‘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

Thursday, 5 December 2013

Comet Ison - was it a sign of the second coming ?

There was a lot of chatter on the internet about Comet Ison in relation to it being a sign of the second coming. The hope was that it would burn brightly over the earth in the run up to Christmas Day. But Ison burned up following its track around the Sun - a bit like putting a snow ball in the fire and expecting it to survive.

But interestingly, Ison underwent its own death and resurrection, as reported at www.spaceweather.com Its demise was announced prematurely on the web by scientists as it seemed to disappear near the Sun. But then it popped out the other side and was visible on SOHO LASCO C3 imagery. It then was seen to ascend, and finally disappeared into a cloud of its own making as it burnt up.

So was it a sign of Jesus and the second coming? You must decide for yourself. Of course the modernist mindset would sneer at this. But in the pre-modern period reading signs in the heavens was part of the work of those who studied the stars. For instance, the wise men from the East followed a star to Bethlehem to worship Jesus, the newly born king of the Jews. Reading nature semiotically may not suit those who wish to read nature in a simplistic literal sense, but we should note that it has a long and noble history.

Post Script 13/1/2014: It would seem Comet Ison completely disappeared. But in its place appeared Comet Love Joy - a sign of the Holy Spirit perhaps? You decide. See also:

The Tyranny of Secular Humanism

Ted Cantle, writing in the Guardian Comment is Free blog, argues that education policy should move away from religious diversity.

Instead he believes all schools should move towards a secular ideal where humanism is given pre-eminence. He thinks that religious education leads to communal enmity and hatred in society. He writes that 'The Fair Admissions Campaign has a simple aim – that all state-funded schools in England and Wales should be open equally to all children, without regard to religion or belief.' It is of course a good ideal to seek harmony in the community, but does secular humanism, that does not regard the value of religion or belief, provide the answer? Furthermore, we ought to ask questions about the content of religious education. If we all followed Jesus' teaching to love our enemies, then wars would cease. It is offensive to suggest that such teaching necessarily leads to communal hatred.

The problem is that the secular humanist' dominance in education provision does not respect the faith of individual believers, but seeks to indoctrinate children away from their family or community beliefs. For instance consider the way evolution is forced upon the schools systems, where even the discussion of creation in the school science lessons is forbidden. This is really a form of tyranny against religious believers, and has echoes of the education policies in the former Soviet Union.