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Middle aged heterosexual, WASP male. Semi retired, semi-sane and semi-serious. And endangered species and I'm not going quietly!!!!

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Boy, you don't look that old!

If you haven't read about it, the New York Times had an interesting article today about a seminar that could have far reaching implications for both the Catholic Church and Science.

They meet every year, the eminent German professor and his old doctoral students, for a weekend of high-minded talk on a chosen topic. For years it was nothing more than that.

But now the professor, once called Joseph Ratzinger, has become Pope Benedict XVI, and this year, the topic on the table is evolution. An issue perched on the ever more contentious front between science and belief.

Is this merely another yearly seminar? Or is the leader of the world’s Roman Catholics signaling that he may join in earnest the emotional debate over evolution, intelligent design and all that might mean for politics and faith, especially in the United States?

There is no way to know immediately, though many church experts believe that the pope has fewer problems with the science of evolution than with its use to wipe God more cleanly from a secular world.

The seminar comes after a year particularly fraught over the issue of evolution in America — and with the fight over intelligent design in the church. So scientists and believers from around the world, on all sides of an extraordinarily charged debate, are watching the meeting carefully.

Proponents of intelligent design, defeated in a high-profile court case last year in Pennsylvania, say they are pleased that their ideas, which posit that life is so complex that it requires an active creator, may get a fair hearing in the lofty circles of Professor Ratzinger’s seminars.

On the other side, scientists and theologians who support evolution say they worry that, even inadvertently, the church may be driving a wedge between itself and science. “Because like it or not, evolution happened.”

The meeting opened Friday morning at Castel Gandolfo, a papal palace that stands as a sort of symbol for the church’s coexistence with science. Castel Gandolfo houses a world-class observatory — with a telescope that Pope John Paul II enjoyed looking through — built a century after the church acknowledged its mistake in condemning Galileo for his postulation that planets revolve around the sun.

In 1996, Pope John Paul declared evolution “more than a hypothesis,” and in 2004 as Cardinal Ratzinger, Pope Benedict endorsed the scientific view that the earth is roughly four billion years old and that species changed through evolution. Indeed, there has been no credible scientific challenge to the idea that evolution, the foundation of modern biology, explains the diversity of life on earth.

Given that history, scientists and church experts say they cannot imagine the study session ending with any alignment of the pope or the church with intelligent design or American-style creationism, which often posits that Earth is only about 6,000 years old

Whatever the outcome, the Church will have to walk a very fine line, after all they certainly don't want to make the same mistake they made with Galileo

For inquiring minds;
Your scribe:
Allan W Janssen

If I ruled the world (part 2)

Back in "If I ruled the world" (part 1) we looked at some of the problems in my neighbourhood and the rest of Canada. In very short order, we solved most of them including the Quebec Separatists one. I said we were going to have a look at the Middle East and see if we could straighten that out too.

You have to remember that this is from a Canadian perspective that does not know all of the dynamics and intricacies of the situation so comments and feedback would be most appreciated. So, here goes!

First a few general observations so let’s put things back into perspective here, (where have I heard that before.)

1. The biggest problem is naturally the Arab / Israeli conflict, or to put it more succinctly, a Palestinian homeland. Back about a thousand years ago the Arabs and the Jews were actually getting along quite well. It was the Christians that the Arabs (and Persians and Kurds etc.) were having trouble with. All this changed when the Jews returned in 1948 after everyone else in the world refused to accept the refugees from Hitler’s Germany.
2. European Colonialism that caused unimaginable damage to the region. Which in turn was further complicated by............
3. Middle East Oil - too much money too fast leading to......
4. Huge disparities in wealth between the fortunate few and the uneducated masses, which then led to..............
5. Despotic or tyrannical Regimes. (Saudi, Iraq, Iran, Syria, Egypt, Libya, etc. etc.)
6. Arab "machismo" and their treatment of women.
7. The continued role of the leaders (Imams) of Islam in maintaining the "status quo" that was established over a thousand years ago and which they are desperately trying to maintain.
8. The escalating conflict between Shiite and Sunni sects and such groups as the Taliban. The Shiite and Sunni for dominance and the Taliban for absolute control and the Kurds for separatism and on and on.
9. Cultural traditions that desperately need to be changed and modernized. Come on people, this is the twenty first century, not the fourteenth.
10. On the one hand Tribalism, and on the other, Nationalism!
11. Arab refusal to accept the fact that they are not the world cultural and religious and political power they used to be at the height of the Arabic empire.
12. And finally, right back where we started, Israelis refusal to deal with the Palestinian issue properly.

There you have it – “The Dirty Dozen."

Now before we try to find some solutions I need your help in making sure these facts are reasonably correct and put the problem into perspective so comments are needed. This is not a read and discard thread, it has become interactive.

Once we get the problem properly into perspective then we can move on and try and find some solutions.

Hey, isn't that a Canadians role? Honest broker and peacekeeper!

Your faithful scribe
Allan W Janssen

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) and can be found at;
http://www.God-101.com And the petition to have people mind their own business instead of yours at;

Friday, September 01, 2006

Good looking "Infidel Bitch "

Want an Egyptian view on things? I ran across this on http://www.sandmonkey.org/ and thought you might be interested!

Ayten Ahmet is a 16 year old girl in Australia who wanted to enroll in the Miss teen Australia Beauty Pageant. No news there , right? Wrong. She is muslim and some of the Islamist shitheads decided to make a big stink about it, claiming that the girl blemishes Islam by participating in such a contest. (You would think they were fifteenth century Christians)

Ayten Ahmet, 16, advanced to the top 26 of Miss Teen Australia yesterday despite an outcry from some of Victoria's senior Muslims.The year 11 student said she entered the pageant to fulfil her modelling ambition, and was surprised by the objections.

Parents Salih and Sarah Ahmet said their daughter was a typical teenager, and her faith was irrelevant to the contest. Ms Ahmet, from Craigieburn, beat hundreds of hopefuls at an open casting session at Federation Square.

A spokesman for Melbourne cleric Sheik Mohammed Omran this week branded the competition, which involves swimsuit parades, as a "slur on Islam" and Victorian Islamic leader Yasser Soliman said the contest did not conform with the teachings of the Koran.

Imagine being 16 and told that you are sluring an entire religion by wearing a swimsuit, the same swimsuit millions of muslim women wear on beaches in muslim countries anyway, by 2 old men who decided that what you do in your spare time is their fucking business. How do you respond to that?

Go Ayet. I hope you win, just because it would piss those assholes off.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) at; www.God-101.com
And the petition to have people mind their own business instead of yours at; http://www.petitiononline.com/moses/petition.html

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Thursday, August 31, 2006

Crop "squares"

Although rather busy for the past week I have been able to pursue my part-time hobby of studying "crop squares."

Although not nearly as well know as "crop circles" they are becoming more prevalent and are considered a far greater threat since many people believe them to be caused by "Borg" vessels!

One aspect of "crop sqaures" we are investigating is why they are only seen in North America and not in the U.K. and Europe.

Most experts I have talked to agree that it's either the food, the warm beer, or maybe both.

Allan W Janssen is the author of The Plain Truth About God-101 (what the church doesn't want you to know!) at; www.God-101.com
And the petition to have people mind their own business instead of yours at; http://www.petitiononline.com/moses/petition.html

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