Category: TV and Video

Bertrand Russell on You Tube

A 1959 BBC interview with Earl Russell on You Tube. Bertrand Russell (1871-1970) has been a strong influence on humanist thinking. His autobiography began, “Three passions, simple but overwhelmingly strong, have governed my life: the longing for love, the search for knowledge, and unbearable pity for the sufferings of mankind.”

John “there is nothing I hate more than these humanists” Gummer to quit

Suffolk Coastal MP John Gummer won’t stand for re-election, he says, as he wants to concentrate on the campaign against climate change. That’s commendable. We need more people to campaign against climate change, but…

Remember how he got cross about humanists at the Conservative Party conference? In  a subsequent exchange of letters over his outburst, Mr Gummer was unapologetic, claiming that he didn’t hate anybody and that the story wasn’t true. However, as several reliable people had witnessed it, one can only assume he’d had a convenient memory lapse.

Is it too much to hope that at least some of the Suffolk candidates in next year’s general election are clued up about climate change and about humanism and secularism? We’ll be encouraging our members and supporters to contact their candidates and report on what they learn.

For celebration, amusement, or just to pass the time

A few of the stories that have caught my eye on the Interweb this week:

* As an antidote to the depressing news that a significant proportion of British people think that creationism ought to be included in school science lessons, we can celebrate a development in education. Evolution will be in the national curriculum for primary schools when the new version is published soon. Andrew Copson from the BHA wrote in the Guardian:

The new primary curriculum, together with the 2007 government guidance that prohibits the teaching of creationism and intelligent design in science lessons, should put English schools in the forefront of education about evolution. Coming in the month which marks the 150th anniversary of On the Origin of Species, and at a point when good science education is a matter of urgency, it could not be more timely.

* We will have to remain vigilant, however, when loonies of all sorts seek access to our classrooms. The Times Educational Supplement reported a couple of days ago that …

A school initiative that trains children in “energy therapy” has been criticised as unscientific by two senior academics.

NSS President Terry Sanderson interview

Some of the things that Terry says may upset Humanists who regard themselves as part of a “movement” that shares beliefs – a sort of quasi-religion.