Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Welcome Heretics

The Heresiarch would like to welcome the many neophytes who are visiting this blog for the first time. I don't quite feel like Lord Byron, who awoke one morning to discover himself famous, but my attempts to raise doubts about the "married twins" story have at last attracted a modicum of attention.

If you want to read the full story, scroll down. I first blogged about this subject last Friday "("I don't believe it") raising doubts about the plausibility of the story, which has many of the characteristics of an urban legend. On Saturday, I turned to the media coverage, the credibility of Lord Alton himself, and the cultural and mythic resonances which the story might have ("Lord Alton's Tall Story"). After a Hef-related interlude on Sunday, I subjected the coverage to further scrutiny on Monday ("The myth-makers") with particular emphasis on the role of the BBC, and the fantastical embellishments of the tabloid press.

Just to be clear, my objection is not based on the implausibility of the story itself. Of course, it was wildly improbable, not only statistically but also in terms of the number of failures of procedure, disclosure and common-sense there would have to have been. But then very strange things do happen. Extraordinary claims, however, require extraordinary evidence, and there was no evidence produced for this story at all. Just an anecdote told by a maverick peer, with a particular religious and political agenda to promote. Why, then, was it taken so seriously? This is a question to which I shall return.

While you're here, I hope you take the opportunity to look around and see if there's anything else that interests you. This blog tends to concentrate on politics, religion, and to a lesser extent cultural and social topics, with a generous helping of the bizarre. I try not to be too predictable.

Let me know what you think. And please come again.

1 comment:

mcherm said...

Hi!

I guess I'm one of the new readers. I came following links to your "I don't believe it" article, but then saw several other interesting things so you got added to my feed reader. So far, it looks interesting... I think I'll keep reading.

-- Michael Chermside
http://mcherm.com/