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291340.  Thu Mar 06, 2008 8:34 am Reply with quote

294060.  Tue Mar 11, 2008 12:17 pm Reply with quote

"I am prepared to sign here in my blood that of all those who say they are lesbian or gay at most five to 10 per cent are effectively lesbian or gay. All the rest are sexual perverts. I demand you write this down. If they come to protest on my doorstep, I don't care. I'm just speaking out on what thousands of people are thinking but never get a chance to say.”

"Politics, democracy. Don't make me laugh. The right to vote, what is that all about? I find it strange that a snot-nosed 18-year-old has the same vote as a father of seven. One has no responsibilities whatsoever, the other provides tomorrow's citizens. "

- Cardinal Gustaaf Joos, of Belgium, becoming the first leading cleric to endorse calls by right-wing catholic groups for an end to one-person-one-vote. Quoted in Daily Telegraph, 22 Jan 04.

I like his use of the sub-standard observational comedians’ catchphrase, “What’s that all about?”

303015.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:32 am Reply with quote

Discussing the CERN super-collider, Prof Michio Kaku

does wish the experiment had taken place in America, as had originally been the plan. 'In the world of theoretical physics there is a certain amount of snobbery aimed at those of us who try to engage the public,' he says in a soft Californian accent. 'In 1994, we were going to build one near Dallas that would have been several times bigger than the one in Switzerland, and therefore several times more useful. But we needed to win Congress over to get 20 billion dollars' worth of funding for it. On the last day of the hearings, a Congressman asked one of the physicists if we would find God with our machine. The physicist answered that we would discover the Higgs Boson [the sub-atomic particle]. Our machine was duly cancelled.'

S: Sunday telegraph, at

303166.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 10:38 am Reply with quote

The Vatican has been inundated with more than 160,000 requests for "relics" of the late Pope John Paul II after offering them free on the Internet.

The London Telegraph quotes Monsignor Marco Fibbi, a spokesman for the Vicariate of Rome, as saying that the demand was initially slow, "but last week, [they] received around 5000 requests from worshippers."

The vicariate is sending a tiny shred of one of John Paul's white papal robes to anyone who visits its website, or sends a fax or letter.

The piece of material worn by John Paul is not technically considered a relic, because he has not yet been canonised.

Instead, it is called an "ex-indumentis" or "from the clothing", a phrase that usually refers to a second-class relic. A first-class relic is usually a piece of a saint's skeleton.

Worshippers who receive the relic also get a prayer card, which thanks God for "having given Pope John Paul II to the church and for having made the tenderness of your paternity, the glory of Christ's cross and the splendour of the Holy Spirit shine within him".

Monsignor Fibbi said the church had decided to distribute the items after seeing hawkers in St Peter's Square selling fake relics to tourists.

Monsignor Fibbi said relics would not be sent out to "collectors" or to "people who simply admired the Holy Father".

"We only really want to send out relics to people who intend to use them for prayer," he said.


303204.  Wed Mar 26, 2008 11:04 am Reply with quote

Rather frightening, from SF author Ken MacLeod, in an article he wrote for the Morning Star, 3 March 08:

THIRTY-FIVE years ago, I mentioned creationism to one of my zoology tutors at Glasgow University. "Nobody," he said, "takes these people seriously!"
Today, another of my former tutors, Roger Downie, who is now professor of zoological education at Glasgow University, has to take creationism - or evolution denial, as he prefers to call it - a bit more seriously than that.
He's still awaiting results from a survey of students' beliefs this year, but surveys that he conducted over several years in the 1990s found one science student in 10 rejecting evolution

But where does students' evolution denial comes from, supposed scientific arguments or prior religious belief?
"Prior religious belief mainly, even when given the opportunity to give alternatives. Worrying, since these are science students embarking on an evidence-based degree," says Downie


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