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 â€œenergy therapyâ€ has been criticised as unscientific by two senior academics.
The â€œEmoTranceâ€ project is taking place at the Haydon School in Pinner, Middlesex. Nineteen pupils are being trained in â€œemotional transformationâ€, which is described in a press release from EmoTrance.com as a â€œpractical system for energy healing and energy workingâ€.
Religion has had it too easy for too long. It has erected around itself a completely unjustified wall of respectability. Many people still feel guilty or even â€œbadâ€ if they speak ill of religion. I have even heard victims of the most horrendous clerical abuse holding back from condemning the institution that made that abuse possible because they had absorbed so deeply the Churchâ€™s own propaganda about its â€œgoodnessâ€.
* One of the ways that “fundies” like to threaten those who reject religion is to tell us that we’ll all go to hell. A young woman on You Tube is amused by this.
* And lastly, some of you may remember that our webmaster spent some time in Cambodia the other year, helping young adults at the Sangkheum Center for Children to learn skills for when they left the centre. Now some of those young adults are raising funds to benefit the next generation at the centre with a sponsored 30km bike around Angkor Wat. Please donate at their Just Giving site.