SciAm Reaches New Low?


  1. This came to my attention via a tweet from Joe Gehret. The screen capture and the observation about the crazy chronology are his. Didn’t link earlier because I just now figured out how to link back to Twitter (obvious in retrospect). Apologies – I’m a Luddite. 
  2. Angelius tracked down both the original and the revised/’corrected’ versions – this really is from SciAm – as you can see in the comments. Thanks! 

I hesitate, as I don’t even know how to check the source – tweet? blog? where? – but having this spewed out by SciAm unfortunately doesn’t seem far-fetched:


How stupid is this? Let me count the ways:

  • 2500 years ago, there was no Alexandria – it was founded around 2300 years ago;
  • 2500 years ago, there were no bishops – that started just shy of 2000 years ago. Same goes for clerics;
  • Not the slightest evidence exists that the bishop ordered Hypatia’s death, or that he was offended she was a woman. He would naturally care she was a pagan, as that would mean she needed saving, but that would have made her one of many thousands in Alexandria to which that applied;
  • Re: Christian bigotry against educated women: About 100 years earlier, another woman scholar – Catherine of Alexandria – was also murdered. According to legend, she was a leading scholar of the time. In any event, she was martyred for being Catholic. (Also see this.)

Finally, if you want the real scoop on Hypatia, check out Mike Flynn here, as he’s helpfully assembled what is known and points out what is not known and contrary to fact. It takes a few minutes to read through and understand, thereby revealing Flynn’s bigotry against those with the attention span of squirrels and the intellectual depth of a coat of paint. You know, like the editors of SciAm. Nobody’s perfect.

Author: Joseph Moore

Enough with the smarty-pants Dante quote. Just some opinionated blogger dude.

4 thoughts on “SciAm Reaches New Low?”

  1. Apparently French psychiatry doesn’t bother in such tiny things as “fact checking.”

    Then again, why bother looking for the log in your own eye when you could be digging around for the sliver in your brother’s?

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