Jan 22, 2009 1
Jan 19, 2009 0
2009 is the two hundredth anniversary of the birth of Charles Darwin and the one hundred and fiftieth anniversary of the publication of his most significant work, On the Origin of the Species. Darwin is clearly one of the truly great and most important British thinkers – and it’s good to know that a campaign is underway to make his birthday, 12 February, a national public holiday here in the UK.
An Early Day Motion ( No 377) has been submitted in the House of Commons by Ashok Kumar MP and other MPs are being invited to sign up for it. The motion reads:
“That this House notes the extraordinary achievements of Charles Darwin; notes that 2009 marks both the 200th anniversary of his birth and the 150th anniversary of the publication of On the Origin of the Species; welcomes proposals for the creation of a Darwin Day in recognition of the ground-breaking work of the British scientist responsible for the theory of evolution by natural selection; and calls for Darwin’s birthday, 12 February, to be designated a public holiday in honour of one of the fathers of modern science and one of Britain’s greatest, if not the greatest, scientific minds.”
I can think of few better reasons; especially if it helps serve as a nationally sanctioned poke in the eye to all the creationist / intelligent design mentalists out there…
If you want to ask your MP to support this motion but you are not sure who s/he is, go to www.theyworkforyou.com and type in your postcode. Then send the MP a copy of this motion and encourage them to support it.
For further details of Darwin events across the country, go and check out www.darwin200.org & for details about the Darwin exhibition which is running at the Natural History Museum until 19 April, go take a look here.
Jan 18, 2009 0
Jan 15, 2009 0
There’s an excellent piece on Cult of Mac at the moment, reflecting on Steve Jobs’ decision to step back from Apple till the summer on account of health issues being “more complex” than previously thought.
I wanted to share it as it’s a pared down, non-hysterical look at the present and the future and – without getting ghoulish or mawkish – also attempts to understand the nature of Jobs’ legacy, whenever his time may come.
Most chatter on the various Mac forums is a mix of hysteria and cynicism, and some utterly unreal trolling from sickeningly greedy and self-obsessed shareholders (apparently), who deserve nothing short of the mightiest punch in the gob.
There’s not really much to do except hope that the stepping back / treatment etc is not a gentle euphemism for the long goodbye but a genuine assessment (and in no way loaded) of what’s going on; to wish Steve Jobs all the best, and to hope he’s back doing more “insanely great” things when he’s good and ready.
Jan 14, 2009 1
Far be it from me to piss in somebody’s chips when they’re basically standing for something I believe in / stand for, but having noticed lots of posters on the Tube recently for the Humanist Association’s “There’s Probably No God” campaign I can’t help wondering if, in trying to make it ‘appealing’ and ‘attractive’ (my emphasis) they haven’t ended up saying something that’s worse than banal, in that it’s actually dangerous.
Let’s get it out of the way – I absolutely agree with the headline that “There’s probably no god”… absolutely. Totally.
The problem is the strapline that sits below it. It says “Now stop worrying and enjoy your life”…
Let’s just be clear – having taken on a fundamental philosophical position about the need to believe and in the importance of showing clear blue water between the principles of faith and belief as opposed to logic and knowledge and rationality and reality – something terribly important in suggesting that you have control and responsibility, they then fob you off with a twee little pat on the head. Go enjoy yourself… Have fun…
The world teeters on a knife-edge today: it is almost entirely composed of poverty, hunger, death, imperialism, war, terror, pollution, climate change, diminishing energy and water resources – and they say “enjoy your life”…
The truth is that if there’s no god to bail you out, to intervene, or for you to hang your hopes on – then more than ever you need to understand these issues, and that the way they end up resides entirely with you, the human.
Frankly it should be:
THERE’S PROBABLY NO GOD.
NOW GET YOUR FUCKING ARSE IN GEAR AND SORT OUT THIS PLANET BEFORE IT’S TOO LATE. IT’S NOT GOING TO HAPPEN ON ITS SODDING OWN, YOU KNOW. NOPE.
There is no god – and it absolutely *is* down to us.
It’s a shame that the Humanist Association seems to have allowed people to abdicate that responsibility in its attempts to win them over.