April 16, 2024 - 5:15pm

→ Is a Jordan Peterson-Richard Dawkins showdown coming?

The (cordial) war of words between Jordan Peterson and Richard Dawkins could soon be reaching its finale. After tweeting out a clip of Peterson claiming that the British biologist was “mostly a Christian”, Dawkins called on the Canadian psychologist to have an in-person conversation with him.

Peterson responded by saying that he “wants to talk”, adding that both men had a “complex problem to address”. “Can the civilization you and I both admire,” he tweeted, “possibly be sustained without the magic of its underlying metaphysic?” Peterson went on to note that he, unlike Dawkins, did not believe that this was possible but that the pair were “more allied than not”.

“You obviously don’t want what we have to disappear,” he continued. “I also know you’re unhappy about the current state of the universities. You can see, as can I, that the scientific enterprise itself is now on shaky grounds — and not because of the Christians (even the fundamentalists).” After Ayaan Hirsi Ali, will Dawkins end up joining Team Christian too?

→ Leading Australian university introduces ‘indigenous maths’

Good news: maths just became a lot more accessible, at least for Aboriginal Australians. The science department at Australian National University (ANU), one of the most prestigious higher education institutions in the country, is now offering the chance to study “Indigenous mathematics”. ANU academic Rowena Ball claimed this month that “students of under-represented and minority groups and colonised peoples are starting to be more critical about accepting unquestioningly the cultural hegemony of mainstream European-based mathematics.”

For those confused about the “cultural hegemony” of European maths, Ball helpfully goes further. “Mathematics has been gatekept by the West and defined to exclude entire cultures,” she says. The ANU write-up of her Mathematics Without Borders initiative also stresses that “numbers and arithmetic and accounting often are of secondary importance in Indigenous mathematics”, and that students have been receptive of the idea. Teenagers welcoming maths lessons without numbers: surely not?

→ Chega banned by Facebook

It’s been a bad week for Right-wingers. As well as Brussels police shutting down today’s National Conservative conference, reports have surfaced that Facebook has decided to ban the Right-wing Portuguese party Chega for a whopping 10 years.

There’s just one problem: the social media giant hasn’t said why. When pressed, Facebook pointed to examples including a video on the platform, which references “Portugal’s Gypsy Community”. However, Chega defended itself by claiming that the video had already been posted by various news outlets.

The party called Facebook’s decision “absolutely incomprehensible”, labelling the move “persecution of a political party”. Later, party officials confirmed that they would be taking Meta to court over the ban. We’ll be waiting with baited breath for the Zuck’s response