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Darwin & religion

Campaigning against religion can be socially counter-productive. If teachers take the uncompromising line that God and Darwinism are irreconcilable, many young people raised in a faith-based culture will stick with their religion and be lost to science. Moreover, we need all the allies we can muster against fundamentalism – a palpable, perhaps growing concern.

Topics for debate…

Two stories that have been in the news have attracted lots of attention; the French burqa ban and the Big Society.

Eric Pickles and Sayeeda Warsi seem to imagine that religious organisations are the best ones to provide public services in the Big Society. In yesterday’s Guardian, Rahila Gupta wrote,

“Faith” has increasingly become the new way of constructing racial minorities, a trend that started under Tony Blair and continues under the Tory-led government. Secularism is seen as so intrinsically western that it is unimaginable for policymakers to conceive that it might be welcome within minority communities, especially the powerless among them.

The burqa ban continues to attract a lot of debate. Many think that we should have a similar ban here. I blogged against the idea and was answered by blogger Kausik Datta in the US, who disagreed with me.

What do you think?

On disestablishment

In the Independent, Adrian Hamilton writes,

… this Easter week, I can’t help feeling more than ever that the Church of England will not survive my children’s lifetime and quite possibly not even my own.

He opines that the C of E may do better if it severs its ties with the state. We’d like disestablishment too, wouldn’t we?

New group committee

At its AGM last week, the Suffolk Humanist & Secularist group failed to elect a new chairperson, as no one wanted the job. It was agreed that a chairperson would be nominated from the attendees at each meeting, while the committee would take it in turns to chair their meetings.

The new committee consists of Denis Johnston (secretary), John Mellis (treasurer), John Palmer, Tom Boles, Colleen Nunn, Michael Imison, Tom Boles, Sue Hewlett and Peter Davidson. This is the largest committee that the group has ever had.

Martin Rees

As to Martin Rees accepting the Templeton prize, it’s rather like the Pope accepting the secularist of the year award.

Humanist Week

Humanist Week includes World Humanist Day (21st June, the summer solstice). We’re still working on our plans for this year, Watch this space.

Monthly meeting – guest speaker Prof. John Midwinter on climate change

Prof. John Midwinter (BSc & PhD in Physics, Hon. DSc, Fellow of the Royal Society) will address the following questions:

  • What is the truth about climate change? (the scientific evidence)
  • What are the implications for us?
  • How can we reduce our personal fossil fuel consumption?
  • What are the possibilities for large scale renewable energy in the UK?
  • Tipping points – the real worry behind the climate change debate.