Tuesday, February 8, 2011


      Three topics that all bring about deep feelings and deeply held beliefs that seem to be at odds with one another.However the past few days they have been intertwine in the newspaper the last few days.Before I go any further,it is necessary that I tell you a little about myself. By nature and temperament I am a agnostic,I don't know if there is a god or not. However I was raised as a Roman Catholic,I went to Catholic school and even studied to become a Maryknoll priest for a few years. The reason I am tell you this,is because part of this blog will deal with the Catholic Church.There was an article in the Britsh newspapers that reported that the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales was worried about the influence of Harry Potter and his team of wizards.Really it's true. In the British church's publishing arm, the Catholic Truth Society published a booklet called,"Wicca and Witchcraft,Understanding the Dangers."I could not make this stuff up. The British arm of the Catholic Church is worried that the immensely popular Harry Potter books were corrupting British youth. That after reading about witchcraft and wizards,young people would flee the Catholic Church and turn to casting spells over boiling cauldrons.Ok, they didn't say the thing about boiling cauldrons,I stole it from Macbeth.But the tenor of the article brought to mind the three witches of Macbeth.They were scary enought that I could see why the Catholic Church was afraid of Harry Potter.
     Not really, you would have to be a complete idiot to think that. Am I being to hard .actually no. Religious fundamentalists and creationists seem to hold the belief that religion and science were not compatible,and anything that seem to conflict with their beliefs they had to attack and paint as being godless.Which is why that I was so completely taken by surprise when I read an article that talked about the sixth annual Evolution Weekend sponsored by the Clergy Letter Project.An organization of about 14,000 clergymembers and scientists who were holding discussions on how science and religion  are not at odds with one another. The reason they called it the Evolution Weekend was that it was taking place on the 202nd anniversaryof the birth of Charles Darwin.Whose birthday which was Feburary 12,1809.It was also the 152 years ago that he published his,"On the Origin of Species". The book that completely change the subject of biology, and the way we view ourselves.Now I may not believe that a belief in God is necessary ,since the universe is wonderous in it's complexity. But if someone wants to believe in God that's fine,as long as the belief does not make them deny the truth of science.The article went on to say that a survey of high school biology teachers said that they only spent two hours or so on evolution.Being afraid that they would be targets of the proponents of intelligent design.If that is true, is it any reason that the education system in the United States is falling so far behind in math and science.Maybe,just maybe if the Clergy Letter Project spreads to every corner of this country, science will once again take it's primary place in our schools and educational system. I know what I am hoping for but the question is what do you believe and what do you hope for?I will end this post with a quote from Macbeth,act 1 scene 7,"Screw your courage to the sticking-place,and we'll not fail"


  1. I am an agnostic. I was raised in a family where religion was not discussed or practiced but attanded a church school then a deeply religious grammar school. I was baptised because all children were. I sang in a church choir because I loved singing and this was the only place children were encouraged to sing and taught the tecniques of singing. I was confirmed as a Christian because it allowed me to stay in the choir and continue to sing. Confirmation classes were nothing to do with belief to me, just another topic I had to prove I knew.
    Then I hit trouble at home, in my mental health and at school. My church told me to put my trust in God and all would be right. I questioned. I had trusted God. I had obeyed the commandments to the best of my ability. I had apologised, asked for forgiveness and for the strength to obey better in the future. So why were the things I loved being threatened? Why did I wake each day in the 'slough of despond'? Why was Gods answer to my prayer to hurt me?
    The sticker wfor me was that to believe in God I had to believe in the Devil, Satan or whatever name you choose to give to evil incarnate. If God is omnipotent and omniscient He knows/knew all that evil would do, not just to those who commit evil but to those who are the victims too. And He allows it.
    If that God exists, I will not worship Him, whatever name you give to the religion.

    Modern science worries me as it seems to be setting itself up a an alternative religion. Trust in Science and all will be well. Science is the answer to all things. Science will overcome illness, death, dispair....
    And the same threats are starting, obey Science or Climate Change will get you. Famine stalks the land but will be overcome by Science and his archangel Genetic Engineering.

    For true science allows debate. Theories are just guesses, bloody acurate ones sometimes but still guesses based on what we know at the time. However closely they fit the facts as we know them, we must be willing to discard then if more facts are found that contradict them. If you think Theories are facts, please don't hit your head on the dome of the sky when you reach the edge of the world.

    Rant over, sorry Richard!

  2. Rant away.I don't know if science has all the answers,but at least it know how to frame the question.Once you do, then you can search for the answer.Remember, religions believe in what cannot be proven but accepted on faith,science on observation,fact,theories and eventually proof.They hold to Occam's Razor, which states when you have two theories that try to explain the same thing, the correct one is usually the simplest one.Remember the one thing science cannot do is predict what humans will do in any given situation. So science can never be a religion and anyone who thinks otherwise is foolish,Sorry for the long reply.
    You make me think and defend any positions or statements I make,for which you have my undying gratitude.

  3. I lost two posts on this thanks to a cat,grrm, Here is the third attempt!
    I agree with you Richard. That is why I stressed Modern Science. To me there are still a lot of true scientists out there, constantly questioning, re-examining and debating but there are also a lot of Modern Scientists who jump on to the bandwagon of a currently popular theory and defend it to their dying breath (ref. your Global warming, climate change thoughts) providing statistical 'proof' and then handing out mathematical theorems starting with 'assuming that' and claiming they have proved their point mathematically. It is still a theory not a proven case. I do not say they are wrong but I cannot say absolutely that they are correct. I feel the same way about the existence of 'God'. Nice idea, some good working rules, some bits I don't feel comfortable with and only time will tell. I may end up with egg on my face with my thoughts about climate change. I may also end up standing before a Creator say 'I could have done with a bit more evidence'. In the mean time facts mean more to me than threats.

  4. you are absolutely correct.Great critical thinking.Keep it up.At least my cat keeps away from my key board. I don't let him on my lap when typing on the laptop.

  5. Maybe we have got to the point where, to misquote Arthur C. Clarke (a great author and scientist) 'Any sufficiently advanced science is indistinguishable from religion'. The level of knowledge needed to understand the arguaments properly is far greater than I possess so I have to take a lot 'on faith'.

  6. Hi Richard, I beleive there is some kind of eternal well spring of knowledge. I just don't happen to believe that this higher power has a persona. Religion named this extreme power (being) God...Men wrote the bible; therefore communicating their interpretation onto the pages.
    In no way can I claim to be so conceited to think I have all the answers, but I have many experiences that point to truth. I just cannot articulate the unknown. "Faith...recognition by intuition…the nameless that tells us there is so much more."

  7. I believe we are all part of a bigger picture than we give credit for, I can feel it in my bones when someone I love is in need, like they are calling me through the miles. If I really want something I say it out loud in a mantra of sorts, sometimes I get what I'm hoping for, sometimes not but I used to feel like that was a form of Witchcraft...
    For some reason humans needed the religious factor to gain control of the masses, and in my opinion, it worked.
    People became confined to the religion they were taught and as it is passed down throughout the generations that confinement became a "MY GOD IS THE TRUE GOD" declairation. One of the many reasons I follow my heart and not any one religion.