Tuesday, December 28, 2004
Monday, December 27, 2004
Here's the text of a letter by 200 clergy from different denominations in Wisconsin (USA). They sent this letter to school officials who approved a curriculum which would include Intelligent Design as a model for understanding origins. It shows that not all Christians believe the same thing about Genesis 1 and can still remain Christians.
Within the community of Christian believers there are areas of dispute and disagreement, including the proper way to interpret Holy Scripture. While virtually all Christians take the Bible seriously and hold it to be authoritative in matters of faith and practice, the overwhelming majority do not read the Bible literally, as they would a science textbook. Many of the beloved stories found in the Bible the Creation, Adam and Eve, Noah and the ark convey timeless truths about God, human beings, and the proper relationship between Creator and creation expressed in the only form capable of transmitting these truths from generation to generation. Religious truth is of a different order from scientific truth. Its purpose is not to convey information but to transform hearts.
We the undersigned, Christian clergy from many different traditions, believe that the timeless truths of the Bible and the discoveries of modern science may comfortably coexist. We believe that the theory of evolution is a foundational scientific truth, one that has stood up to rigorous scrutiny and upon which much of human knowledge and achievement rest. To reject this truth or to treat it as 'one theory among others' is to deliberately embrace scientific ignorance and transmit such ignorance to our children. We believe that among God's good gifts are human minds capable of critical thought and that the failure to fully employ this gift is a rejection of the will of our Creator. To argue that God's loving plan of salvation for humanity precludes the full employment of the God-given faculty of reason is to attempt to limit God, an act of hubris. We urge school board members to preserve the integrity of the science curriculum by affirming the teaching of the theory of evolution as a core component of human knowledge. We ask that science remain science and that religion remain religion, two very different, but complementary, forms of truth.
Source: The Church of Critical Thinking
Saturday, December 25, 2004
Friday, December 24, 2004
- It is just about individual autonomy
- We all need the 'right to die'
- The central issue is pain
and others. The author (Kevin Yuill) finishes the article with a compelling question of alternatives:
So shall we project our own cramped and gloomy worldview on to those who are most sensitive to counsels of despair? Or shall we continue to view all human life as valuable, doctors as curers of physical disease (rather than prescribers of death for therapeutic reasons), and life as worth living?
You can read the full article here: Ten myths about assisted suicide.
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
Monday, December 20, 2004
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
The promise of smart is that it purports to be a way to talk about quality in a sea of quantity. But the problem is that it internalizes the competitive ethos of the university, aiming not for the cultivation of intelligence but for individual success in the academic market. It functions something like the old shibboleth 'quality of mind,' which claimed to be a pure standard but frequently became a shorthand for membership in the old boys' network. It was the self-confirming taste of those who talked and thought in similar ways. The danger of smart is that it confirms the moves and mannerisms of a new and perhaps equally closed network.I guess we'd better rethink our desire to be smart!
Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Sunday, December 12, 2004
Parents need to abandon the idea of perfection and give up some of the invasive control they've maintained over their children. The goal of parenting ... is to raise an independent human being.Surely that, too, is the aim of Christian education in home, church, and school. It reminds me of the phrase in Hebrews (5:13, NLT): 'a person who is living on milk isn’t very far along in the Christian life'.
biologists' investigation of DNA "has shown, by the almost unbelievable complexity of the arrangements which are needed to produce (life), that intelligence must have been involved"
Apparently, Flew's reasons for changing is mind about the possible existence of God is similar to the Intelligent Design (ID) movement's which argues that the complexity of nature requires an intelligence behind it. You can read the whole story here.
You might also like to read the press release from the Institute for Metascientific Research who ran the symposium at which Flew revealed his change of mind. Another interesting site on Flew is here where you can read past writings and comments regarding Flew.
All in all, quite a remarkable event.
Friday, December 10, 2004
Under the Groningen protocol, if doctors at the hospital think a child is suffering unbearably from a terminal condition, they have the authority to end the child's life. The protocol is likely to be used primarily for newborns, but it covers any child up to age 12.
You can read the whole news story here.
Bible.org is a site where you can find all sorts of Bible study resources including the NET Bible, an online theology course, sermon illustrations, study tools, and more. But a site like this needs a quick way to find things. Bible.org have released a dedicated toolbar that installs itself in your internet browser (in the same way that, say, the Google toolbar does). You can quickly type in a topic and hit the search key and it will return results from the Bible.org site. You can download it here. It's FREE and very useful.