Two quotes- one from Private Eye, one from the Proceedings of the Royal Society B (as you do).
Alas, he is a journalist, not a scientists or a philosopher king, and thus takes the journalist’s now standard route to enlightenment, which is to read a few papers from experimental psychology, parse them for our benefit and dazzle us with someone else’s insights into the inner workings of the human mind.
This used to work brilliantly for Malcolm Gladwell and his ilk, but in recent years the authors of all these papers have wised up. Rather than let journalists reap the rewards for all of their clunking lab work, several psychologists have started writing perfectly readable books to explain their own works to the masses. As a result, authors like Daniel Kahneman and Jonathan Haidt have become bestsellers in their own right.
Review of “The Heretics: Adventures with the enemies of science”
Private Eye 1336, p 27
The second – Can a collapse of global civilisation be avoided?*
“There are great social and psycho-logical barriers in growthmanic cultures to even considering it. This is especially true because of the ‘endarkenment’—a rapidly growing movement towards religious orthodoxies that reject enlightenment values such as freedom of thought, democracy, separation of church and state, and basing beliefs and actions on empirical evidence. They are manifest in dangerous trends such as climate denial, failure to act on the loss of biodiversity and opposition to condoms (for AIDS control) as well as other forms of contraception . If ever there was a time for evidence-based (as opposed to faith-based) risk reduction strategies , it is now.”
*Ehrlich and Ehrlich say yes. I suppose it is still technically imaginably. I say no. We’re gonna find out one way or t’other, quite soon.