Category: Diary

SH AGM and strategy meeting

The AGM part shouldn’t take long – new officers needed please! Most of the meeting will be about how the group can raise the profile of Humanism and Secularism in Suffolk and N E Essex during the coming year.

If you’re one of the many who think that religious organisations have too much influence in public life, come and help us plan our strategy.

We’ll be in Room 1 (next to the front door) at Castle Hill Community Centre, Highfield Road, Ipswich.

“A conservative encyclopedia you can trust”

Conservapedia has over 3,800 educational, clean and concise entries on historical, scientific, legal, and economic topics, as well as more than 350 lectures and term lists. There have been over 2,500,000 page views and over 19,000 page edits. Already Conservapedia has become one of the largest user-controlled free encyclopedias on the internet. This site is growing rapidly.

Oh dear! Should you laugh or cry? Conservapedia is being touted as a reliable alternative to Wikipedia, “the free online encyclopedia that anyone can edit”. Instead,

Conservapedia is an online resource and meeting place where we favor Christianity and America. Conservapedia has easy-to-use indexes to facilitate review of topics. You will much prefer using Conservapedia compared to Wikipedia if you want concise answers free of “political correctness”.

Faith schools ghettoes for the middle class, warns think-tank

Headteachers should be stripped of the power to pick pupils amid fears the best schools are colonised by middle-class children, according to one of Tony Blair’s favourite think-tanks.

The IPPR says faith schools are 10 times more likely to be over-run with middle-class children compared to other schools

Something for the weekend

Friday news and web links…

An Alexandrian court has sentenced Abdel Kareem Nabil Suleiman to four years imprisonment for “inciting hatred of Islam” and insulting President Hosni Mubarak in his blog, using the pseudonym “Kareem Amer.” Visit the Free Kareem! website to call for his freedom. As Amnesty International reports, the sentence means that bloggers are under threat from the Egyptian authorities.

NawalAll copies of Egyptian feminist writer, activist and medical doctor Nawal Al Saadawi’s latest book, God Resigns in the Summit Meeting, were removed from circulation and destroyed last week by her publisher Mahmoud Madbouli, according to German news service Deutsche Press Agenter. Madbouli said he withdrew the book once he learned it “offended readers’ religious sensitivities.”

Perhaps because of the The British Humanist Association’s attempts to appeal to ‘cultural Christians’ as prospective members, some have demonstrated rather woolly thinking about atheism or Humanism in its members’ forum. This is part of a topic posted recently:

Most reasonable people accept evolution and much that RD [Richard Dawkins] says in The God Delusion. On the basis of God defined in RD’s theistic terms, many people such as myself are atheists, but that does lump together a wide spectrum of belief some of which may prefer not to be called atheist.

Know what he means? Answers on a postcard please. Meanwhile, please would intelligent, sensible Humanists join the BHA? If you’re a bit woolly about what it all means, read ‘Humanism: an Introduction’ by Jim Herrick, normally available from the Rationalist Press Association but their website’s having a make over and doesn’t appear to be fully functional today, so try later. Also recommended: a subscription to New Humanist magazine.

Bugmaker’s trilobites

BristolensisTrilobites were arthropods that existed during the Cambrian period, until about 250 million years ago.

Andrew Scott of Vancouver, aka ‘Bugmaker’, creates trilobites and other creatures out of PVC gel, copper, and acrylic paint.

BBC NEWS | Nursery pupils taught philosophy

Children as young as four are being taught philosophy in the nursery, BBC Scotland has learned.

The Clackmannanshire Council initiative is believed to be the first run by a local authority in Britain.

New research from Dundee University suggests learning philosophy raises children’s IQ by up to 6.5 points and improves their emotional intelligence.

BBC NEWS | Scotland | Nursery pupils taught philosophy.

It’s not the first time that very young children have been taught philosophy. In 2005, it was reported that children were learning philosophy in Leicester, and there’ve been similar reports from schools in other parts of the country.

Cabinet rejects exemption on gay adoptions

Cabinet rejects exemption on gay adoptions | Special reports | Guardian Unlimited

The Catholic church is almost certain to lose its battle for special treatment over gay adoption rules under a deal agreed by the cabinet to heal damaging divisions between senior ministers. Cabinet sources said the new proposals would require Catholic adoption agencies to consider gay couples – or close down – after a reasonable delay that would allow them to ensure that the children in their care are properly dealt with.