‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Monday, 18 April 2011

Exeter School Under Fire by Secularists for Allowing Creationist into School RE Lesson.

A Church of England school in Exeter, St Peter's, has come under fire for allowing Philip Bell of Creation Ministries International to speak in an RE setting  Anger after controversial creationist is invited to talk at school

The question I wish to raise is whether there is room for respectful dialogue on the question of origins in schools. The British Centre for Science Education wishes to remove all such discussion from the classroom, apparently even from RE lessons. But there are still many religious believers including Christians, Jews, Muslim and others who do not accept Darwinism believing it to be an ideology that goes against the core values of their faith. I believe the education system needs to come to terms with such plurality and accommodate dissent and respectful dialogue in this area. There needs to be greater respect for other's beliefs. The irony is that secularists are showing a degree of intolerance that they accuse fundamentalist religious believers of displaying.

The BCSE claim that "It believes in the tools for everyone to think for themselves - Science, Education and Reason - and the outcome – Democracy, Pluralism and Liberty." and that its "...campaign is dedicated to keeping all forms of creationism including Intelligent Design out of the science classroom in the UK." but then asserts that "The BCSE is open to all, irrespective of religious or political affiliations, who wish to oppose the tide of creationism in the United Kingdom." In other words, it is opposed to all forms of creationism in the UK, not just in the science classroom, and it is not committed to respecting all religious beliefs, only those that are similar to its own position. One wonders how this ties in with their desire to uphold "Democracy, Pluralism and Liberty?" I would suggest their very basis for existence is muddled and confused.

The Christian message advanced in the first century AD through dialogue, not through human compulsion, and there must continue to be room for dialogue in this area. Christianity has never had anything to fear from such dialogue with people of other faiths and none.
Andrew S 

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Is Nuclear Power Safe?

A fierce debate has started over on the Guardian blogs concerning the safety of nuclear power. Helen Caldicott responds to George Monbiot's claim that nuclear power is safe.

Caldicott writes that nuclear apologists, such as George Monbiot, have misled and misinformed us over the risks of radiation, and 'at worst distort evidence of the dangers of atomic energy.' (11/4/2011).

Monbiot has asserted that the Fukushima emergency enabled him to 'stop worrying' and come to 'love nuclear power'. He believes that the fallout from the Japanese disaster needs to be set in the context of other harmful alternatives to energy production, and that atomic power must remain 'part of the mix.'

One of the main problems with nuclear power is that when it goes wrong it does so much harm to organic life and disrupts agriculture and fisheries over decades, or longer. Carbon based fuels, even though they may cause serious problems for human communities around the world, at least run with the grain of creation in that carbon dioxide is a natural part of the eco-system. I don't think nuclear is really the sustainable solution to a low carbon energy mix. 

Friday, 1 April 2011

Have we forgotten Chernobyl ?

Have we forgotten the long-tern health problems of Chernobyl? John Vidal is critical of environmentalists who have downplayed the seriousness of the Fukushima incident.
Nuclear's green cheerleaders forget Chernobyl at our peril - Pundits who downplay the risks of radiation are ignoring the casualities of the past. Fukushima's meltdown may be worse