Catholic Post-Primary Education Reform: “I am anxious to try to build consensus on the way forward”

Following on from the Northern Ireland Commission for Catholic Education (NICCE) belated publication of its Post-Primary Review Strategic Regional Report, individual dioceses are bringing forward their suggestions.  The first one out of the blocks appears to concern Catholic maintained schools in Londonderry. The Derry Diocese Administrator, Monsignor Eamon Martin, has published “Together Towards Tomorrow – a discussion paper re Post-Primary Education in the Derry City Area”.  [Direct link to 9mb pdf file here].   This Discussion Paper explains the opportunities offered in a ‘partnership’ …

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$cientology loses appeal against fraud ruling

The Irish Times reports from France, where the inheritors of L Ron Hubbard’s greedy and manipulative anti-science cult of scientology have lost their appeal against a 2009 ruling that “two French branches of the US-based organisation were guilty of “organised fraud” and gave four of its leaders suspended jail sentences of up to two years.”  A Huffington Post report notes During the appeals process, the prosecution had asked for the church to be fined at least euro1 million ($1.3 million) and …

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“All we’re doing is speaking very frankly and bluntly…”

In The Guardian Decca Aitkenhead interviews the rational thinking AC Grayling on the publication of his latest book – “The Good Book: A Secular Bible“.  And he has this to say on atheists, and criticism from supernaturalists.  From the Guardian interview Atheists, according to Grayling, divide into three broad categories. There are those for whom this secular objection to the privileged status of religion in public life is the driving force of their concern. Then there are those, “like my chum …

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“Their creation does not require the intervention of some supernatural being or god.”

Will Crawley’s response to the wide-spread reports of Stephen Hawking’s dissing of god was to head for the teleological ‘gap’.  On the other hand The Guardian‘s science blogger, Jon Butterworth took time out from writing up an experiment at the Large Hadron Collider to have a rational, and reasonable, conversation on Channel4 News with a theologian.  And he points to this excellent New Scientist article on the kerfuffle As Hawking’s long-suffering assistant dealt with a deluge of enquiries from journalists from around the world, …

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“His position remains that the evidence of efficacy and the scientific basis of homeopathy is highly questionable”

‘His position’ in the title would be that of the Government’s Chief Scientific Adviser.  But, as we know, the scientific illiteracy that prevails in the House of Commons is legendary.  And, regardless of their Chief Scientific Adviser’s position, the UK Government have published their response [pdf file] to the Commons Science and Technology Committee’s Report, Evidence Check on Homeopathy. Here are the main paragraphs 4. The Department sets out policy guidance and recommendations, and asks that the local NHS implements that policy in the way that is most …

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“verdict against Galileo was rational and just…”

Galileo Galilei didn’t invent the telescope.  But he was convicted of heresy by the Catholic Church.  I’ve mentioned his trial before.  And Pope Benedict XVI’s argument that the “verdict against Gaileo was rational and just, and revisionism can be legitimized solely for motives of political opportunism.” [Adds As tierney comments below, I should have noted that Benedict is quoting the philosopher P Feyerabend] Today Will Crawley noted the arguments of a Fr Ernan McMullin On today’s Sunday Sequence, Fr Ernan McMullin, …

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