Thursday, March 23

March for what?

The so called "March for Free Expression" has now become uncomfortable with Free Expression.

A movement which was formed in support for the Danish cartoonists is now effectively banning the display of the cartoons at the rally, because it will offend Muslims....

The event has lost my support.

Friday, March 17

Blogging meets Memetics UK

Susan Blackmore the writer of The Meme Machine has joined the Comment Is Free blog. Susan writes about The selfish gene's birthday and Breaking the spell of faith

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Sunday, March 12


We need a society in which the freedom of each person is compatible with the freedom of other persons. The compatibility of my freedom with yours depends on our both renouncing violence towards each other. I won't knock you down, and you won't knock me down.
Karl Popper "Reflections on the theory and practice of the democratic state"
quoted in "Critical Mass" by Philip Ball.

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(The Logic of Scientific Discovery)

Friday, March 10

Creationism Invades UK Science Syllabus

It seems that Ruth Kelley and Tony Blair are giving their fundamentalist friends the excuse to teach religious dogma in science lessons in this country.

from BBC News

A spokesperson for the exam board said candidates needed to understand the social and historical context to scientific ideas both pre and post Darwin's theory of evolution.

"Candidates are asked to discuss why the opponents of Darwinism thought the way they did and how scientific controversies can arise from different ways of interpreting empirical evidence," he said.

"Creationism and 'intelligent design' are not regarded by OCR as scientific theories. They are beliefs that do not lie within scientific understanding."

The area is contentious, with critics claiming that inclusion of creationist or intelligent design theories in science syllabuses unduly elevates them.

James Williams, science course leader at Sussex University's school of education, told the Times Educational Supplement: "This opens a legitimate gate for the inclusion of creationism or intelligent design in science classes as if they were legitimate theories on a par with evolution fact and theory.

"I'm happy for religious theories to be considered in religious education, but not in science where consideration could lead to a false verification of their status as being equal to scientific theories."

The Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, which oversees the development of the national curriculum, in effect guiding exam boards, said discussions of "intelligent design" or "creationism" could take place in science classes.

Richard Dawkins got a brief quote via phone on Radio 4 this evening.

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Winner of the Egg and Sperm Race

Are our police going mad, or are they being driven by a mad government?

from the NSS


Police have ordered a shopkeeper to remove a toddlers’ T-shirt from his window display because its slogan “Winner of the Egg and Sperm Race” was deemed offensive. Tim Price, who has run the Ju-Ju clothes shop in Brighton for 11 years, said yesterday that he was stunned when officers began telling him what T-shirts he could and could not display. “Apparently, someone had found the word ‘sperm’ offensive. Is sperm a swear word?” he asked. Mr Price initially left the T-shirts in the window but covered up the offending words and replaced them with less offensive ones. The move, however, only brought another visit and another warning from the police.

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Wednesday, March 8

Saturday, March 4

Talking to Blog

Daniel Dennett's Breaking the Spell has finally arrived in the UK. Only 10 pages in and it is sparkling with ideas.

For some people, prayer is not literally talking to God but, rather, a "symbolic" activity, a way of talking to oneself about one's deepest concerns, expressed metaphorically. It is rather like beginning a diary entry with "Dear Diary."

So could we concider blogging as a religious activity, or some forms of religion as equivalent to blogging?

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