Sunday 9 November 2008

Burnee links for Sunday (belated post - more soon)

Missed a post last Sunday - here's what would have been in it (probably) . . .

"Website censorship erodes the very freedoms that the home secretary
purports to defend"

John Ozimek: A victory for the terrorists | Comment is free |

The UK's law banning the display of material that "directly or
indirectly" encourages terrorism is likely to be unenforceable.

"There is no contradiction between creation and science, says Benedict XVI"

Stephen Hawking to address Vatican conference on evolution -Times Online

"The Catholic Church accepts evolution, but sees it as part of the
divine plan. Pope Benedict has been described as a 'theistic
evolutionist' who believes that God created life through evolution,
and thus that there is no inherent clash between religion and science.

"The Catholic Church does not take the Genesis story that God created
the world in six days literally, regarding it instead as an allegory.
However some Christians - not least in the United States - do take the
Genesis account literally and object to evolution being taught in

"A passion for conservative values has united diverse Christian
groups, giving them influence way beyond their numbers"

Religion remains fundamental to US politics | Susan Jacoby - Times Online

"To most of my European friends, an inexplicable aspect of American
culture is the quixotic persistence and social influence of religious
fundamentalism. They cannot understand how Americans could seriously
consider for the second highest office in the land a candidate who has
worshipped all her adult life at churches where congregants believe
the literal truth of every word in the Bible and practise 'speaking in
tongues'. Thanks to YouTube, we even know that Sarah Palin has been
blessed to protect her against witchcraft."

(Some of the comments on this article are discouraging, to say the least.)

Vatican approves psychological tests for screening out homosexuals :: Damian Thompson

"The Vatican has given cautious approval to the use of psychological
tests to root out men with 'deep-seated homosexual tendencies' from
seminaries. Rome first used this phrase in 2005, when it said that
these tendencies were a bar to ordination; now, in a document released
today, it sanctions the use of tests to identify those 'deep-seated'
traits - but not without the seminarian's permission.

"Voluntary tests can also be used to identify men for whom the burden
of celibacy is too great and will cause emotional disturbance even if
they manage to keep their vows."

Two posts from Tim Farley:
The Long Tail of Skeptical Web Sites « Skeptical Software Tools

Skeptics! Load your google bombs! « Skeptical Software Tools
If you've previously linked to Stop Sylvia Browne, you should now link to Stop Sylvia Dot Com, like this: Stop Sylvia Browne. Why is this important? See Tim's post.