Linkfest 2021-07-23

First Things: Catholic Ideas and Catholic Realities

Ross Douthat surveys the field of American Catholicism and identifies all the major players. You can’t know what’s going on without a list of dramatis personae and their alliances.

DarwinCatholic: No, COVID Vaccines Are Not Causing First Trimester Babies to Miscarry

There is a lot of anxiety about the COVID vaccines given the rapidity of their development and release. My approach has always been to engage with skeptics in a spirit of truth, and this is a good example of a thing that just isn’t true, and readily shown to be so.


First Things: The Making of Christian England

There is an argument to be made the the Normans are one of the most successful ethnic groups in the world. However, a part of that success was their rule over the very unusual land of England, and the bulk of its people, the Anglo-Saxons. Francis Young here reviews a book by Marc Morris on the post-Roman pre-Norman world of the Anglo-Saxons [Amazon link].

West Hunter: The Birth of Britain

Marc Morris, as quoted in First Things, attempts to make sense of the degree of population replacement that occurred in Britain starting in the fifth century. Morris tries to use linguistic evidence, which is certainly suggestive, but why wouldn’t you just use ancient DNA, which directly answers the question?

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On Twitter, Andrea Matranga argues that the Milankovitch Cycles pushed early humans into agriculture, by increasing seasonality and providing an external reason to not just keep doing the much easier hunting and gathering lifestyle.

New York Times: Necessary or Not, Booster Shots are Probably Coming

Dr. Elisabeth Rosenthal pens a confused editorial about COVID vaccines in the New York Times. Dr. Rosenthal seems unaware that common practice in clinical trial protocols is to compare a new treatment to the current standard of care, or that there is a part of the American system that assesses cost-effectiveness, in approximately the same way as done in other countries.


With Both Hands: The Great Year

Sepp Rothwangl wrote me this morning after seeing my review of Nicholas Campion’s The Great Year. I haven’t read any of Rothwangl’s works, but a great many essays are available at his website in English and Deutsch.


Institute for Family Studies: Cohabitation Law and Couple Behavior in Canada

John Reilly used to say that marriage is as much an anthropological phenomenon as a legal and religious one, and this blog post by the Institute for Family Studies supports that contention.