Joy, what I’m afraid of is unsubstantiated opinion, as that’s all it is, being passed off as science and a whole generation of students thinking creationism has any validity as such - otherwise why would it be in the science curriculum? By all means teach creationism in religious studies or the history of philosophy, but there is not one shred of evidence or science behind it, so it cannot by any stretch of the imagination be a part of a science course in any modern society.
If you do want to teach creationism then you must also respect other creation myths, which have equal validity as a metaphor, and teach them also. Elephants all the way down, as they say. I have no problem with that, so long as it’s left in the religious education curriculum. Evolution (or the modern synthesis), on the other hand, has overwhelming evidence to support it to the extent it is accepted as fact by any rational thinker, including the leaders of every major Christian sect.
If you choose to ignore all the evidence and remain convinced Texans haven’t evolved, then that’s your choice. I suppose George Bush does kind of support your theory.
I’ve just become aware of a new board game that’s sweeping the market. It’s called Vatican. Make sure you get yours for Easter.
This is an extract from the reviews. QUOTE:
AT THE ROLL of a dice a cardinal's chances of becoming Pope can be boosted or destroyed. That's the scenario in the impeccably researched board game Vatican, in which players take the role of cardinals vying for the throne of St Peter.
During the course of their "careers", players "Take a Stand" on weighty theological and moral issues, including contraception, clerical celibacy or the campaign to have the Virgin Mary proclaimed co-redeemer. The race begins as soon as the previous papacy ends, sometimes in bizarre circumstances. "The Pope dies when the popemobile rolls over after hitting a truck carrying bananas. Your earlier warnings that the popemobile was unstable are now seen as evidence of your sound judgment and you gain additional support," reads one card.
Players must seek to climb the ladder to spiritual perfection while simultaneously avoiding the "Cesspool of Sin", by not, for example, committing the "Sin of Gluttony: at a papal banquet, you have three helpings of cannelloni". Thankfully these sins can always be expiated with a trip to the confessional.
Rabid racist, actor Sir David Jason, has been forced to apologise for a joke he made on Absolute Radio. Despite no complaints having been made to the station, an Absolute spokeswoman said the joke was "unacceptable". She continued: "We consider the views of our listeners to be very important and have received no complaints about these comments.” What!?
The joke was what do you call a Pakistani cloakroom attendant? Jason’s punchline was the aged and superannuated Mahatma Coat.
Now I’m not surprised this joke was considered highly offensive – everyone knows Mahatma is an Indian term for a spiritual adept and not a Pakistani name. No doubt Muslim leaders the world over will boycott re-runs of ‘A Touch of Frost’ and ‘The Darling Buds of May’, calling for a fatwah against our living national treasure.
Mahatma Coat was not apparently available for comment.
I got this joke from an Indian site and deny all responsibility for it:
Two guys, an Indian and a Pakistani, are out walking together one day. They come across a lantern and when they rub it a Genie pops out.
'I will give you each one wish, that's two wishes total,' says the Genie.
The Pakistani said, 'I want a wall around Pakistan so that no neighbours or infidels can come into our land.' With a blink of the Genie's eye, 'POOF' there was a huge wall around Pakistan.
'Hmmmm', the Indian asks, 'I'm very curious. Please tell me more about this wall.' The Genie explains, 'Well, it's about 150 feet high, 50 feet thick and completely surrounds Pakistan. Nothing can get in or out.'
So the Indian says, 'Fill it up with water.'
To redress the balance, I got this one from a Pakistani site:
American scientists dug 50 metres under the ground and discovered small pieces of copper. After studying these pieces for a long time America announced that the ancient Americans 25,000 years ago had a nationwide telephone network...
Naturally the government of India was not that easily impressed. They ordered their own scientists to dig even deeper. 100 metres down, they found small pieces of Glass and they soon announced that the ancient Indians 35,000 years ago already had a nationwide fibrenet.
Pakistani scientists were outraged. They dug 50, 100 and 200 metres underground but found absolutely nothing. The scientists concluded that the ancient Pakistanis had wireless systems.
Tesco is opening banks at some 30 outlets. Rumours suggest that the bosses will get bonuses in the form of 30m Nectar points.
West Midlands Labour MEP Michael Cashman says he will raise the hole in the pension fund of pottery firm Waterford Wedgwood with the government. While he’s at it he should also highlight the crack in their marketing and examine the chip in their remuneration policy, although his eyes may glaze over.
Local communities in England and Wales are to be given the chance to decide what punishments offenders sentenced to community service orders should face. It is believed that the options include;
• Being pelted with rotten vegetables in the stocks,
• A good thrashing with a horse whip,
• Appearing in the next Big Brother series,
• Being branded, or
• Getting a job.
Canadian researchers have discovered that an electronic spy network, based mainly in China, has infiltrated computers from government offices around the world. The UK government is understandably worried, as it could undermine the entire parliamentary expenses system by opening it to Chinese scrutiny.
I hear that the Argentinians are wanting to open up old wounds again in respect of the Malvinas (aka the Falklands). Gordon Brown has stated that they’re not up for negotiation, unless Argentina is willing to fund UK MPs’ expenses, in which case he’s sure a deal could be done. Brown emphasised the importance of self-determination, on the basis of which Cuba has just lodged a territorial claim on Miami. I wonder if the Argentinians would accept Hull instead?
A scheme to improve attendance and behaviour at schools in Wales is to be unveiled by the Welsh Assembly government. Organisers are just hoping that someone from the Welsh Assembly will actually turn up to talk about it.
This one’s a bit old, but a famous and respected judge in Australia has been caught out telling a series of porkies in an attempt to get out of a speeding fine which would have cost him a few quid. His fibs grew into lies which grew into perverting the course of justice, resulting in a two year jail term and his reputation being trashed. He claimed someone else, currently living in America, had been driving his car, but it was discovered that this other person had been dead for 3 years. He then went on to compound the error by saying it was another person of the same name, who also turned out to be dead. He even implicated his mother. It was when he claimed to be God that the authorities became a tad suspicious, as God doesn’t drive.
The Commission for Catholic Education has given the go-ahead for Catholic grammar schools in Northern Ireland to set entrance exams. I should imagine that pupils will be tested on their ability to suspend belief in the laws of physics as well as their ability to unquestioningly obey medieval notions of morality and not use condoms. There is an incentive to passing – if you fail you’re burned at the stake as a heretic.