Sunday 5 June 2011

Burnee links for Sunday

Writing, the True Sunday Experience | Godless Girl
People write for a variety of reasons. Here's one.

The Meming of Life » Pushing the point…or not » Parenting Beyond Belief on secular parenting and other natural wonders
The book sounds interesting, I look forward to its publication. But this post is actually about the incompatibility of science and religion:
Also problematic is the idea of the soul. If other animals are without this lovely thing, God must have chosen a moment in evolutionary history when we were “human enough” to merit souls. Since evolution is an achingly incremental process, there was no single moment when we crossed a line from “prehuman” into “human.” And even if there was, we’re left with the odd prospect of a generation of children who are ensouled but whose parents are not, or some similarly strange scenario. I’d be very happy to hear an argument for ensoulment (of the species, not the individual) that makes more sense, but have not yet.
I'd be happy to hear an argument for ensoulment at all, but I don't expect anything remotely convincing.

The Meming of Life » What, me worry? End Times Edition » Parenting Beyond Belief on secular parenting and other natural wonders
Another from Dale McGowan — this time he's talking to his kids about end-of-the-world predictions, and his post includes this wonderfully graphic line:
"The malformed chicken that is the human brain is in a state of perpetual defecation...."
(Hyperbolic metaphors aside, McGowan is a brilliant writer. I'm tempted to buy his book even though I'm not a parent.)

Atheism Is the True Embrace of Reality | The Hibernia Times
Why atheism? Paula Kirby relates her journey of faith.

Kenan Malik gives his thoughts (and regrets) on last week's Moral Maze discussion — in which he participated.

Kids who spot bullshit, and the adults who get upset about it – Bad Science
It's hard to believe that "Brain Gym" is still in use in British schools.

Prescient words « Why Evolution Is True
Theology may be old, but so, apparently, is disrespect for it.

Muslim creationists, same as the old creationists : Pharyngula
P. Z. Myers encountered some Muslims at the World Atheist Convention in Dublin. He relays their arguments, finding them unsurprisingly familiar.

Is there enough room in the Big Society for the non-religious?
That depends how big it is, I suppose. "Big Society" is an appallingly bad name. It connotes size, which is irrelevant to what David Cameron says he wants it to achieve. It's one of those phrases thought up by PR consultants who think it would sound good in speeches and look good on ads, but it means precisely nothing. (Or it can mean anything, which at the other end of the scale is equally useless.)