaccination debate?
Another BUK accident in Ukraine
Policing social media – who is coming next and who is behind it?
Political interference prevents investigators from considering the “bleeding obvious”
July ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Mainstream media “mob violence” over Helsinki summit
Blatant misreporting of latest OPCW report on chemical weapons in Syria
Time for a serious auditing of Porton Down’s nerve agent stocks?
June ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoride campaigners exhaust their legal channels with another loss
Magical World Cup Gala Concert
May ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoridation activists buy scientific credibility using a predatory publisher
Another shonky OPCW chemical incident report on Syria
Not just another rat study
Russian sports doping scandal looking like an illusion?
April ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Mainstream media-political alliance gets vindictive
Novichock – a marketing ploy?
The “heart of the Syrian chemical weapons programme” destroyed?
OPCW on Salisbury poisoning – one step forward, two back?
Anti-fluoridationist Paul Connett misrepresents NZ data
Anti-fluoridationists rejection of IQ studies in fluoridated area.
March ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
A conference paper on the maternal prenatal urinary fluoride/child IQ study has problems
The 52 IQ studies used by anti-fluoride campaigners
The real lessons from Vladimir Putin’s re-election
Why is it so difficult to get an open discussion on fluoridation?
Mary Byrne’s criticism is misplaced and avoids the real issues
Anti-fluoride group coordinator responds to my article
Where could you get a nerve agent in Salisbury?
The first casualty . .
Paul Connett’s misrepresentation of maternal F exposure study debunked
February ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Anti-fluoride activist commits “Death by PowerPoint”
Paul Connett “updates” NZ MPs about fluoride?
Anti-fluoride activists misrepresent another thyroid study
Fake news from the White Helmets returns
RT election subversion – yet again?
January ’18 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Yet another fluoride-IQ study
So you are saying . . . . . !
Jordan Peterson demonstrates the importance of free speech
Select your conspiracy theory and connect the dots
Whose who in the Russiagate affair – an infographic
A week of good news in New Zealand
Is “Russiagate” another deception like Iraqi WMDs?
“Fire and Fury” exposes the fundamental problems of the anti-Trump movement
Confirmation bias – we all suffer from it but how can we reduce its effect?
December ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Yet another way Russia is undermining our society
Anti-fluoridationists misrepresent New Zealand dental data – an annual event
Fluoridation means money in the pocket
Anti-fluoridation campaigners often use statistical significance to confirm bias
November ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The problem with scepticism
Chemical weapons use in Syria UN report flawed by political bias
Anti-fluoride “expert” finds the real reason oral health has improved – and it’s not fluoride
Meat substitutes – prospects and new ethical questions
October ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
New fluoride debate falters
Political maturity in New Zealand – at least compared to the US
Flaw and porkie in anti-fluoride report claiming a flaw in Canadian study
Do we need a new fluoride debate?
September ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Endemic fluorosis and its health effects
Maternal urinary fluoride/IQ study – an update
Fluoride, pregnancy and the IQ of offspring
Facts about fluorosis – not a worry in New Zealand
We need more post-publication peer review
Cassini plunges into Saturn tonight – a grand finale
What’s with the anti-fluoridationist promotion of dental health programmes?
Non-violence in the defence of free speech
August ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation not associated with ADHD – a myth put to rest
From Charlottesville to Boston – a lesson
Hypocrisy, irrationality and wise words from Monty Python
Are we all anti-fascist now?
Are fluoride researchers sacked for their findings?
Fluoridation and cancer
Local anti-fluoride activists tell porkies yet again
July ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The main stream media is out of touch
Don’t rely on sources – follow the evidence
Stovepiping to produce fake news
June ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Darwin, sexual selection and Putin
Fluoridation: Open letter to Democrats for Social Credit
Fluoridation: What’s happening with the New Zealand legislation?
May ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The “information war” and social media, or how to tell if you are a Kremlin troll
Anti-fluoridationists commonly misrepresent Ministry of Health data
ChildSmile – a complement, not an alternative, to fluoridation
Fluoridation helps protect adult teeth as well as children’s
Fluoridation: the truth about heavy metal contamination
Visualising the numbers – The Fallen of World War II
Bottle fed infants: fluoridated water not a problem
April ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Citing scientific studies and the arrogance of ignorance
No, fluoridation is not associated with leading causes of death
Anti-fluoridationists exploit infant deaths by fiddling statistics
Here we go again
The Putin Derangement Syndrome
Bottle fed infants: fluoridated water not a problem.
March ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Another anti-fluoridation whopper
2018 Global Atheist Convention
Fluoridation: Making sense of the Ministry of Health data
Fluoride, coffee and activist confusion
Trump didn’t invent the problems – and his opponents didn’t invent protest
Anti-fluoride authors indulge in data manipulation and statistical porkies
Be careful what you wish for
An Oscar for Al Qaeda?
February ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
EPA comprehensively debunks anti-fluoride claims of a fluoride-IQ effect
Anti-fluoridationists go to Supreme Court – who is paying for this?
Debunking a “classic” fluoride-IQ paper by leading anti-fluoride propagandists
Islamophobia or mental illness?
Tha Amnesty report – and a response from Syria
Non-fluoridated Christchurch does not have better teeth than fluoridated Auckland
January ’17 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Debunking anti-fluoridationist’s remaining 12 reasons for opposing fluoridation
Madonna teaches us a lesson in critical thinking
New research confirms adults benefit from community water fluoridation as well as children
Premature births a factor in cognitive deficits observed in areas of endemic fluorosis?
Sources our mainstream media uses to promote their narrative about Syria
More nails in the coffin of the anti-fluoridation myths around IQ and hypothyroidism
Water fluoridation – what to expect in the near future
Fluoridation: New scientific review of fluoride and oral health
Critical thinking, not censorship, is the solution to fake news
Anti-fluoride IQ claims are false
December ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Large Swedish study finds no effect of fluoride on IQ
Fake news and the new fact-free reporting paradigm
Fluoridation: New research confirms it is cost effective – yet again
Fluoridation: members of parliament call from submissions from scientific and health experts
Fake news, human suffering and the fight against terrorism
November ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Sometimes I think the world has gone mad
Leader of flawed fluoridation study gets money for another go
White Helmets confirm authenticity of acted “rescue” video
Manufacturing news, and opinion, about Syria
Why should we subsidise religious leaders and their silly statements?
Warriors, scouts, Trump’s election and your news media
US elections – who should you be angry with?
Trump’s victory – why the surprise, why the anger?
Anti-fluoride claims often not relevant to New Zealand
October ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
White Helmets dupes New Zealand government?
Voluntary media censorship is ethically wrong
Fluoridation not associated with hip fracture, heart attacks of osteosarcoma – new study
Anti-fluoridation activist Paul Connett has a senior moment about our debate
“Humanitarian” intervention and war crimes
Crocodile tears over Syria at UN security council
Anti-Syrian propaganda and the White Helmets
Shyness of anti-fluoride election candidates
Syria & the fog of war
September ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
But will it stand up in court?
Flogging a dead horse – anti-fluoridationists lose in court again
Syria UN Ambassador makes sense of the war in Syria
The shaky Syrian ceasefire agreement staggers on – or does it?
Fluoridation & democracy: Open letter to DHB candidate Andrew Buckley
When will they ever learn?
Ceasefire in Syria is exposing real nature of “moderate” rebels
What do Syrians think of the new cessation of hostilities agreement?
Dissecting pseudoscientific and political propaganda
August ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
An anti-fluoride trick: Impressing the naive with citations
Does community water fluoridation reduce diabetes prevalence?
“Filtering” out fluoride
Rio Olympics – what are those gold medals worth?
Fluoridation – freedom of choice
Is water fluoridation better than salt fluoridation?
Ethics and the doping scandal – a response to Guest Work
Being better informed – unexpected advice from The Guardian
July ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Quantifying the problem of international sports doping
Dental health – it’s not all about fluoride
The Putin diversion
The insult of low expectations
MH17 tragedy – 2 years on
Misrepresenting fluoride science – an open letter to Paul Connett
Are you really right?
June ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Why don’t feminists fight for Muslim women?
Permission to have that conversation
A cynical take on effective speakers
Richard Dawkins – speech to Reason Rally, 2016
Chemophobic scaremongering: Much ado about absolutely nothing
MH17 tragedy – new investigation launched
Fluoridation: News media should check press releases from anti-fluoridationists
Fluoridation debate: Responding to Tom O’Connor
May ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
New review shows clear economic benefits from community water fluoridation
Debating fluoridation and tyranny – Tom O’Connor responds
Attempting a tyranny of the minority on fluoridation
Writing to please the reader’s ear
Fluoridation: One small step sideways?
New research confirms water fluoridation does not cause bone cancers
Public discussion of science can be toxic
Fluoridation cessation studies reviewed – overall increase in tooth decay noted
Mistakes were made – but by who?
Don’t be fooled by simple media “science”
“Do the math” – a bit like “Do the research!”
Victory Day celebration of defeat of terrorism in Palmyra
Will we be using contact lens cameras in future?
Barrel bombs, hell cannons, Aleppo and media bias
April ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Korean community water fluoridation supported by new evidence
Science and management – a clash of cultures
Anti-fluoride campaigners cherry-pick irrelevant overseas research but can’t find relevant New Zealand research
Cochrane fluoridation review described as “empty”
Anti-fluoridationists misrepresent new dental data for New Zealand children
A challenge to anti-fluoridationers to justify their misrepresentation of New Zealand research
Fluoridation decisions to be made by District Health Boards
Nadine gives a necessary message to her fellow Muslims
Anti-fluoridationists now scaremonger about silica in your drinking water
Reversed responsibility and the burden of proof
Anti-fluoridation cherry-pickers at it again
March ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation: My podcast with with Howard Farran
Why is Donald Trump so successful – and will he win?
Why are our politicians so silent on Palmyra’s liberation from clutches of Daesh?
The US speaks in two tongues on terrorism
Chemistry is everywhere – even in those natural products
Life for women under Daesh (ISIS)
The toxicity of chemophobia
Anti-fluoridation campaigner, Stan Litras, misrepresents WHO
Hiding behind “experts”
The “interfaith” trap – particularly for atheists
A Chinese study the anti-fluoridation crowd won’t be citing
Misrepresentation, misogyny and misandry – these should concern sceptics
Searching articles on fluoride
February ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Big business funding of anti-science propaganda on health
Anti-fluoridationist’s flawed attacks on Calgary study
Media misleading on Syria
Stephen Fry on Twitter
Richard Dawkins and the Skeptics Conference controversy.
Is the media lying to you about Syria?
Fluoridation: Whakatane teaches us something we should already know
Chemistry – “to dupe, to cheat?”
What a pleasant surprise!
Censorship by demonisation
Once more on the IQ and fluoride myth – why ignore other factors?
January ’16 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoridation: Whakatane District Council makes the Hamilton mistake
New study finds community water fluoridation still cost effective
“Crusade Against Multiple Regression Analysis” – don’t throw baby out with bathwater
Fluoridation: Some simple chemistry
The danger of insisting on your own facts
Flight MH17 in Ukraine – what do intelligence services know?
Iron and fluoride in human milk
Hubris of the google researcher
The Harvard study and the Lancet paper
Cultural and ideological bias in scientific literature reviews
Facts, beliefs and delusions
Science – a method of investigation, not a belief system
Yet another misrepresentation of a dental health study
December ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peer review – the “tyranny” of the third reviewer
Christmas – “White Wine In The Sun”
Community water fluoridation still cost-effective
Democracy and expert advice on scientific issues
Fluoride and IQ – another study coming up
The hardest thing in life . .
Climate deal signed – now for the hard bit: action
Traditions and social arrangements out of step with social diversity
“Natural News” on trial in The Hague for crimes against science
Rejection of scientific studies in online discussions
Another defeat for anti-fluoridation claims about arsenic
November ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The problem with reasoned discussion
John Pilger on Paris, ISIS and Media Propaganda
Science is never done – some scientific terms explained
Studies show – or do they?
Should we trust science? – Wellington talk
Can world leaders learn from the Paris terror attacks?
Anti-fluoride hypothyroidism paper slammed yet again
Cyberchondria and similar “illnesses”
Onehunga and the “fluoride-free” myth
Thames voters decisively support fluoridation
Why doesn’t Putin shirtfront someone?
October ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Scientific papers, civil disobedience and personal networks
The quackery of anti-fluoride internet trolls
Our beautiful planet: Astronaut art works
Christian co-option of karakia
Combatting anti-fluoride Gish gallopers
MH17: Final technical report
Responding to Tracey Brown on fluoridation
“The ugly truth” – Tracey Brown ticks me off
MH17 – another Boeing sacrificed for investigation.
The ugly truth about critics of “the ugly truth” in science
Many Syrians see Russians as saviours
Door knockers should pay to interrupt us
September ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoride: More scaremongering using drug warnings
Putin’s UN address: “Do you realise what you’ve done?”
Obama’s United Nations address: “We Must Stamp Out ‘Apocalyptic Cult’ ISIS”
European and Māori major non-believers in NZ
Cochrane responds to misrepresentation of their fluoridation review
ChildSmile dental health – its pros and cons
Should all scientists really be militant atheists?
The Alternative Medicine Racket
The chemical party
A job with a view – but not for the clumsy
Fluoridation: Freedom of choice – and responsibility
My talk to the Reason & Science Society – an invite
Why the internet annoys chemists
Freedom of religion and belief – not a license to interfere with others
Humanitarian intervention – but when & how?
Discussing science on social media
August ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Australian census religion question – progress
In the end, it came down to the science in Denver
Subverting democratic consultation on the fluoride issue
Religious instruction scrapped from school curriculum in Victoria
Alternative reality of anti-fluoride “science”
What is life?
Anti-fluoride propagandists get creative with statistics
Fluoridation: Connett’s criticism of New Zealand research debunked
Fluoridation: Connett’s naive use of WHO data debunked
Time to give up on Sitemeter
70th anniversary of first use of atomic weapon against civilians
Connett misrepresents the fluoride and IQ data yet again
Fluoridation: Newsweek science journalism bottoms out
July ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The bureaucratic solution to a problem
Fluoridation: “Sciencey” sounding claims ruled unacceptable
Comparing the Cochrane and NZ Fluoridation Reviews
Rapid change in attitudes to marriage equality
Scaremongering and chemophobia
MH17 tragedy: 1 year on
Talk of “mini ice age” bunkum
Progress in removing religious instruction from public schools?
Fluoridation: Beliefs about safety and benefits
Climate change: Our time really is running out
Cochrane fluoridation review. III: Misleading section on dental fluorosis
June ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Cochrane fluoridation review. II: “Biased” and poor quality research?
Cochrane fluoridation review. I: Most research ignored
What is causing warming of the earth?
New science bloggers wanted for Sciblogs 2.0
Gagging of scientists – a common problem?
I wish more people were aware of this
Misrepresentation of the new Cochrane fluoridation review
News media – telling us how to think
Misrepresenting the York fluoride review
Fluoridation: Misrepresenting the “saliva theory”
Something to consider
Fluoridation and horses – another myth
Science and social media in new Zealand
Monday morning proverb
Fake weight-loss study example of wider problem
Calcium fluoride and the “soft” water anti-fluoridation myth
May ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Connett & Hirzy do a shonky risk assesment for fluoride
Making mountains out of scientific mole hills
Don’t expect to see chemical safety data sheets in restaurants
RSNZ Science Book Prize winner – Tangata Whenua
Don’t put all the blame on the Germans – a lesson from World War II
The problem of “Fact-Resistant Humans”
What a nice idea
Water fluoridation effective – new study
Follow the money?
The distrust of science – a task for science communication
We always seem to ignore the causes
April ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Wise words from Carl Sagan
Poor peer review – and its consequences
Connett fiddles the data on fluoride
ADHD link to fluoridation claim undermined again
Commercial and ideological support of anti-fluoride activity
Why is Vladimir Putin so popular in the USA?
Is comfirmation bias essential to anti-fluoride “research?”
The will to find out
IQ not influenced by water fluoridation
Making sense of scientific research
The frustrations of modern technology
March ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Poor peer-review – a case study
The arrogance of science?
New Zealand science book prize – 2015 Short list
ADHD linked to elevation not fluoridation
Anonymous comments on social media
More poor-quality research promoted by anti-fluoride activists
Free download – “Severe dental fluorosis and cognitive deficits”
Are submissions on fluoridation worth it?
Social media and science – the problems and the challenge
A couple of “oldies” inject some sense into international politics
Open letter to Lisa Hansen on NZ Fluoridation Review
February ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Paper claiming water fluoridation linked to hypothyroidism slammed by experts
Dirty tactics by anti-fluoride activists in Taupo
NZ Fluoridation review – Response to Micklen
NZ Fluoridation review – HS Micklen responds to critique
Did business interests interfere with Hamilton’s fluoride tribunal process?
A perspective of distances in space
Download report analysing anti-fluoride attacks on NZ Fluoridation Review
Social health policies, freedom of choice and responsibility
Reality of war for civilians
Stephen Fry not pulling any punches
January ’15 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
US meddling in Ukraine behind coup
Sunday reading – Richard Dawkins reads some of his “fan mail”
Is debating with anti-science activists worth the effort?
Six months on – concerns about MH17 investigation
Severe dental fluorosis and cognitive deficits – now peer reviewed
Those evil chemicals
“Internet and social media misinform thousands daily”
“I just know”
The victims of terror
Fluoride Free NZ report disingenuous – conclusion
Spotting Bad Science
October ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
December ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The MH17 blame game
Science never claimed to know everything
Special pleading by Philippe Grandjean on fluoride
The inverted ethics of doxxing?
Fascinating and painless chemistry lessons
Did the Royal Society get it wrong about fluoridation?
“Do your own research!”
Dirty politics over MH17?
Cherry-picking and misinformation in Stan Litras’s anti-fluoride article
Today’s fantasy, tomorrow’s possibility
The farce of a “sciency” anti-fluoride report
November ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Creationist ‘audits’ science museum
“Real” experts’ on climate change? Really?
Water fluoridation and dental fluorosis – debunking some myths
Proving anecdotes are reliable
Declan Waugh pushes another anti-fluoride myth
Severe dental fluorosis the real cause of IQ deficits?
Catch 22 in Ukraine
Let’s rely on anecdotes instead!
Standing up to junk science in New Zealand
Declan Waugh claims it’s “clear as day”
Unusual photo of Moon and Earth.
Criminal investigation of MH17 tragedy – where is it at?
There is something about those climate records that keep getting broken
Putting politicans in their place on climate change
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 – what really happened?
Fluoridation – a racist conspiracy?
Curiosity’s historic comet photo
When science deniers turn to science
Fluoride debate: Second response to Rita Barnett-Rose – Daniel Ryan
Fluoride debate: Response to Daniel Ryan’s critique – Rita Bartlett-Rose
Fluoride debate: A response to Rita Barnett-Rose – Daniel Ryan
Fluoride debate: The scientific evidence against fluoridation – Rita F. Barnett
Another legal defeat for NZ anti-fluoridation activists
Anti-fluoridation propagandists promoting shonky “review”
How to change your Mind – and why it is good for you
The science and politics of climate change
Science and belief
September ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peer review of an anti-fluoride “peer review”
The information war – The NZ Listener takes up arms
MOM “a thousand times better than cricket”
Activist’s anti-science adverts found misleading – again
Don’t you get tired of this?
It’s time we did something about sugar
Crude dredging of the scientific literature
Anti-fluoride activists define kangaroo court as “independent”
MH17 – Preliminary report leaves most conspiracy theories intact
Do you prefer dental fluorosis or tooth decay?
Emotion Drives Decision
Ingested fluoride, dental health and old age
August ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Sad news – Victor Stenger has died
Making money out of fanatics
Dirty politics on the Royal Society fluoride review
Review finds community water fluoridation safe and effective
Anti-fluoride activists unhappy about scientific research
The Mind of the Science Denier
Open letter to Jane Nielson – a “fluoridation convert.”
Accidental Renaissance – or intuition?
Tactics for science denial
Natural News comes out with a load of heavy metal rubbish on fluoride
July ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Declan Waugh continues his distortion of Finnish fluoride research
Another fluoridation whopper from Declan Waugh
I am still waiting for my cheque
An answer to the anti-fluoride critics – in one image
Some answers to the confusion about the #MH17 crash site
Informed parents know water fluoridation is good for their children
Making political capital out of the deaths of innocents
Elected officials must ignore activists and listen to own voters
The irony of some peer-review and citation complaints
Ken Ring pontificates on climate change
Anti-science US Congressman on House science Committee!
“Creative” reporting of fluoridation science
What happens when fluoridation is stopped?
June ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Controversial IQ study hammered in The Lancet
New group challenging the anti-science brigade
Fluoridation: what about reports it is ineffective?
Approaching scientific literature sensibly
Declan Waugh’s misinformation on fluorosilicic acid
A healthy attitude towards quantum mechanics
An open letter to Declan Waugh – new mechanism for fluoride toxicity?
Toxicity is in the dose or concentration of fluoride
Councils and scientists targeted by anti-fluoride activists
Lugansk – a modern Guernica?
Inna Kukuruza – “her eyes spoke to the whole world”
Connett’s hypocrisy on fluoride & IQ
May ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Confirmation blindness on the fluoride-IQ issue
Where do teeth come from? The stork theory
There is research and there is “research”
Fluoridating water does not lower IQ – New Zealand research
Fluoride and IQ – once more
Another anti-fluoride myth in the making
A balanced debate
It’s all the fashion in Ukraine
Fluoridation: What a difference a year makes?
Wishart misrepresents fluoride science to advance his extreme ideology
Fluoridation: emotionally misrepresenting contamination
April ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peer review, shonky journals and misrepresenting fluoride science
Ingested fluoride is beneficial to dental health.
Anti-fluoridation advertising deceptive
Fluoridation: putting chemical contamination in context
The first victim!
An outdated tax anomaly – charitable status of relgion
Declan Waugh scaremongers over fluoride – again
Arrogance of ignorance?
Pandering to anti-fluoridation campaigners
International cooperation in space serving humanity
Is anyone listening?
March ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Scientific cooperation despite political posturing
Fluoridation returns to Hamilton City.
European border changes over 5000 years
Dental fluorosis: badly misrepresented by FANNZ
What makes something right or wrong?
How do we know what is true?
Cherry-picking and ring-fencing the scientific literature
Fluoride and heart disease – another myth
Graphic information in science
Corporate backers of anti-fluoride movement lose in NZ High Court.
Terry Pratchett making sense
Fluoride and the 5 easy steps of a conspiracy theory
February ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Pseudoscience in your supermarket
Another god debate
Repeating bad science on fluoride
Truth about those science fairs
Quality and selection counts in fluoride research
The precautionary principle
How can scientists use social media?
Curiosity sees a familiar “evening star.”
The fluoride debate – what do the experts say?
January ’14 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Entertainment is brain exercise
Download The Fluoride Debate
Determining scientific knowledge by petition
Fluoride debate: Final article – Ken Perrott
Fluoride debate: Paul Connett’s Closing statement
The good(?) old days of scientific writing
Most of us missed this one
False balance and straw clutching on fluoridation
Who is funding anti-fluoridation High Court action?
Astro-turfing for scientific credibility
Losing trust in religious leaders
Conspiracy theorists misuse analytical evidence
All things bright and beautiful
December ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoride debate: Ken Perrott’s closing response to Paul Connett?
Putting vaccination risks into context
Fluoride debate: Arguments Against Fluoridation Thread. Part 8. Paul
Alan Turing receives royal pardon
The true meaning of Christmas
Where is the heat going?
Fluoride debate: Response to Paul’s 5th article
Back to the moon!
Fluoride debate: Arguments Against Fluoridation Thread. Part 5. Paul
Census 2013 – religious diversity
Fluoride debate: Response to Paul’s 6th article.
Testing the God theory
Fluoridation debate: Against Fluoridation Thread. Part 6.
November ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
‘The particle at the end of the universe’ wins Winton Prize
Fluoridation debate: Why I support fluoridation – 2nd reply to Connett
Psychics have it easy these days
Fluoride Debate: Why I support fluoridation – 2nd response from Connett
From dental neglect to child abuse?
Fluoride Debate: Why I support fluoridation – response to Connett
Fluoride debate: Why I support fluoridation – Response from Connett
Word of wisdom, and otherwise
Have local climate pseudosceptics come to the end of the road?
Fluoride debate: Why I support fluoridation
Sin is relative
Fluoride debate – I get email
Fluoride debate Part 1a – response to Connet’s response: Perrott
Fluoride debate – some housekeeping
Fluoride debate Part 1a – response: Connett
October ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fluoride debate Part 1: Perrott
Fluoride debate Part 1: Connett
The fluoride debate – introduction
The origins of ethics and violence
What’s really true?
Anti-fluoridation porkies – Mullinex’s rats
Science and faith
NZ climate change “sceptics” abandon appeal
Christianity has hijacked human values
Fluoridation: Hangout with the University of Waikato
The universe – it is bigger than you think
Our Far South – time we learned about it
Christian ethics and Peter Singer
Fluoride – friend or foe: a lecture
Cyber bullying of science
Fluoridation: the hip fracture deception
September ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Tim Minchin – an inspirational speech to graduates
Jon Stewart interviews Richard Dawkins
Anatomy of an anti-fluoridation myth
NZ experts deplore anti-fluoridation misrepresentation of science
Helping kids to wonder
Fluoridation – the IQ myth
When politicians and bureaucrats decide the science
Welcome counter to scientific and health misinformation
New “evidence” for global cooling?
Phobos eclipses the sun – as seen by Curiosity
Dentists you can trust?
Activists peddle chemical misinformation for fluoridation referenda
August ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Cherry picking fluoridation data
Anti-fluoridationist astro-turfing and media manipulation
Anti-fluoride activists attempt to silence science
Crazy ideas and “supernatural” phenomena
Experts speak out on fluoridation
Fluoride sensitivity – all in the mind?
Earthquakes and twitter
Cyber-bullying – what’s with sunscreen?
Anti-fluoridation study flawed – petition rejected
News media influences public trust in science
The “consensus message” in communicating science
Hamilton – the water is the problem, not the fluoride!
Topical confusion persists
Celebrate your curiosity – one year on
July ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Is this the way to reorganise science?
The limits of science and a world record
Water treatment chemicals – why pick on fluoride?
Are you qualified to discuss God, Heaven and Hell?
The Galileo fallacy and denigration of scientific consensus
A new Cosmos
Michael Mann’s defamation lawsuit on track
Is fluoridated water a medicine?
Debunking anti-fluoridation myths
Source of moral authority has shifted
Fluoridation – an organised campaign to misinform.
Hamilton gets its fluoridation referendum
Not your usual rocket launch
Fluoridation – topical confusion
Communicating climate science – Michael Mann comments
Fluoridation and conspiracy theories
Richard Dawkins learns about the Bible
Fluoridation – the violation of rights argument.
June ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The victim mentality of conspiracy theorists
Poisoning the well with a caricature of science
Fluoridation petition – for Hamilton citizens
The importance of books for kids
Fluoridation – it does reduce tooth decay
Stop feeling guilty
Getting a grip on the science behind claims about fluoridation
Is fluoride an essential dietary mineral?
Will Hamiltonians finally get a voice on fluoridation?
Scientists, political activism and the scientific ethos
Fluoridation – are we dumping toxic metals into our water supplies?
When science is under attack
Tactics and common arguments of the anti-fluoridationists
Hamilton City Council reverses referendum fluoridation decision
Global warning in science fiction
May ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peter Singer on effective charity
The science of consciousness
Collapse of Arctic sea ice
An eReader breakthrough?
Singing about the periodic table
Black cat in a dark room – and the role of science
A New Zealand climate change pseudosceptic apologises!
Pseudosceptics are at it again – misrepresenting and attacking climate scientists
Chris Hadfield’s 5-month Space Mission in 90 Seconds
Confusion and distortion – has global warming stopped?
“Incontrovertible” is it, Rodney?
Video coverage of astronauts’ return to earth next Tuesday morning
A beggar’s market?
The limits of philosophy
April ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
‘The Unbelievers’ and science
A global warming hoax meme is born – in New Zealand too!
Friday follies – what happened to the “official AGW hypothesis?”
Fiddling with census figures for religion in New Zealand
The beginning (of the universe) for beginners
Terrorism and the West’s obsession with oil
Marriage equality, retribution and moral progress
A sombre night in Boston
Moving into the mainstream – on the coat tails of the “New Atheists”
Thatcher, Monckton and Pinochet
Potty Peer in Waikato
New Zealand Blog ranking Montage
What is global temperature?
I was wrong about Lord Monckton
New “Hockey Stick” but same tired old denial
March ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
April Fools and Agenda 21
Christchurch from space
A war between religion and science?
Climate contrarians/deniers are cherry picking again
Dishonesty of intelligent design “research”
Something for all those lapsed catholics
Dawkins’ new book
Our world from the International Space Station
Creationists prefer numerology to real scientific research
Talking sense about morality
Extreme confirmation bias in action
Greedy Lying Bastards
Those arguments against marriage equality
Census 2013: That religion question
Climate change is not simple
February ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
A sensible Christian perspective on Peter Singer
No immutable truths, no eternal dogmas
Global climate – and your grandchildren
Entertaining – and the science is good
The truth about the hockey stick
Origins of religious ethics and violence
Sean Faircloth, Director of Richard Dawkins Foundation, visiting NZ
The Russian meteor – what we know
Should we be prepared?
Does religion blur understanding of evolution?
The “dynamic duo” of science?
A day for cheap shots
Science as the best, possibly only, way to truth
The reality of cancer
Education should never validate ignorance
“Divine commands” and personal conscience
January ’13 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Is your region warming?
No cause for alarm – if you cherry pick
The political alarmism behind climate change denial
Can philosophers, or anyone, tell us what is “right” and “wrong”?
History of science – for Kiwis
What a shock!
Who is guilty of misusing science?
Deconstructing climate change, and its deniers
Amazing photos of Shuttle Endeavour flight deck
Australia’s “New Normal?”
Going beyond the evidence
A time for hypocrisy
Historians and sociologists just as human as scientists
December ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
A problem with logic
Historians and sociologists lecture scientists – about science
Wonders of Life coming – we hope
A dose of reality
Pulling the wool over the eyes of the faithful
Scientists and philosophers discuss morality and meaning
Christmas present from NASA
At last – Moving Naturalism Forward videos
Getting the Book Invented
Sense on evolutionary psychology.
Does science have a cognitive privilege?
Sceptical humility and peer review in science
Cancer – an emotional rollercoaster
Sceptical arrogance and evolutionary psychology
And now for a bit of drama
Agreement polar ice sheets are melting
November ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Regarding women as animals
Christmas present for nerds – what about science books?
Time for philosophical honesty about Darwin
Religion in schools – a sensible approach
Climate change deniers don’t understand expertise
The arrogance of supernatural privilege
Morality and non-human animals
More damage from megastorm Sandy
Capturing kid’s minds with emotions
That particle again
Who were Stalin’s victims?
Reports from the Moving Naturalism Forward workshop
The elephant in the US elections
October ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Sex, Death And The Meaning Of Life. Episode 3: Meaning
Who are these “credible experts”?
The mini-iPad and original sin
Death – part 2 of a series
Beer, anxiety and depression – their origins
Why (some) Christians support discrimination
Sex, Death And The Meaning Of Life – Sin
Moving Naturalism Forward
A concise summary of climate change – science and politics
From evolution to belief
Are you offended yet?
This has to stop
Sneaking in the magic man
Naturalism and science are incompatible
None so blind
A Kiwi makes it to Mars!
September ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The most important place you didn’t know about
A useful map of the human body
The paradoxes of theological gullibility
The internet – Yeah, right!
US air traffic on a typical day and on September 11, 2001
Finish the sentence . . .
People saying stupid things on the Internet
Another anti-science attack on Mann fails – but the lies continue
Secularism – its internal problems
Politics and economics of Arctic ice loss
Internet silos become ideological ghettos
Climate change denier’s false “deep distress” fools no-one
Changing that light bulb while in denial
High Court ruled on integrity – not science
New Zealand climate change denial defeated
I don’t know!
Making giant flowers out of fireworks
Moral evolution in today’s society
August ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Drifting moral values
Subjective morality – not what it seems?
Objective or subjective laws and lawgivers
Neil Armstrong by Buz Aldrin
The science philosophy “conflict”
Making sense of religion, science, and morality
Kiwi science fiction with a message
Science – the greatest story ever told
A sundial on Curiosity?
Scientific shift work
Cynical evangelisation of children
Curiosity requires patience
Going for gold – on Mars
A load of science
July ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
NZ Blog Rankings FAQ
So scientism = non-theism?
Saying it with flowers
What really happens in religious instruction classes?
What Is Life? From Schrödinger to Watson to Venter
Their mission – values or advancement of religion?
The story behind the High Court action
Ethical enquiry or moral instruction?
Scepticism, denial and the high court
William Lane Craig’s philosophy – the condensed version
So you think science has a problem?
Peter Singer on the misrepresentation of Peter Singer
Human values are secular
End of life decisions
Why the Higgsteria?
Cost of scientific research – and political naivity
The creationism controversy – a summary
Is there room for religion in science?
June ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Scientific knowledge should trump “belief”
Seven Minutes of Terror
Australian census confirms healthy trend
Science is messy – for girls too!
Print-on-demand books – what’s the hold-up?
How to write a best-seller!
Sharp increase in “nones”
A disciplined discussion
What did Galileo ever do to you?
Gnu bashing once again
The prejudiced journalist
Do atheists need religion?
Mixing values and Jesus in secular education
The Scamtific Method
May ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Scientific knowledge – reliable but not certain
Weather extremes and climate change
“Web monkeys” and science presentation
Dementia – There’s an app for that!
Give them enough rope . . .
Why won’t Inland Revenue subsidise my life expenses?
Human morality is evolving
So you’re considering switching to eBooks?
Welcome to the Anthropocene
Naturalism in science
“Lose” your faith, gain your life?
What’s in store for eBook readers
Heartland ignorant of public relations – let alone science
Belief and morality
What has science ever done for us?
April ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The problem with philosophy
Puddles and “fine-tuning”
Great science talks in Auckland
Science denial is a diversion from the real problems
When the “best explanation” is the worst explanation
Toss out the moderator for a better discussion
Jesus heals – but not cancer!
Emotional time for Shuttle fans
Catholic popes victims of sexual abuse!
Who is committing fraud here?
Morality and the “worship” of reason
The silliness of a self-proclaimed “investigative journalist”
Moral behavior in animals
Conservatives, liberals and purity
The trouble with physics?
Is God incredible – or what?
Science and the folly of faith
March ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Another lousy photo of the sun?
The Sand Creatures
A fuzzy photo of the sun
The “public square” myth
Yes, please try this at home!
Whanganui District Council comes to senses
“Good faith” science – and its enemies
Climate change controversy in context
Shy climate denier in “science team” reveals himself.
The chickens are hatching
February ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The size of things
Theological pretzel twisting
A universe in an eBook (or app)
Souvenirs for scientists
Heartland Insitute gets mail
Heartland’s climategate – and Mann’s book
Bioluminescence in space!
Defeat for imposed prayer
ID research and publications
Theological mental gymnastics over evolution
“What, me worry?” – distorting climate change data
Free will – problems of definition
January ’12 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The scientific method – what about the philosophical method?
In the front lines of the “climate wars”
Who is funding the climate change denial groups?
Our fingerprints are all over it!
The [in]compatibility of science and religion
Comprehending reality – Should we give up so easily?
Nothing is something
Who drives the science/religion conflict?
Choosing your religion
Open letter across the barricade
New book formats
The argument from authority (or lack thereof)
December ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Peter Jackson – Satan’s Little Helper”
“Other ways of knowing” and their result.
Slaughtering some sacred seasonal cows
Reacting to a death with respect and hatred
Christmas present ideas: This Hell would be useful!
Higgs and homeopathy
Christmas gift ideas: Aussie wisdom
Christmas gift ideas: The human mind – a history
Christmas gift ideas: Evolution of gods, morals and violence
Christmas gift ideas: Working on Mars
Christmas gift ideas: One for the kids
Christmas gift ideas: Why we deny climate change
Christmas gift ideas: Thinking of our grandchildren
Christmas gift ideas: How We Know What’s Really True
Christmas gift ideas: Kids – it’s OK to be different!
A debunking handbook provides lessons in science communication
November ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Finding out about the astronomers who found the universe
Climategate 2.0 and “toecurling” journalism
It’s crowded up there
Creative science writing
Royal Society’s science book of year Winton Prize winner.
Reclaiming ‘intelligent design’
A lesson in human logic
Is Keith Ward really that naive about science?
Demolishing Craig on morality
Cultural effect of The Big Bang Theory
Answer simple question – win an iPad
New Zealand in good company. Pity about the USA
October ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
What’s your number?
Concern over William Lane Craig’s justification of biblical genocide
Outsourcing moral decisions to justify genocide
New Zealand happy – some preachers upset!
The never ending battle
Having it both ways
Ranking human conflicts and tyrannies
Dawkins responds to a stalker – Craig gets his debate
Avoiding possible catastrophe – even if you are confused
You CAN be good with God!
Big money behind local climate change deniers?
Historians of science sometimes miss the wood for the trees
Approaching morality scientifically
Ethicists have problems with ethics!
The climate change denial machine
How do you know that?
How We Know What’s Really True
Problems with pdf eBooks – metadata issues
September’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Compulsory payments for advancement of religion – let’s get rid of that.
Some recent recommended science books
Art in science
Where have we been?
Rings around Uranus
William Lane Craig’s “logic”
Science and the “supernatural”
Empathy for colleagues
Approaching a Middle East peace
Atheists aren’t shrill – just disgusting?
What’s this about cosmic rays and global warming?
Making life from the primordial soup
A fight-back – or simply spite?
Evolution and education – advice for teachers
That’s what I like to see in a young woman!
A reminder of reality’s magic
August ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Religious theology of secularism
Martydom of the priveliged
Another book for the kids
Secular democracy and its critics
2012 Global Atheist Convention – Melbourne
Hitler objects to atheist charge
440 FOI requests in one day! From one person!
There is something about Wellington
Some things for the kids
The blinkered view of politics?
I get email
NZ blog rankings update
Is Monckton good value?
The reality of scientific research
Monckton messes own nest
July ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Videos on morality
Pat Churchland on the science of morality
Breivik’s terrorism and science
Terror in Norway
Atlantis returns home – viewed from ISS
Background Briefing for Mockton’s NZ visit
Science has the real debate
Bias in the history of science
Seven years of discovery
Your chance for a free book
That hacking scandal
Are scientists hostile to religion?
Galileo’s modern critics
Debates in the philosophy of science
Does science lead to secularism?
June ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Personal attacks on climate scientists
A silver lining to Expelled?
Galileo’s revolutionary contribution
Science, religion and respect for meaning
Protecting yourself against bullshit
Clarifying some myths in the history of science
Early history of science
Converting beliefs to “truths”
Ideology and violence
Painless science writing
May ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Waking from a coma!
American Imams supporting evolutionary science
A secular bible
Daniel Dennett on conflict between religion and science
Visible signs of the rapture
The Magic of Reality for young people
Don’t drink the punch!
Working on Mars
A non-theist feast down under!
The chances of Royal Weddings arising randomly…
Designer spin II
What’s special about religious “knowledge?”
Climate change lectures in Auckland
April ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Exposing the pretense of Christian unity
Is there a role for science in morality?
Philosophical justifications for morality
Answering questions on morality
Problems with philosophers and theologians
More on the science of morality
Selling the family silver!
Craig brings some clarity to morality?
Foundations of human morality.
Church rejects power of prayer!
Limits of logic
Something to celebrate
Advocating or explaining secular moral values?
March ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
What is Life? Another Great Debate
The Galileo myths
Beauty, mystery and science
Christianity gave birth to science – a myth?
The implausibility of reality
Is atheism bad for science?
Myths within a myth
Thank goodness for eBook Readers
Theistic science? No such thing
The ethics of exploitation
Blogging for New Zealand
Science Under Attack?
Acceptance of science – dangerous for some
Making sense of Ring gate?
February ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
From “Grand Design” to “On Being”
A human response to Christchurch quake
Alan Turing documentary
Taking the census seriously
The future of books – and Santa?
On being philosophical about science
The secular Egyptian protest a good start for a successful revolution
Shonky climate-change denial “science”
Reinterpretation “research” on climate change
A hymn for Darwin Day
Celebrating Alan Turing’s life and achievements
The scientific study of religion
January ’11 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Converging evidence on climate change
eBook “singles” – and the problems
Marie Curie Lecture Series – 2011
Comparing blog visit statistics
Shoddy reporting on “god genes”
The god gene – or is it a meme?
Certainty is useless – a scientific concept
The nature of the science-religion conflict?
“Other ways of knowing” – some sense at last
Culture and the scientific renaissance
Sharing a chemical moment
The moon and the ISS
Secular News Daily – useful source
New views of eclipses
Deriving “ought from is” scientifically?
December ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Science and morality – a panel discussion
A physicist comments on science and morality
A philosopher comments on science and morality
Telling right from wrong – unreligiously
Another local climate change denial meme
Wine and the Watchtower
It’s that time of the year
A handy app for your iPhone, iPod touch or iPad
A philosopher’s Christmas present
Painted into a corner?
Real science – warts and all
WikiLeaks and climategate
2011 – International Year of Chemistry
The “You Can’t Trust Science!” agenda
NASA and old lace
November ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Cutting off your nose for Christmas?
“Other ways of knowing” purpose?
What is the problem?
A victory for secular ethics
The Hitchens – Dembski debate
The joys of eBook readers – the Sony PRS-650 Touch
Secularism is important
Dawkins answers questions
Telling right from wrong?
Can science shape human values?
Some book ideas
The ISS – a decade of growth
October ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
The human mind – a history
Check out those climate change claims on the internet
Waking up to morality
Four signs of a stroke
Can the “supernatural” be of any use?
Are ebooks taking off?
Some pesky delusions
Strident, militant atheists?
Why we deny climate change
Attitudes will change. Life will get better
Your computer is the enemy!
Death by stoning for adultery!
Scientific misconduct and skepticgate
Breaking away – an interesting case study
Sam Harris on The Daily Show
Move over – old fellow!
Hawking’s grand design – lessons for apologists?
Arrested moral development.
September ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Treating statistics sensibly
Not about Einstein
Bus adverts a human rights issue
Check out your ancestors
Trust the experts – if they say what we want
The Bible – a book review
A scientific consensus on human morality
Pope Benny’s speech – graphically
Putting the Pope in his place
Popes cunning straw mannery?
Human Evolution and the Organ of Mind
Mind change – a moral choice?
Putting the IPCC in its place?
Mapping modern science
An unnecessary being?
What is matter? What is materialism?
New science blogs in New Zealand
The Grand Design – neither God nor 42
Earth and Moon from Mercury
The Challenge of the Human Brain
August ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Fallout from Hauser affair spreads
A lesson for NZ critics of climate science?
Nicholas Stern to present Robb Lectures
So you want a conversation?
The myth of the noble scientist
The heart of PZ Myers
After NIWA, God?
Marc Hauser replies – acknowledges mistakes
Hauser misconduct investigation – Full text of Dean’s statement
Fallacy of Fine Tuning
A desperate plea to be noticed?
A stormy future?
A sympathetic take on Marc Hauser and the “scientific misconduct” issue
A paper by Marc Hauser retracted – Harvard Magazine
Climate change is complex
A nice little tool for printing blog posts
“God of the surprises”
Recognising good science bloggers and Big Blog Theory winners
It’s politics, not science
July ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Suzan does a mini- Monckton
Evolution of gods, morals and violence
Is and ought
The new science of morality
Science, faith and limits of knowledge
Liability of scientific denialism to political conservativism
Evolution and the Holocaust
Life on the building site
Theological critiques of billboards required
Support John Abraham against Monckton’s bullying
Ways of not knowing
The changing face of science communication
A regular climate science podcast
Climategate – Journalist withdraws and apologises
Making room for faith in science?
Getting straight on marriage
“Climategate” smears found false – Mann cleared
NZ Atheists Swap Buses For Billboards
June ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Religion in public life – two approaches
Ridiculing ridiculous science commentary
Truth getting it’s boots on!
A question of expertise and credibility
Climate scientist’s’ register?
Kids – it’s OK to be different!
Twinning with Venus
Avoiding grown-up discussion
A competition for Aussie science blogs
Apologies would be nice
Historic shuttle launch photos
Australians concerned about tax exemption for cults
Pseudoscience and anti-science nonsense
Science on New Zealand TV
Hot science blogs
May ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Journalists create world’s first artificial news story!
Don’t trust Monckton!
This is scary!
Theological intrusions into science
God, stop ‘playing science’
Why Don’t We Go To Church?
The heart of opposition to climate science
Last chance – almost!
What’s that about global cooling?
Are you threatened by clarity?
Supporting good science communication
We don’t know!
Monckton and Shimkus get silly together
The Dawkins Delusions
Climate change and the integrity of science
Secularism in Australia and New Zealand
Natural selection or domestication?
April ‘10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Thinking of our grandchildren
Science, values and ethics
Avoiding tax – supernaturally
Climate scientist sues newspaper for false reporting
Climategate, Lord Monckton and Monty Python
Climate change deniers wallets threatened
Climategate summed up
Superstition – inevitable?
Libel Reform campaign continues
RIP Antony Flew
Officially a fake scandal from science perspective
Dangerous science denial
You have to laugh!
A more transparent approach
Orbital debris, the ISS, moon and sun
A space nerd’s Easter
Getting to the truth – gradually
March ‘10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Climate scientist Phil Jones exonerated
The origins of science?
The rickety bandwagon of climate change denial
Are religious scientists worried about their brethren?
The climate change denial industry
Can science answer moral questions?
Periodic Table of of science blogs
Creationism, climate change and scientific denialism
Open Letter from U.S. Scientists on the IPCC
From Melbourne to Copenhagen
Are science and religion compatible?
Chris Mooney interviews Michael Mann on “climategate”
Science bloggers talk teaching
Great photo of the Solar Corona
Clear science communication
Institute of Physics in hot seat
Climate science for you and me
February ’10 – NZ blogs sitemeter ranking
Richard Dawkins – wrong again!
Freedom of information and responsibility
This game looks familiar
Anti-science lies being exposed – slowly
Deniers distort Phil Jones
New Zealand has bigots too
Belief and social identity
Etiquette for the office global warming denier
NZ blogs sitemeter ranking – February ‘10
Climate change confusion – a conspiracy of sorts
WARNING! People might find us out!
One for the kids
Get your climate change science on the run
Can science solve all problems?
Spinning exoneration of Dr. Michael Mann Into “Whitewash”
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The New Zealand statistic that you cite shows that 36.6% (that’s not “about 40%”) of adults who murdered children are women (15 women vs. 26 men). That is based on a total of 41 cases over a four year period – that’s a very small sample and would not be considered statistically reliable (although I hasten to add it is horrible that even one of these kids had to die). In the next table, the gender of the offender is also reported for family violence apprehension: 25,356 male vs. 4,135 female over a 1-year period (14% female; 86% male). This is a much larger number and thus more statistically reliable. I do not want to deny that there are women who are abusive to their spouses or partners. But the numbers you provide seem to point toward a much higher proportion of male perpetrators.
There are A LOT of false statistics out there (see here for a debunking of many of them). BUT, one of the co-authors of the often cited studies on “battered men” (to which your link “US data on family violence” leads), Richard Gelles, writes: “To even off the debate playing field it seems one piece of statistical evidence (that women and men hit one another in roughly equal numbers) is hauled out from my 1985 research – and distorted – to ‘prove’ the position on violence against men. However, the critical rate of injury and homicide statistics provided in that same research are often eliminated altogether, or reduced to a parenthetical statement saying that ‘men typically do more damage.’ The statement that men and women hit one another in roughly equal numbers is true, however, it cannot be made in a vacuum without the qualifiers that a) women are seriously injured at seven times the rate of men and b) that women are killed by partners at more than two times the rate of men.” (my emphasis; his full article is an interesting read).
I agree with you that we should not deny the fact that there are women who commit hideous crimes against children and their partners. However, most of family abuse is still perpetrated by men.
Thanks for your useful response Rachel. A few points in reply:
My figure of 40% of children murdered by female adults was based on the NZ Police figures (admittedly not rigorous) and other research results in this area. For instance Download .pdf (size 165 Kb) quotes one report finding “A New Zealand review of all child homicides between 1991 and 2000 found that in cases where a child was killed by their parent – 54% of perpetrators were fathers, 40% were mothers, and 6% of cases involved both parents.” and “Another study of New Zealand child homicides looked at a non-random sample of cases between 1980 and 2003 and found that equal numbers of women and men killed children.”
A 60%-40% distribution is only an approximate one (in that sense 36.6% is about 40%) – such accuracy is not warranted with small numbers).
Male/Female violence in general is a side issue (although an important one) to my post. However, my familiarity with the use of statistics in the natural sciences does give me some warning alarms about the stats. Sure the large number do allow more accuracy in in apportioning seriousness by gender. But there is still the problem of collection of these statistics. There is at least anecdotal evidence in NZ of complaints of female violence against male adults not being accepted by police – the attitude that you are “not a man” if you complain. And, of course, there is the qualification and interpretation that researchers place on the seriousness of complaints. I suspect that the published stats do underestimate the problem of female violence within families. Inevitable considering social attitudes.
Having said that I have not doubt that many conclusions such as injuries resulting from male violence against females are usually much greater than vice versa.
I am sure that the nature of violence perpetrated by the different genders is also different.
I am sure that serious family violence is perpetrated by men in the majority of cases.
I am convinced that male violence (which probably has evolutionary origins reinforced by social conditioning) is a particular problem which modern societies need to address.
But the prevailing attitude that only males commit violence within families has led to (in my view) some unjust and dangerous policies in NZ. For example, we now have a government-promoted policy of medical doctors asking only women and children about the possibilities of violence in there home – to be fair this should be asked of men as well. We have government support for women’s refuges (essential in my view) but no equivalent for men! What do men do if they need to escape from a violent family situation. What do men do if they recognise that escalating anger within their family may lead to themselves committing a dangerous violent act? Where do they seek refuge?
I personally think more should been done to specifically address problems of female anger and violence – especially as it is different to that for men. I personally think that the different but complementary nature of male/female anger and violence is a potentially lethal cocktail within our families. Our polices aimed at ameliorating this problem should, to be truly effective, recognise both aspects.
But these really are a side issue to my post. The survivor of child abuse (family violence/neglect) is effectively being told that there wasn’t a real problem if the perpetrator was their mother rather than their father. Maybe they are “only” 30 or 40% of all child abuse victims. But survivors suffer psychologically for the rest of their lives and this denial of the problem or refusal to recognise the problem, is another manifestation of the abuse. This time perpetrated by society.
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Who has said to any “survivor of child abuse (family violence/neglect) […] that there wasn’t a real problem if the perpetrator was their mother rather than their father”? I, for one, am not denying that women commit crimes against their children. They do. What I tried to point out is that most perpetrators are men. The statistics you use to support your claim are statistics for murders. Murder is not the only form of child abuse – it is the most severe form. To extrapolate that number to all forms of child abuse is simply misleading.
I would also like to quote from the document that you cite in your comment above (with my emphasis):
Someone denying that women are never violent at all would be wrong, of course. And I agree with you about doctors being told to ask about abuse in all cases where it might be an issue, and that services are needed for battered men.
Nonetheless, to extrapolate from murder numbers to “child abuse incidents,” as you do, seems like you’re sketching your evidence.
Rachel has already pointed out the low sample size problem. Here’s another: The statistics you link to don’t say anything about the age of the children murdered. How many of the children murdered by mothers were newborns smothered or left to die of exposure? In the US, this sort of child murder is most commonly committed by mothers, not fathers.
Of course, I’m not saying that newborn deaths are excusable. My point is, you can’t extrapolate from a statistic that probably includes an unknown number of scared teenagers in a post-partum haze smothering their newborns, or abandoning them to die out of fear and panic, to the conclusion that fathers and mothers are equally likely to beat their non-newborn children. The two kinds of abuse have different pathologies and motivations, and there’s no reason to assume that the gender demographics of parents who murder children will be identical to the gender demographics of parents who abuse children without murdering them.
Rachel and Ampersand – murder statistics are of course not the same as all abuse. However, in the absence of detailed statistics they do give an indication that there is a problem. (They are the only clear stats I have access to at the moment and I am not arguing about the specific proportions – only that child abuse by females is a problem). The sample size problem is inherent from the fact that in New Zealand such numbers are by there nature relatively small. (However, child abuse, and particularly that leading to deaths, have a high profile here at the moment. They are a cause of strong public concern, despite the small numbers).
This whole area is difficult to detail statistically because of reporting problems and the often motivated interpretation of the existing statistics.
However, child abuse by mothers does occur and honest argument about the statistics surely can only influence conclusions about the actual numbers – or the percentage of abuse perpetrated by male or female offenders.
Less honest manipulation of statistics arises when those interpreting the statistics wish to deny the abuse, or decrease the importance of one or other gender in the abuse because they have their own preconceptions of how the situation should be. I think this is a common problem in social research.
But detailed argument here over statistics is irrelevant. We must come back to the problem I have tried to communicate. The abuse survivor, who often suffers major psychological effects of this abuse for the rest of their life, is forced to feel that abuse over again and again when commentators or researchers either deny, or belittle, the fact that their particular abuse occurs, or is important.
Survivors of abuse by their mothers feel offended and belittled when the knee-jerk reaction to the facts of this abuse is to deny that it occurs, or to belittle it by attempting to qualify statistical information.
I personally feel very strongly that statements of denial or belittling arguments of statistics just refuse to recognise the justified feelings of the survivor. Why can’t we just focus on the perspective of the survivor?
What the survivor wants is recognition of this abuse – especially if this acceptance of knowledge can inform social policies aimed at preventing this abuse continuing.
With all due respect, Ken, neither Rachel nor I have belittled the experiences of abuse survivors, and you’re being unfair to imply we have. If all you had said was that abused men — including those abused by mothers — are overlooked and need more support and more services, I would have never disagreed with you.
You were the one who brought up statistics that you now pretty much admit you can’t stand behind. If you don’t think statistics are relevant, then you shouldn’t have brought statistics up — especially in a way that was not accurate or supportable.
I do care about the perspective of survivors; however, you’re attempting to say (paraphrased) “if I use bad, unsupportable statistics and get criticized for it, that means my critics are insensitive to survivors.” That’s not a fair argument.
Ken: I would like to ask you again for support for your assertion that (a) “survivors of abuse by their mothers feel offended and belittled” and (b) “knee-jerk reaction to the facts of this abuse is to deny that it occurs.”
Has anybody looked into survivors of abuse by mothers and if so, have they found that these survivors are not taken seriously? And also, what data do you have that indicate that people are denying the fact that there is abuse by women/mothers? In my opinion, that would be very interesting statistics to look at. Neither of these questions can be answered by looking at data about perpetrators.
Ampersand – I have not said “abused men — including those abused by mothers — are overlooked.” You have read the “abused men” into this discussion and I think it illustrates the problem – your own sensitivity.
My sole use of statistics was “New Zealand police statistics indicate that in about 40% of cases children were murdered by women “, and then solely to illustrate that there is a problem. I never suggested any rigour in those figures and the actual numbers of 30%, 40%. etc. are not the issue to me. Talk about “standing behind” figures like this is a cheap shot. (I in fact have pointed out the real problems that lie behind collecting and interpreting those statistics – anecdotal and personal evidence suggests to me that the actual figure is not insignificant).
You are suggesting that I have used statistics dishonestly. Or that I have claimed you & Rachel are “belittling the experiences of abuse survivors.” I reject those suggestions. I accept the specific assurances of concern that have been made.
I suggest that what is behind the reaction is the knee-jerk assumption that I am advancing the case of “abused men.” There may be a need for that but it is certainly not behind my posting which deals with abused children. You have bought up that particular issue.
In the hope of overcoming you hostility to my case perhaps I can put it anecdotally and personally:
I and my siblings are child abuse survivors. My mother was the source of violence and neglect. She was never included in any statistics on family violence. The long lasting effects of this abuse are extremely painful for me and I will not (cannot) discuss that further. My perception is that they were even more painful for my siblings judging from their psychological problems (alienation from siblings is probably one of the common results of abuse).
Now (many, many years later) I find every time that policy makers and commentators deny or belittle the fact of child abuse by mothers I feel very hurt. It forces me to again remember our own experiences and feeling of abandonment. We were abandoned then and such comments make us feel abandoned now.
It’s got nothing to do with statistical details or a campaign about “abused men.” It’s about the social abandonment of vulnerable children at the most formative periods of their lives – and the continued abandonment of them as survivors.
Rachel, our posting crossed and perhaps my answer to Apersand may answer you queries to some extent.
I can only add that personally I have found that whenever I have related to friends, etc., that in my own family my mother was the violent parent the response has been to deny it or find excuses for her behaviour. I am not opposed to “excuses” if they can provide useful explanations. But if my father had been the violent parent I doubt that “excuses” would have been offered. We have got to recognise the social and psychological causes of violence in males, as well as females, (rather than considering one or other gender just naturally prone to violence)if we hope to solve these problems.
Incidentally, I sometimes come across similar situations. New Zealand’s Alan Duff’s novel “Once were Warriors” is a very powerful story of parental violence – by the father – in a Maori family. The strange thing is that in Duff’s own family his mother was the violent parent. It’s just so much easier to make a case for child abuse by the father than by the mother. But that doesn’t help the victims of maternal violence.
I agree that we need more statistics about how survivors are treated, how they are listened to. I imagine such analyses will suffer from research motivations and interpretation. But it will also suffer from the willingness of survivors to participate. For many it’s just too painful to be relived.
Ken, I’m sorry we’ve gotten off on the wrong, and I’m relieved to know I misunderstood what you were saying to be criticism of me and Rachel. I accept your assurance that this isn’t how you intended to be read. Sorry to have misunderstood you.
That said, I do think you — perhaps accidentally — said more with statistics in your original post than you intended. Here’s what you wrote:
To me, this read as if “in about 40% of cases children were murdered by women” was intended by you to be evidence supporting the statement “a major proportion of child abuse incidents are perpetrated by women.” That would, in my opinion, be a misuse of statistics. The universe of “child abuse incidents” is so many times larger than the subgroup “murdered children,” and the pathologies are potentially so different, that it would be a mistake to think that the one is in any way proof of the other.
I’m not explaining that to be argumentative, but just so you’ll know where I was coming from when I said I thought you had misused statistics.
I think the agreement on the role of women in child abuse is wider than just those particular police statistics. That’s indicated by the statement “Women remain overwhelmingly responsible for child care, offering a potential answer to why they figure prominently in child abuse statistics” in the Family Violence and Gender Fact Sheet from the NZ Family Violence Clearing House. This suggests that this abuse covers more than just fatalities – the NZ police statistics are only an example of one aspect of abuse and that’s why I used them. Those and other similar statistics involving child deaths are the only ones I have access to – they provide support for my statement, but I am of course open to real evidence that the fatality statistics overestimate (or underestimate) the extent of general abuse.
I do believe that women make a significant contribution to child abuse – I am not, and did not, in any way suggest that their contribution was higher than that of men. This is not implied by the words “significant”, “major”, or “prominent.”
What I am saying is that our policy makers and commentators should acknowledge this particular problem (as it will have its own particular solutions) – currently they just seem to ignore, or even deny, it.
Ken, I was afraid that you had experienced abuse by your mother and that was why you knew that this fact is often belittled… It is horrible that this has happened to you. But, as you pointed out in your original post, society’s attitude – presented to you in the form of reactions by your friends – is simply adding to the trauma. There is nothing more healing than feeling understood (at least that’s been my experience)! So, not being heard, not being believed must be traumatic.
I am glad that you “came out,” so to speak, because I think only if people who have experienced this kind of abuse speak out, societal attitudes can change. My mind is now reeling with ideas because anecdotes are much more powerful than statistics (of course if you can back up the anecdote with statistics, you got a really strong case). I don’t know if there would be supportive people but if more and more of you start to speak out, people will have to listen. I think that’s how the emphasis on domestic violence got started.
Your second section “female violence” reads to me as unassociated with your first section. It sounded to me like the “gender symmetry” arguments that the “men’s rights” movement has throw up (sometimes from abusive men against their victims). Debunking their claims has been very tiring (and often costly, since it can happen in court). If you were talking about “mother violence,” you might want to say that more clearly to avoid losing people in that baggage. If you are talking about adult to adult abuse, it is indeed true that most of that is perpetrated by men (see the Gelles article quoted in my original comment). However, you are talking about parent to child abuse, which might have a very different dynamic, although, as you pointed out, the statistics are lacking, which then goes back to societal attitudes.
Remember, Ken, you are not alone! If you do start speaking out, you will connect with others who have been abused by their mothers. And these connections will help, both you personally, and strengthen your cause.
Hmmmm, I wonder if there are any studies done of maternal abuse amongst Pacific Island families? I know from (indirect) personal experience that the mothers in many of these families are extremely physical. Also, I’ve heard that among aborigines the females often physically abuse their menfolk.
I think it’s important that none of this stuff is left hidden and it shouldn’t be a matter of comparing violence between the sexes – more a matter of bringing all forms of abuse out into the light of day.
Good on you Ken from airing the topic.
I agree with you, Damian, that it is important to air this topic! We just have to tread carefully because, unfortunately, there has been a lot of misuse of statistics. That is, partly, why Ampersand and I have reacted so strongly to Ken’s original post (well, the second part of it under “female violence”). However, this is mostly done in the context of adult to adult violence.
Also, please bring your “skeptics standards” to this: anecdotes are an important starting point but, ultimately, they need to be backed up with solid research. Just like we ask psychics for proof, we need to be prepared to give proof that goes beyond anecdotes.
Here are some resources – both statistical studies and material to help male abuse childhood survivors heal – compiled by Jim Hopper. He also includes a list of studies.
Your comment, Damian, also reminded me of another heinous abuse committed by women on children, girls in this case: Female genital mutilation. I have even heard arguments that circumcision of male babies could be considered abusive, which it probably is as the scream of pain indicates…
I appreciate this subject opens a real can of worms and unfortunately as with much of the social sciences it is very hard to study quantitatively. I have referred to the problems of getting the raw data (how do you define and/or ascertain abuse anyway) and the researchers/observers are rarely objective. Statistics get interpreted according to the researchers preconceived beliefs in this area – and those beliefs can be very strong. (I think this is a general problem in a lot of social research).
It’s just so hard to do the proper research.
From my own perspective (and it was a long time ago) as a child my problems arising from parental neglect were noticed by teachers and social workers – but in every case the child was blamed! I, not my parents, was the problem! When as that child all I wanted was to be rescued from the situation. (And I don’t think I, or most of my siblings, ever became a statistic).
Its easy to collect data on dead children, and maybe those who end up in hospital as a result of a violent incident. I feel it’s the other children who probably suffer most, and with more lasting results, and yet we are unable to really get decent data on them.
It does look like there are some studies out there, though. I haven’t had a chance to look at what Hopper cited but from glancing at it, they did look at the gender of the abuser.
I think that this is a very common experience of all abuse victims, no matter what the gender of the abuser. If you wanted to increase awareness about abuse perpetrated by mothers this might be a point of connection that avoids the can of worms. Your abuser just happened to be your mother. I think this way to can help people realize that maternal abuse does occur but make it less of an issue of numbers. Once there is enough awareness, social research into this issue will follow (and, again, Hopper might already point to some of that).
I am not particularly campaigning on child abuse by mothers – rather I would like us to get rid of the “can of worms” mentality. It is that which prevents proper recognition of problems like this – and consequently disrespects the victims.
I think this is a common problem in social research. My own experience has been in the natural sciences and I know individual scientists can be very committed to different viewpoints. However, one always has physical reality to fall back on. An hypothesis can be tested in practice and this can lead to more objective recognition of theories.
However, in the social sciences this seems a lot harder to do. Consequently, I think individual and social pre-conceptions sometimes have an overriding influence. I am also shocked at how little peer review seems to occur with many publications in these fields. Some people seem to get away with using extremely poor methodology, poor statistical analysis, and then exhibit often very motivated bias in their interpretations. (I don’t wish to criticise the whole field – I’m sure many, if not most, publications are far more rigorous than the few I have seen). But that’s why I am somewhat diffident about drawing definite conclusions from reported findings in areas such as family violence and child abuse. For this reason I also don’t think it’s a matter of just doing more research while we still have the “can of worms.”
Unfortunately, many people will draw conclusions or use this research to support preconceived ideas. This was my point about the writer of the letter to the editor of the NZ Listener – an approach which is arguing for abandonment of many victims of child abuse just because they don’t fit into his preconceived concept that the offender is, for practical purpose, always the male.
I can appreciate why people do react this way. People can get very defensive when they feel their own sex (or gender -I’m not sure which is the correct term here) is being criticised.
But for the sake of the victims, and for the sake of adopting social policies which are more realistic (and therefore more effective than the current one-sided ones) I wish more researchers in this field could overcome their preconceptions.
The “can of worms” I was talking about are protracted legal cases where accusations of abuse are countered with accusations of abuse. The research that Gelles & Straus did, for example, has been used to support the claim by – often abusive – men that women are abusive, too. In child abuse cases, this can happen, too, with the “parental alienation syndrome,” for example, which has been largely discredited in the legal arena but is gaining momentum in the political world. The idea behind PSA is that mothers make false accusations of abuse. Instead, PSA argues, it was them who alienated the child(ren) from the father and the abuse claims are fabricated stemming from the alienation. The sad fact is: This children really have been abused in most cases. But because of all this PSA talk, nobody believes them. People claim they were brainwashed. That’s the “can of worms” I am talking about. I think in the first section of your post you’re raising a very important issue: how society adds to the experience of abuse by belittling it or not believe it existed – society’s complicity in the continuation of the abuse. But by playing the “they, too” card in your next section – as correct as your argument might be – you get into the can of worms again because this is getting back to the adults. The abuse is what matters, not the gender/sex of the perpetrator (I never know which term is correct either…).
I am not denying that women can be abusive. What I think is important, though, and I think we agree on that: Children are being abused by parents – both mothers and fathers. And they are getting lost in the “can of worms.”
I can appreciate the quagmire of legal fights over children and other matrimonial issues. I’ve always felt that couples should do everything to resolve issues without bringing in lawyers. Certainly legal documentation, etc., is not about truth.
What gets to me about adult attitudes is that these do effect the survivors. I can appreciate how indigenous Australians felt about the continual denial of their experience. That’s what I mean by abandonment. The current government’s apology removed the denial and appears to have had a strong effect.
Great discussion on maternal child abuse. The defensive responses of women, are the embodiment of the collective denial that you describe.
Oh sure, we feel bad you’re mom abused you but…
First, your New Zealand statistics are very close to American research I found at the American Journal of Psychiatry web-site. Of children younger than five, murdered in the US during the last quarter century, 61% were killed by their own (natural) parents. This did not include neonaticide(killed within 24 hrs). Of that, 30% were killed by their mothers, 31% by their fathers. They admit the research is inadequate, and on further investigation, some questionable child deaths, may have in fact been homicides.
But you touched on the real issues of denial and how that effects survivors of maternal abuse, both emotionally and politically.
If you want an example of big-time denial in the media, check-out my article, “I was On Oprah,” at Child Abuse Effects.com. Darlene Barriere, from Canada, has a really great site, one that’s very receptive to everyone.
You may find some helpful information there, regarding your own personal healing.
Thanks for your comment James and for informing me of the Child Abuse site. I eventually found your article (I Was On Oprah). I guess Oprah is an extreme example of denial – but I think this denial is going on all the time at much lower levels, whenever the subject of family violence and child abuse is discussed.
The site looks good and extensive and I will have to peruse it more
In New Zealand we have reacted quite strongly to recent cases of child murder by parents but, on the other hand, there was just a huge amount of public opposition to the removal of discipline as a legal defence in the prosecution of child abuse cases. (Christian fundamentalists were/are at the forefront of this opposition, but it is wider than that). I can understand how some good parents have been duped into thinking the law may apply to them – but at the same time I feel they are ignoring the abused children in that concern. That makes the child abuse survivors feel abandoned.
A couple resources that were recommended to me by the Family Violence Prevention Fund for male survivors of childhood abuse:
* National Resource Center on Domestic Violence at 800-537-2238 (U.S. specific)
* Male Survivor Website
Thanks for the excellent website suggestion for MaleSurvivor. I noticed Mike Lew was involved in many of their programs. He’s one of the foremost authorities on males sexually abused as children. He actually brought, and led the panel discussion on the Oprah Show I mentioned earlier. I highly recommend anything he is involved with, including his book, “Victims No Longer.”
Ken, you may be interested in another book that helped me to deal with my mother’s orchestration of my own abuse. That book is, “Toxic Parents” by Susan Forward. Sibling alienation and manipulation, is a huge part of maternal abuse.
Thanks for the links, Rachel, and the book recommendation, James. I had a quick look at the Amazon reviews of the book.
Two things I have problems with regarding these resources:
1: Each survivor has had different experiences – problems are so specific. It’s hard for me to relate to, and get useful information from, discussion of sexual abuse – for example. However, some of the issues of violence, and particular of neglect, do resonate. That’s the nature of the issue, I guess.
2: Although I can face up to (recognise) some of the damaging behaviour of my parents I can’t bring myself to blame them. I actually find that I see them as victims of their own family and particularly social situations. It’s more a matter of ‘Toxic Society’ rather than ‘Toxic Parents.’ In some ways I feel that if I ended up blaming and hating my parents I would just be making my own psychological situation much worse.
Relevant to the ‘Toxic Society’ argument – I watched a TV programme last night about the treatment of children considered mentally retarded or just “difficult” in New Zealand over the last 80 years. This was related to the eugenics ideas of the 1920s and 1930s where these people were put away in institutions and prevented from “breeding” so as to improve the purity of our “white racial stock.” These people got no education and were treated like slaves – labouring on the institution’s farm. They were very often (probably always) sexually and physically abused by staff and older inmates. And, I guess they were all deprived of the normal human interaction a child needs to develop properly.
Kids were assessed by doctors and judged difficult or retarded using very suspect criteria. Some children were just born out of wedlock, placed in an adoption home and then passed on to these institutions when no adopting parents could be found. Some were judged on the basis of very minor crimes (stealing a few sausages) or behaviour which is probably considered quite normal now. Some were just abandoned by parents – maybe because they were considered slow in their development, but maybe for economic reasons.
I guess this shows that there are always people who had worse treatment than we did. But my point here is that this abuse was carried out by society -not parents.
Looks like I touched a nerve with that “Toxic Parents” book. Mind you, ‘blame’ doesn’t necessitate ‘hate.’ Kind of like hating the sin but not the sinner. Many more people are abused as children, and don’t grow up to be abusive.
Men in particular, are more likely to bottle up the raw emotions of child abuse, and take it out on themselves in self-destructive behaviors. The male suicide rate here in America far outnumbers that of women.
Abusive moms create abusive children. Whether they grow up to ‘take it out’ on themselves or someone else is their own moral decision. You were abused, I was abused, but we didn’t choose to repeat the behavior. In fact, we’re the ones trying to help others as we help ourselves, by at least clearing the air and allowing an open, unbiased forum.
The more social awareness we can provide for abused children, as they confront the pressures of adulthood, the better they will be able to deal with their own past experiences. That will enable them to survive the old wounds in a healthy manner.
Whenever I hear a woman begin a statement with, “as a mom I… ” I am galled by their presumed ethical superiority. Mothers are some of the most abusive creatures on the planet. The mainly feminist, social denial of this fact needs to be addressed in a significant manner.
We all need to deconstruct the ‘motherhood myth.’ For that I give the authors of “Toxic Parents” credit.
Male suicide rates in NZ are also higher.
I still find blame a very hard thing to do.
Mind you, even in blame I have found a gender bias. When I have revealed anything about my original family situation to friends, and pointed out that it was my Mother (not my Father) who was violent, I have usually got a response which looked for an excuse rather than recognising responsibility. Arguments such as psychological illness (true), post-natal depression, etc. I’m sure, however, if my Father had been the violent one he would have been blamed, without any attempt to excuse (this is the usual reaction to violent men).
Now, I argue that whatever the gender there will be psychological or situational factors behind someone’s violence. We should recognise this and not just leave it at blame. This is not to excuse the violent person. But to help us understand the causes and possibly look for cures and prevention.
I agree, however, society should recognise the facts of child abuse by Mothers. But we should also try to understand the background factors behind violence by either gender.
Due to the media attention most women get over abuse that they have suffered from a man it may look like men are the only real contributors to child abuse, but more attention is draw to men concerning this because they usually tend to abuse children physically and sexually, however its is just as likely and maybe more that psychological abuse can occur at the hands of a female caregiver, in fact there is no common consensus on what really is psychological abuse. The nature of men due to gender roles and some inheret genetics is to “tuff it out” and most likely dont report as much abuse as you stated, and society is not prepared to be as receptive to people who experience psychological abuse. In fact I personally know of a case where the mother was completely emotionally abusive to her son, DHS has been called on her before and yet still nothing has been done to remove the child from an environtment that has allready damaged him and will have everlasting effects on his life. the young boy handles emotional neglect in a different way a young girl does, so it my not be as evident to authorities when they investigate a complaint that there some form of abuse is really happening, had it been a father who was raping his daughter it is much clearer that there is a problem and much more easily prooven in court.
It upsets me that men are always getting the blame for all of this, it just so happens that the gender roles in our society lean us towards different ways of responding to our problems, men maybe more likely to take out their anger and insecurites physically but women are more likely to take them out on somebody emotionally.
the man who cheats on his wife – or the woman who withdrawls emotionally from her husband?
the man who gets drunk and hits his daughter, or the woman who is bipolar and provides a totally unstable enviroment for the child to bond with the parent in?
Im not saying one is better than the other, but sometimes it seems that the media and society treat the physical abuse of a derranged man as being more horrible than the phsycological abuse of a derranged woman and that is simply only addressing some of the problem, and the lasting effects cam be just as bad for the survivor of either type of abuse.
Big Problem with Female Violence
is the obtuse nature of much of it
a bloke punches someone
clear – no doubt – assault
Men tend to attack people
Women tend to attack relationships
Men tend to use gross forms of violence
women tend to be more subtle
Men tend to use active forms of violence
Women tend to use passive forms of violence
these things tend to mean the violence of women
Is completely invisible in any assessment
of Family Violence
and so the Interpretation of the Family Dynamic
is completely lopsided
by the fact that great weight is put on physical violence
ie men’s favoured form of violence
and no weight at all is put on relational violence
ie womens favoured form of violence
for example – my mother destroyed
our relationships with our father
their was no violence
there was no slander
she didnt need to even
say a bad thing about him
she just showed absolute contempt
for anyone who showed
any respect or regard
for my father
and that was enough
Rob D – I agree. It is a big problem. I think that in relationship violence we must assess the contribution of both partners – not just the men. And we should address issues of non-physical violence and aggression.
However, when it comes to child abuse the data suggests that actual physical violence by mothers occurs in a large proportion of the cases. Probably in a higher proportion than for physical violence by females in heterosexual relationships.
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To whom it may concern, in Australia there’s media and political campaigns against domestic violence and only the male is shown as the perpetrator. It’s outrageously sexist. Violence by women against men on TV is regarded as humour, even for what the man thought or said, rather than actually did.
Life is very iffy, but I want to list my statistic, perhaps here to begin with. Please excuse this transgression if it’s the wrong place, but here as a first step.
My mother was the most violent person I’ve known, and hers was violent too. It was against all other family members and our pets. She started when I was a baby– altered the shape of my nose because it was like my fathers– I altered it back once I could afford a surgeon. The dog had to have its spleen removed after three kicks in the stomach, because it didn’t walk fast enough for her. I had to have my nose cauterised because it bled each time she hit. She burnt my father’s leg with an iron, broke countless things on his head, threw a large knife at him but it stuck in the table– he got in trouble for ruining the table. She pushed me on the bed when I was undressing and bounced up and down on my groin, when I was ~12. Force fed me holding my noise in front of visitors. Several evenings when I was ~13/14 my father pinned me down (family games?)– but I had claustrophobia (late ceasarian birth) and was screaming that I couldn’t breath, and my my mother would have her hand up my pyjama leg pinching my bum too close to where my legs join– and insult me if I didn’t respond properly, as she wanted. Sundays she’d go on shouting for hours. Anything nearby would be a weapon. Never heard her give a compliment to anyone, only insults. Every little thing, every movement or intention, had the tightest control– on threat of violence. I was allowed to go to kindergarten but only for one day.My father never hit her back once– if he had done then I might have grown up with some self respect. He was much stronger and bigger though. She’s alive, he’s gone. These are just a few of the things that I don’t know what to do with. Now I’m 55 and still have a lot of trouble trusting females– especially those who look like her– can’t trust those at all, recoil if close. Also affects confidence in general. Mothers are in charge of children younger than are fathers (on average) and the earlier the damage is done the harder it is to undo. I’ve met women whose mothers got to them very early, and messed them up. I’d like to be free, at least for a while.