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Darwin's 200th anniversary

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Alan C.
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#21 Post by Alan C. » September 22nd, 2008, 8:59 pm

Latest post of the previous page:

Paolo
Scientists like Richard Dawkins irritate me with their vendetta against religion
I think you're being a little disingenuos there Paolo, Richard Dawkins only gripe with religion, is that is force fed to children as factual information, and I share that view.
I personally think that people should be free to hold whatever set of beliefs they want as long as they are not forced upon others.
Myself (and I'm sure R D) would agree with you, but they are being forced onto children, while they are still too young.
Richard Dawkins has said many times, "there is no such thing as a Catholic child or a Muslim child, only a child of Catholic parents, or a child of Muslim parents"
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

kbell
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#22 Post by kbell » September 22nd, 2008, 11:06 pm

Alan C. wrote:
Paolo
Scientists like Richard Dawkins irritate me with their vendetta against religion
I think you're being a little disingenuos there Paolo, Richard Dawkins only gripe with religion, is that is force fed to children as factual information, and I share that view.
I'm not sure it's true that his only gripe with religion is that it's force fed to children - he only devoted one chapter of God Delusion to it after all. I share a lot of what Dawkins feels about religion, where I think he goes wrong is his lack of a nuanced approach and his lack of sensitivity. He did it in his Root of all Evil documentary when he seemed to see the Catholic ladies as much the same as the suicide bombers and he did it after 9/11 when he launched a huge attack on religion in general at a time when some people were looking to their faith for comfort at a time of extraordinary shock and grief. We don't win friends that way.
Kathryn

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Paolo
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#23 Post by Paolo » September 22nd, 2008, 11:12 pm

Don't get me wrong, I agree with much of what Dawkins says (and I have a big problem with organised religion for exactly the reasons you state), I just find the way he says it overly confrontational and lacking in a degree of subtlety that might be more persuasive for those people who are not already rationalists.

I am personally of the opinion that rationalism and scientific enquiry provide the best mental toolkit for understanding the world, but I realise that not everyone has had the great fortune to be raised in an environment where an open mind is encouraged nor has everyone had a scientific education. Dawkin's approach tends to alienate people without the "right" mental toolkit, which is hardly the best way to engage audiences who might otherwise be receptive of "new" ideas or perspectives on the world.

In short, it ain't what he says, it's the way that he says it.

-apologies for any repetition due to cross posting!-

Beki
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#24 Post by Beki » September 23rd, 2008, 5:31 pm

Anyway. Back to Darwin.

I am (will be) celebrating the great man by devoting this year of my evening degree to Biology. I hope to start a discussion with the lecturers to find out what we are doing here at the University of St. Andrews to celebrate the 200th Anniversary.

My first idea was to get all the students from the School of Biology to challenge the students in the School of Divinity to a water-fight in St. Salvator's quad but I don't know if the Principal's office would allow that..... :twisted:

Seriously, I want to do something here, there are so many US students (sorry guys but 40% don't believe in Evolution - really?) and there are loads of religious clubs and associations too. If I had the time I really would like to set up a Humanist club to counteract this, but I just couldn't do it on top of everything else. A one-off celebration could be done though. I have my first lecture tonight so the canvassing starts now!
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - M Ghandi

Nick
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#25 Post by Nick » September 23rd, 2008, 7:26 pm

Beki wrote:I am (will be) celebrating the great man by devoting this year of my evening degree to Biology. I hope to start a discussion with the lecturers to find out what we are doing here at the University of St. Andrews to celebrate the 200th Anniversary.
You've been hiding your light under a bushel!
Beki wrote:My first idea was to get all the students from the School of Biology to challenge the students in the School of Divinity to a water-fight in St. Salvator's quad but I don't know if the Principal's office would allow that..... :twisted:
Then don't ask.
Beki wrote:Seriously, I want to do something here....
You mean you weren't being serious?
Beki wrote:...there are so many US students (sorry guys but 40% don't believe in Evolution - really?) and there are loads of religious clubs and associations too. If I had the time I really would like to set up a Humanist club to counteract this, but I just couldn't do it on top of everything else. A one-off celebration could be done though.
I think a one off celebration would be an excellent idea! In my experience, students don't need much of an excuse to celebrate something, and (with all due respect) a spectacular one-off may be worth as much as a month of Sunday's 'worthy' humanist organisation. Everything has it's time and place. A fab experience may be more beneficial for the intended audience (and more fun) than the alternative.
Beki wrote:I have my first lecture tonight so the canvassing starts now!
Frankly, Beki, I take my hat off to you. I found my degree tough enough when I did it the easy way. And that wasn't easy. :D Go girl! Seize it with both hands! Sometimes in life there are things which must be grasped with both hands and shaken vigorously. This is one such. (Vodka martinis and living in London are others).

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Paolo
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#26 Post by Paolo » September 23rd, 2008, 8:22 pm

Hi Beki, according to http://www.darwin200.org/events there is an event in Fife at the Scottish Fisheries Museum, although that seems to be more about Frank Buckland, who was opposed to Darwin's ideas...

I think organising an event would be a fantastic idea - a water-fight always goes down well and since it's well known that "it's easier to get forgiveness than permission" perhaps you should just go ahead and do it!

A less messy and disruptive event might be to organise a "Cafe Scientifique" type event in a local pub (or heaven forbid a cafe). All you need is a venue and a suitable lecturer from the Biology (or History of Science) department (or maybe a local Humanist organisation) to lead the discussion. In fact, you could approach the St. Andrews Cafe Scientifique contact (details here: http://www.cafescientifique.org/standrews.htm) and save yourself a bit of work.

lewist
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#27 Post by lewist » September 23rd, 2008, 9:02 pm

Beki wrote:...My first idea was to get all the students from the School of Biology to challenge the students in the School of Divinity to a water-fight in St. Salvator's quad but I don't know if the Principal's office would allow that..... :twisted:
In my day it was flour and water, Beki. What would be wrong with water, please? Or would it give the poor water bad memories? :)
Carpe diem. Savour every moment.

Beki
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#28 Post by Beki » September 25th, 2008, 12:56 pm

Cheers for the kind words and tips guys. I will have a look at that site Paolo and see if I can be inspired!
Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever. - M Ghandi

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jaywhat
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#29 Post by jaywhat » October 8th, 2008, 5:47 pm

Here is my Letter to NSS Newsline 08 Nov 2008 - but they may not put it in - but I bet they do

Having just received my wife's present of the 2009 Darwin Diary, I felt the need to write to Newsline. It is so beautiful, just the right size and with a full-page picture on every day, that I shall find it very difficult to spoil by actually writing in it. I have sat here looking through it, almost with tears in my eyes. I feel I now need to go out and buy another diary for actual use.
Thank you so much.

Not cheap - but fantastic.

Maria Mac
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#30 Post by Maria Mac » October 8th, 2008, 11:10 pm

I agree it's great. We got ours a few days ago. I was a bit disappointed to find that it is very slightly bashed in a couple of places though. It needs better packaging.

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Paolo
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#31 Post by Paolo » October 9th, 2008, 9:13 am

It is rather beautiful, I was lucky enough to get one free at the launch event for Darwin200 at the NHM. So far it has proved invaluable for planning our events and making sure they tie-in with notable dates in Darwin's life.

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Alan C.
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#32 Post by Alan C. » October 10th, 2008, 4:10 pm

jaywhat
Here is my Letter to NSS Newsline 08 Nov 2008 - but they may not put it in - but I bet they do
You were right they did put it in, only just mind you, the very last letter.
I didn't think they wouldn't print an advertisement for the diary. :wink:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

hippogriff
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#33 Post by hippogriff » October 23rd, 2008, 8:55 pm

I work in Cambridge, and the University is planning some events:

http://www.darwin2009.cam.ac.uk/ ...which is actually a rather beautiful site

The University also has Darwin Online, which is rather special too:

http://darwin-online.org.uk/ ...which contains Darwin's complete publications.

Personally, I'm planning to be part of the celebration by involving my daughter's school....somehow.

Any ideas? Surely the various bodies invovled in promoting science in schools will jump at this...?

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Paolo
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#34 Post by Paolo » October 23rd, 2008, 10:59 pm

I would suggest getting in contact with the guys at http://www.darwin200.org, they might have some suggestions and they can probably put you in touch with some local organisations. They've certainly been very helpful for us and that is what they are there for!

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Paolo
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#35 Post by Paolo » November 12th, 2008, 3:02 pm

::An update on Darwin's 200th anniversary celebrations::

I went to the launch of the Darwin exhibition at the Natural History Museum last night and I must say it's pretty impressive. There's a huge amount of interesting stuff, from type specimens of mockingbird collected by Darwin to ledgers and paintings. Some of the text is a bit Americanised for my taste, but then the exhibition started out at the American Museum of Natural History (although they didn't have as much cool stuff at their disposal). It gets a thumbs up from me!

I was interested to see Will Young, Bill Oddie, John Snow, Tony Robinson and a bunch of other minor celebrity types (none of whom I recognised, but they were being snapped left-right and centre http://www1.wireimage.com/GalleryListin ... sortval=0a) turn up for the free drinks and nibbles.

Darwin is looking pretty sexy at the moment!

Gottard
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#36 Post by Gottard » November 12th, 2008, 3:52 pm

Having worked at the European Space Agency in the past, to me Darwin was "the beginning", Space research is "the present", establishing life in other Planets is "the future".

Several activities are planned in Italy and Switzerland for the coming anniversary, mostly being theatrical performances. Will keep you updated.
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Alan H
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#37 Post by Alan H » November 16th, 2008, 1:11 pm

In today's Observer:
********************************************************************************
Darwin art strikes wrong note | Science | The Observer
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2008/ ... currencies
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Darwin art strikes wrong note

* Robin McKie, science editor
* guardian.co.uk, Sunday November 16 2008 00.01 GMT
* The Observer, Sunday November 16 2008
* Article history

It is the ultimate, infallible tribute to a Briton: placing their portrait on a banknote alongside images of their life and work. But now a leading UK biologist has announced that pictures on the £10 note, which commemorates the achievements of Charles Darwin, are 'little better than fiction'.

Professor Steve Jones, of University College London, said putting a hummingbird on the current £10 note was a blunder. 'The note is supposed to encapsulate Darwin's trip to the Galapagos, with him looking at a hummingbird as a source of inspiration. But there are no hummingbirds on the islands,' said Jones at last week's opening of the Natural History Museum's exhibition, Darwin.

'Mockingbirds and finches were important in getting Darwin thinking about evolution, but hummingbirds played no role at all. Presumably the artist just happened to like them.' Jones said he had written to the Bank of England but had received no answer. A spokesman for the Bank referred The Observer to its website which insists the hummingbird was of 'the type characteristically found in the region of the Galapagos Islands'.

But hummingbirds are not even mentioned in On the Origin of Species, said Jones. 'So why depict them? This is not a trivial issue. We are surprised by the numbers of people who believe in creationism and rubbish like that only to find the currency in which we place our trust is telling us lies about evolution.'

[Retrieved: Sun Nov 16 2008 13:10:08 GMT+0000 (GMT Standard Time)]

###################
Alan Henness

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1. What, precisely, are the significant and tangible benefits of leaving the EU?
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Alan C.
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#38 Post by Alan C. » November 16th, 2008, 1:15 pm

Better a Hummingbird on my teners, than "in God we trust" Still, they should have used a finch. :cross:
Abstinence Makes the Church Grow Fondlers.

Gottard
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#39 Post by Gottard » November 16th, 2008, 4:45 pm

If this 10£ banknote depicting Darwin will be really printed I foreshadow a fair amount of notes will be collected by Humanists and Atheists Worldwide. Quite a business for HM's Mint! :thumbsup:
The only thing I fear of death is regret if I couldn’t complete my learning experience

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Alan C.
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#40 Post by Alan C. » November 16th, 2008, 5:02 pm

Here you go peneasy, print yourself a few :smile:

Image
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Maria Mac
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Re: Darwin's 200th anniversary

#41 Post by Maria Mac » November 16th, 2008, 11:15 pm

peneasy wrote:If this 10£ banknote depicting Darwin will be really printed I foreshadow a fair amount of notes will be collected by Humanists and Atheists Worldwide. Quite a business for HM's Mint! :thumbsup:
Charles Darwin has been on our £10 banknotes for eight years. He replaced Charles Dickens in 2000. :smile:



Here's one I collected a few years ago. Spot the amendment (it wasn't me!):

Image

And here's the other side:

Image

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