Friday, 21 September 2007
Monday, 17 September 2007
It is however far far far away and Sainsbury's is on the way home. Sainsbury's is pretty poor for treaty stuff, but I may have to suffer as I am quite sleepy.
And still have ~15 episodes of He-Man to watch.
Sunday, 16 September 2007
***This blatent free-advertising has been neither sponsored, endorsed nor stopped by anyone connected to DLDown, the manufacturers of it's musical instruments or the colour black (as featured on the website)***
Friday, 14 September 2007
Long and strong would be more appropriate words, but unlike toilet paper it's always pleasing to see again.
My fellow small grouper Duncan has posted up a short summary over on his blog. Read it, be inspired too and rejoice!
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
1) More on science journalism. BBC and others admit they stuff it up. BA bloke wimps out from taking the chance to further challenge shoddy journalism by saying such cases are "unusual".
2) British Eating Blog was set up to record the account of it's author's self-challenge to live off nothing but British produce for a year. Today I caught him drinking tea. Tea is not grown in Britain and certainly not el cheapo university tea even if it is called 'English Breakfast' tea! Ahahaha!
3) I'm sure I'll remember at some point.
In other news I am thinking of gluing tarantulas to the inside of my MRI scanner.
Monday, 10 September 2007
Seemed to go quicker reading it back-to-front as well.
Thursday, 6 September 2007
An interesting study, for a previously known link between food additives and hyperactivity in some children, given undue exposure and prominence.
BBC Science/Scare Mongering at its best again.
Can you even make valid, responsible news out of single studies? I'm leaning towards nope more and more these days.
So what would be responsible science journalism? And who decides?
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Fair enough. Discount the opinion of the vast majority of scientists in favour of some healthy skepticism and relegate climate change science to suspect 'fringe' science.
But lets not forget the past record of the BBC in championing fringe science? For example Wi-fi Panaroma anyone...? MMR? Or their very lop-sided Horizon programme 'A War on Science' which included results from a highly loaded questionnaire MORI poll.
If you're not going to be biased at least play fair.
Tuesday, 4 September 2007
In my small group we are currently studying a series of topics using "What about religion and science?" by Paul E. Stroble as our basis. The following are the notes I wrote to help lead the session on the first two chapters. Didn't quite work out the way I planned but it was a good and very normal for our group.
Question - What do you think about science?
Question - What do you think about religion?
Question - What are they?
- For us as Christians religion should be about beliefs expressed through our lifestyles.
- We do also need to incorporate common elements of operation (EOP) found in most religions.
- But not for ‘religious’ reasons, because of a living faith
- Are there EOP in science that we can/should incorporate?
- Critical thinking?
- Knowledge? (Needed for wisdom)
- Are there shared characteristics between the two?
- Two ‘books’ (Revelation and Nature)
- Both from God,
- Both ‘True’ when free from human error and misjudgement,
- Two truths cannot be in conflict,
- They cannot be in conflict,
- And they are in parallel.
John Polkinghorne illustrates the process of scientific discovery:
“In the short-term it is a lurching story of both bafflement and breakthrough, with fluctuating fortunes, pseudoproblems, errors perpetrated, errors corrected, triumphant vindications and unexpected discoveries. In the longer term, when there is time for an averaging out of experimental vagaries and a critical sifting of theoretical speculations, the character of the story is clearer. In 1950, the high-energy physics community believed protons and neutrons to be fundamental particles. In 1980 the high-energy physics community believed protons and neutrons to be composed of quarks and gluons… In a word, the dust had settled.”
Question - What about religion and science?
- Long history of interaction
- Both bring obvious benefits to society
- Both can cause obvious problems to society
Sometimes they can appear in conflict.
- Science is an ongoing process
- Constantly self-challenging while it’s ‘stage’ (the omni/multi/uni)verse stays the stays static in its outworking.
- Ongoing revelation.
- Open to correction.
- But only through the methodology of science.
- Conflict can arise when religion tries to impose its own methods and/or agenda on science without using the methods and forms of science.
- Christian theology is grounded on set Truths. For example:
- The resurrection
- God incarnate
- God as creator
- Interpretation and implementation of those Truths can change over time
- The Crusades
- Church denominations
- Conflict also when science tries to change religion using science (transient knowledge!)
Question - Are the two mutually exclusive?
- Both have the same author
- Both influence us
- Both effect us
- We are the interface between the two.
Science inspires and invigorates religion and religion, science.
, Faraday, Mendel, Pascal Newton
- Awe, majesty, creativity
- Psalm 19
- Both Science and Theology praised
There must be an informed and reasoned dialogue between the two. Matters like the following need it:
- Bioethics – stem cell therapies, cloning, genetic modification, etc.
- Environmental-based Social Justice - sustainable living, climate change, biodiversity, etc
- An obedience and calling to truth
Both must inform the other and neither must be subject to a knee-jerk reaction from the other.
Question – Is either the grander?
Should we place more emphasise on one than the other? Should we reject the honest conclusions of one in favour of another more ‘accepted’ idea?
- In physics the theories of quantum mechanics and general relativity do not fully agree with each other.
- But we don’t abandon one for the other.
- We know both are not entirely correct
- We (presently) cannot reconcile the two.
- But we apply them into the appropriate areas and they are good and excel in those areas.
- Your faith should not rest solely on science as it can be transient and you may find your faith cut out from underneath you!
- And also your faith should not rest on one particular interpretation or way of thinking about a passage of scripture.
- Your understanding may grow and change as God reveals Himself to you.
Both science and religion require respect and a willingness to listen.
- Otherwise we make ourselves open to easy criticism from both believers and/or scientists.
- Current opinion is not necessarily the ‘standard’ nor the opinion throughout the history of Christianity history.
- “No Christian would dare say that the narrative must not be taken in a figurative sense.” (Augustine, 391AD) on the interpretation of the early chapters of Genesis.
- A stark contrast to the literal reading of those chapters by modern Young Earth Creationists.
- We must also be careful how we use Scripture.
- "If I may speak my opinion freely, I should say further to that it would perhaps fit in better with the decorum and majesty of the sacred writings to take measures for preventing every shallow and vulgar writer from giving to his compositions (often grounded upon foolish fancies) an air of authority by inserting into them passages from the Bible, interpreted (or rather distorted) into senses as far from the right meaning of scripture as those authors are near to absurdity who thus ostentatiously adorn their writings." - Galileo
- We must also be careful how we use science
- Eugenics, etc
“As Christians we should always be thinking biblically, willing to hear new ideas, and different opinions, and be prepared to change our position in the face of truth.”
Questions asked at Small Group
What can we be doing for scientists?
- Prayer is good. For wise judgement, integrity and honesty. And courage to stand up for our beliefs in an often negative or sceptical atmosphere.
What can we be doing for the science community?
- Engage in an active dialogue with it.
- Learn more about modern science.
- It’s part of Creation
- Enjoy it!
- Know the issues
- Informed prayer
- Encourage open and honest debate between believers and scientists and amongst those groups in general.
Any prominent scientists?
- Some modern ones: