Skip to main content

Stories by John Horgan

How Can We Condemn Boston Murders But Excuse U.S. Bombing of Civilians?

Ever since the Boston Marathon bombings Monday, something has been bothering me. I've tried to put it out of my mind, but I can't. So, perhaps unwisely, I'm going to write about it.We Americans are justifiably outraged at the attacks in Boston, which killed three innocent people and injured many more...

April 19, 2013 — John Horgan

Is "Social Science" an Oxymoron? Will That Ever Change?

I've been mulling over the potential, and limits, of social science again lately. One reason is that last month philosopher James Weatherall of the University of California at Irvine visited my school, Stevens Institute of Technology, to talk about his new book The Physics of Wall Street ...

April 4, 2013 — John Horgan

Research on TM and Other Forms of Meditation Stinks

In response to my last post, which proposed that Transcendental Meditation and other cults might be exploiting the placebo effect, some readers cited studies supposedly showing that TM has therapeutic benefits...

March 8, 2013 — John Horgan

Do All Cults, Like All Psychotherapies, Exploit the Placebo Effect?

I'm a child of the Sixties, so I've known lots of people over the years who've joined cults. One of the most popular was Transcendental Meditation, which the Indian-born guru Maharishi Mahesh Yogi began marketing to westerners, notably the Beatles, a half century ago...

March 4, 2013 — John Horgan

The Weird Irony at the Heart of the Napoleon Chagnon Affair

I have a few things to get off my chest regarding Napoleon Chagnon, who is back in the news with a score-settling memoir, Noble Savages . On Sunday, Savages was reviewed in The New York Times Book Review , and Chagnon was profiled in a Times Magazine article: "How Napoleon Chagnon Became Our Most Controversial Anthropologist." Both pieces focus on the 2000 book Darkness in El Dorado by Chagnon's nemesis, journalist Patrick Tierney...

February 18, 2013 — John Horgan

Why Drones Should Make You Afraid. Very Afraid.

Are drones far down on your list of anxieties? Do lethal flying robots seem like something Pakistanis, Afghans and other inhabitants of faraway lands need to fear but not Americans?

February 16, 2013 — John Horgan

The End-of-Science Bandwagon Is Getting Crowded

I'm getting worried, again, about the future of "pure science," which seeks knowledge for its own sake rather than for practical applications, like thermonuclear bombs and erectile-dysfunction treatments...

February 4, 2013 — John Horgan
Scroll To Top