Newspeak is fundamentally misanthropic

I had a friend at medical school who was an old-school communist, of the “Come the revolution…” variety. He was actually a very nice bloke, and paradoxically his doctrinaire Marxism sat comfortably with a devotion to the Rolling Stones – hardly a icons of pure socialist egalitarianism. Continue reading

Posted in Politics and sociology | 1 Comment

Science denial

Over at Peaceful Science, I have been labelled by one poster as a “climate change denialist,” which is more interesting for the way the diagnosis – or actually, slogan – is used to foreclose discussion of a factual story I cited, rather than anything else. “Denialism” is one of those many Newspeak words designed specifically as a demonization-label. It’s used primarily of climate change science (where the “science-deniers” are often scientists doing the wrong research or declining to doctor their data to fit the consensus), and of “creationism” so called, where it may label, once more, qualified scientists proposing “the wrong kind of theory,” or those supporting more obviously unlikely explanations, indiscrimately.

In other words, the “denialist” words are descriptively useless. The lesson is to refuse to use such words at all, and be highly suspicious when anybody else does. Unfortunately that means living in a constant state of suspicion, nowadays. Continue reading

Posted in Politics and sociology, Science | 3 Comments

Transgression after Eden

We have a knife-crime epidemic over here in the UK currently. Of course, media reporting-crazes often appear more significant than the underlying events actually are, and can even escalate the problems they are so keen to highlight. But for whatever reason, there appears to be a significant spate of knife murders currently, by young people involved in street gangs. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Politics and sociology, Theology | 2 Comments

Sciense educashun

My eleven year old granddaughter is visiting this week, and is just at the stage of discovering that the i-Phone is a good substitute for looking at the world, thinking etc. Discovering a sat-nav app she was able to confirm that the short-cut we took to avoid the Exeter rush-hour was in fact correct, and to spend the rest of the journey reading off how long it would be before we got home. A shame she missed the views. Continue reading

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Pay attention

You may or may not have seen the following sports awareness test on YouTube. If not you can check your skills: Continue reading

Posted in Philosophy, Politics and sociology, Science | Leave a comment

Lest you be overwhelmed with excessive sorrow

Where do we start today? The film-makers have just stashed away the bonnets and top-hats, packed up their Victorian facades and swept the mud off the roads at Lyme Regis, 20 minutes from here, after taking over the town to film Mary Anning the Lesbian Fossil Hunter, aka Kate Winslet. My wife can take her morning coffee uninterrupted again. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, Politics and sociology, Theology, Theology of nature | Leave a comment

Just because you’re paranoid…

… doesn’t mean they aren’t after you

Regular readers will have noticed something of a political slant to the last three posts. What immediately triggered it was the realisation of a sudden shift in the position of the UK Baptist Union – representing probably the largest of the mainly Evangelical denominations in Britain. Only three years ago it issued a statement reaffirming the biblical view of marriage, and urging those dissenting ministers who were inclined to perform SSM to desist “for the peace of the body.” Now one of the two candidates for President is a gender-queer pansexual activist, pushing a theological position that gender itself is unchristian. Continue reading

Posted in Creation, History, Politics and sociology | 3 Comments

In the footsteps of Judah’s spiritual collapse

I’ve just read another very interesting book. In the Footsteps of King David describes the excavation of Khirbet Qeiyafa in Israel, just up the valley from the ancient Philistine city of Gath. Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics and sociology, Science, Theology | 1 Comment

…and the modern virtues don’t work either

A precious little snippet in the news yesterday, which is a quote from a press release by my alma mater, Cambridge University. They have just revoked a visiting fellowship they offered to the controversial psychologist Jordan Peterson, apparently because the Students Union, as “representative” as it was in my own day no doubt, threw some of the meaningless vice-words discussed in my previous post at Peterson, or more likely at the University to imply guilt by association. Continue reading

Posted in Politics and sociology, Theology | 6 Comments

Nowadays, even the sins don’t work properly

The abominable crime perpetrated in New Zealand by, we are told, a lone white-supremacist extremist, led to immediate calls in the mainstream press for a clampdown on rampant Islamophobia everywhere in society. When a thing (“Islamophobia”) is named as if it were a psychiatric disorder, but treated as a deadly sin, it is a little difficult to understand exactly what the neologism means. But the word appears at least, to include any negative opinion of any aspect of Islam, Arab nationalism, or Islamist terrorism shaken together, such negativity being interpreted as the inevitable precursor of crimes such as we saw last week. Continue reading

Posted in History, Politics and sociology, Theology | 3 Comments