In 2005 a small town in Pennsylvania became the centre of the religious controversy over evolution. This time it was over Intelligent Design , which is neither one nor the other!!
The hearings went for a long time with many witnesses, some of whom I knew. I was disappointed with one friend who would not commit himself on whether the earth was billions or thousands of years old.
By accident we drove through on holiday (vacation if you don’t speak the Queen’s English) and we went past the school at the centre of the controversy in 2011
Here are Paul Braterman’s comments on the trial and its implications for science. I may not always agree with Paul but I always respect what he says and his strictures are very sound.
I consider ID to be a mistake and a complete misunderstanding of science and Chrsitianity
via Intelligent Design or intricate deception? What I told students during the Kitzmiller trial
Neither the Bible nor the Qu’ran was dictated from heaven but both have a human source.
Christians, bar some fundamentalists, emphasise the human source but many muslims say Allah dictated the Qu’ran.
This article rightly questions it
A good book to read is Tom Holland In the Shadow of the Sword
Source: Who really wrote the Qur’an?
Pinched from a Kiwi posting tomorrow already.
It is theologically very subtle!!!
After many years, an agreement has finally been reached to fix the date of Easter to April 1, whatever day of the week that is. Churches can decide to celebrate Easter Day on the Sunday nearest to April 1 if that is what they prefer.
Source: Fixing Easter Day
Dan Brown, The Origin
This is one of the best-selling novel at present and follows the usual Dan Brown formula; easily written, a bit far-fetched, and chimes in with the upper end of pop culture. It’s a very easy read and you feel sucked into it. Yet here, as in the Da Vinci Code, Brown brings out his subtle and not so subtle misrepresentations of Christianity. In The Origin refers to the supposed conflict of science religion with various misunderstandings of Galileo and Darwin. This appeals to much of pop culture.
After all, it is God or science! Nobody ever told Galileo or Darwin.
Yet despite his rejection of Christianity and other religions he has some religious feeling but looks elsewhere than main churches encouraging odd spiritualities!!
There is more that we could write on the corruption and failures of the church. And so the book races on for 450 pages and culminates with a murderous encounter in the gaudy Gaudi Sagrada Familia in Barcelona!
Brown throws out so many half-digested ideas and despite his rejection of the corrupt old religions such as Christianity, he gives the impression there is something more than materialism and an anti-spiritual life. He never defines what that is, but seems to accept there is “something more”.
It ends with a climax and an anti-climax.
The climax is the way Artificial Intelligence is taking over, but that is presented in hyped-up manner. In other words, science has cruelly defeated religion.
The anti-climax is that all religions cannot cope with all these new ideas of science. That is simply nonsense as most scientists do not see the problem! But somehow Brown seems to imply there needs to be an unspecified spiritual dimension. But then he leaves his readers in the air, maybe to convince themselves that they are spiritual! But he leaves us with the thought
“The dark religions must depart, so sweet science can reign.”
It is clear that Christianity to Brown is a dark religion so we have his racy rejection, wrapped up in his pseudo-intellectual view that religion is opposed to science. The popularity of Brown’s books show how these ideas have pervaded our culture and result in a scepticism of the Christian Faith.
We need to ask WHAT a spiritual dimension could be and one which doesn’t just give us a cosy feeling, but actually helps us to live our lives in all its complexities, joys and sadness.
Here some ancient carpenter is far better a guide than a pot-boiling novelist. He never wrote a book, but said and did some good things.
Or was he a builder?