In a recent “Skeptic’s Collection” column I gave examples of beliefs that represent the principle that “A little learning is a dangerous thing”. The examples I cited were derived from physics, psychology, and literature. But history is no less susceptible to warped beliefs than other disciplines. A recent issue of the Washington Post Magazine contains such an example of warped history. Problem is that the Post writer, while doing a sterling job of debunking the beliefs of lovers of the Confederacy, fails to note that liberals and progressives, in their zeal to repudiate such atavisms, fail equally to take into account their own myopia, and end up with a view of history – Civil War history in particular – that is equally warped, just in the opposite direction.
The article compri
Over the years since I’ve been writing “Skeptic’s Collection” columns for BeguineAgain, there are certain topics that I have come to think of as vampires. Except, there are certain topics that are even more resilient than vampires. Vampires you can deal with once-for-all by the simple, though usually messy, expedient of a stake – some sources say an ash-wood stake – through the heart … and cutting off the head and stuffing the mouth with wild roses and burying at a crossroads or beside running water, etc., as alleged in some versions of vampire prophylaxis. But a topic that makes vampires look as delicate as a pre-pubescent Scarlett O’Hara is the issue of same-sex marriage, which has apparently arisen from the jurisprudential dead to assault the Alabama Supreme Court – which, to the Co