Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Two Helpful Links

McGrath on Dawkins

Alister McGrath has a lecture on Dawkins and The God Delusion HERE.

Steve Hayhow on New Creation

Steve has written a paper on his blog about New Creation which is simply excellent. I encourage everyone to read it.

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Darwinism Encourages Racism, Eugenics and Fascism

So much for why Wilberforce ought to be put on the £10 note. But what about reasons why Darwin's portrait ought to be removed? I can think of three good reasons.


Darwin’s portrait should be removed from the £10 note because his theory of evolution justifies racism.

If you accept Darwin’s theory, then it follows that different parts of the human race may be at different stages of evolution, and indeed, may have evolved from different apes. For example, in 1923 the German evolutionist Klaatsch wrote a book titled The Evolution and Progress of Mankind in which he argued that Caucasians were evolved chimpanzees, the Orientals were descended from orang-utans while Africans came from gorillas.

It is true that Darwin (born in 1809, three years after the abolition of the slave trade) opposed slavery, yet he also said that one of the strongest pieces of evidence for evolution was the existence of living 'primitive races.' What we call ‘missing links’ were not thought of as missing at all in Darwin’s day, but alive and living in Africa and aboriginal Australia. Darwin placed these people evolutionarily between the 'civilized races of man' and the gorilla. It was not unreasonable, therefore, to enslave these peoples just as we get certain animals to work for us. As Dr. Don Boys puts it in his article ‘Evolution: Basis for Racism!’, “Darwin and his disciples were not only pseudo-scientists, but they were also radical, rabid racists!”

In light of this, it is not surprising to find evolutionary theory on by leading advocates of racist ideology, such as Arthur Gobineau and Houston Stewart Chamberlain.

Professor James Joll, who has taught history at Oxford, Stanford and Harvard explained about the relationship between Darwinism and racism in his book Europe Since 1870:

The ideas of Darwin, and of some of his contemporaries such as the English philosopher Herbert Spencer, …were rapidly applied to questions far removed from the immediate scientific ones… The element of Darwinism which appeared most applicable to the development of society was the belief that the excess of population over the means of support necessitated a constant struggle for survival in which it was the strongest or the 'fittest' who won. From this it was easy for some social thinkers to give a moral content to the notion of the fittest, so that the species or races which did survive were those morally entitled to do so.

“The doctrine of natural selection could, therefore, very easily become associated with another train of thought developed by the French writer, Count Joseph-Arthur Gobineau, who published an Essay on the Inequality of Human Races in 1853. Gobineau insisted that the most important factor in development was race; and that those races which remained superior were those which kept their racial purity intact. Of these, according to Gobineau, it was the Aryan race which had survived best...”
(James Joll, Europe Since 1870: An International History, Penguin Books, Middlesex, 1990, p. 102-103)

Darwinism is still used to justify racism today. On their website, the American neo-fascists organisation National Alliance writes,

“Our world is hierarchical. Each of us is a member of the Aryan (or European) race, which, like the other races, developed its special characteristics over many thousands of years during which natural selection not only adapted it to its environment but also advanced it along its evolutionary path. Those races which evolved in the more demanding environment of the North, where surviving a winter required planning and self-discipline, advanced more rapidly in the development of the higher mental faculties.” (From the article ‘General Principles: The Law of Inequality’)


Darwin’s portrait should be removed from the £10 note because his theory of evolution justifies eugenics.

Darwinism has also provided the basis for the theory of self-guided evolution known as eugenics. The modern field of eugenics was formulated in 1865 by Sir Francis Galton, a cousin of Darwin who used the idea of natural selection as the basis for arguing that only the fittest should be allowed to survive. The theory was adopted by prominent thinkers such as Alexander Graham Bell and W.E.B. DuBois but fell out of favour after Ernst Rüdin got hold of the idea and incorporated it into Nazi rhetoric. It has only recently started to make a comeback.

Thirty-seven years after the publication of The Origin of Species (1859), Darwin left the door open for Eugenics when he wrote as follows in The Descent of Man:

'At some future period, not very distant as measured by centuries, the civilized races of man will almost certainly exterminate, and replace, the savage races throughout the world. At the same time, the anthropomorphous apes. . . will no doubt be exterminated. The break between man and his nearest allies will then be wider, for it will intervene between man in a more civilized state, as we may hope, even than the Caucasian, and some ape as low as a baboon, instead of as now between the Negro or Australian and the gorilla. ... It has often been said ... that man can resist with impunity the greatest diversities of climate and other changes; but this is true only of the civilized races. Man in his wild condition seems to be in this respect almost as susceptible as his nearest allies, the anthropoid apes, which have never yet survived long, when removed from their native country.' (Darwin, Charles, 1871, republished 1896. The Descent of Man and Selection in Relation to Sex; The Works of Charles Darwin, D. Appleton and Company, New York (First edition by AMS Press, 1972) pp 241-242)

In the sixth chapter of The Descent of Man, Darwin speculated that ‘survival of the fittest’ pressures would eventually eliminate both the black race, which he considered inferior, and other 'lower races'. In addition, he concluded:

'I could show [that war had] done and [is] doing [much] . . . for the progress of civilization . . . The more civilized so-called Caucasian races have beaten the Turkish hollow in the struggle for existence. Looking to the world at no very distant date . . . an endless number of lower races will have been eliminated by the higher civilized races throughout the world.'

It is not hard to see how this idea of ‘higher races’ eliminating ‘lower races’ provides the ideological underpinning for the practice of self-guided evolution known (eugenics).


Darwin’s portrait should be removed from the £10 note because his theory of evolution justified fascism.

Like Darwin, Hitler believed that some living races still possessed ‘ape status.’ This was the ideological underpinning for his project of mass extermination of Jews, Gypsies, Slavs and Russians. ‘Take away the Nordic Germans, and nothing remains but the dance of apes,’ remarked Hitler during a speech in Munich in 1927.

In his book Mein Kampf, Hitler expanded on this idea, appealing to the idea of evolution to establish the superiority of the Aryan race:

"If nature does not wish that weaker individuals should mate with stronger, she wishes even less that a superior race should intermingle with an inferior. Why? Because, in such a case her efforts, throughout hundreds and thousands of years, to establish an evolutionary higher stage of being, may thus be rendered futile." [Also see Jerry Bergman, ‘Darwinism and the Nazi Race Holocaust’, Creation Ex Nihilo Technical Journal 13 (2): 101-111, 1999]

Hitler was greatly influenced by the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche (1844-1900). Nietzsche took Darwin’s idea of the survival of the fittest and theorised that evolution would continue to progress until human beings turned into a superman. ‘The superman’ wrote Nietzsche ten years after Darwin’s Descent of Man,

‘is the meaning of the earth….Man is a rope stretched between beast and Superman – a rope over an abyss…. Man is great in that he is a bridge and not a goal.’ (From Nietzsche’s book Thus Spake Zarathustra)

To reach this goal to which all evolution was striving, Nietzsche argued that something more was required than merely survival. It required the Will to Power. Man, according to Nietzsche, was not just the passive product of evolution, but could actively accelerate this progress forward. That is exactly what Hitler hoped to do. In his article ‘From Darwin to Hitler in Two Easy Steps’, Regis Nicoll writes,

"Inspired by Darwinism’s “survival-of-the-fittest’ and fuelled by Nietzsche’s Will to Power, Hitler sewed a crimson thread that would eventually run through Stalin, Mussolini, Khrushchev, Mao Tse-tung, and Pol Pot, and at the expense of over 100 million human lives." (Regis Nicoll, ‘From Darwin to Hitler in Two Easy Steps’, Salvo magazine, autumn 2006)

Working on the principle that nature eliminates the weak, Hitler believed he was called to help the process of evolution along. In Auschwitz, the theory that only the fittest survive was implemented with brutal consistency. As Sir Arthur Keith puts it well:

"We see Hitler devoutly convinced that evolution produces the only real basis for a national policy…The means he adopted to secure the destiny of his race and people were organized slaughter which has drenched Europe in blood." (From the book Evolution and Ethics, by Sir Arthur Keith)

Nazism also built on the Darwinian belief in the inevitability of human conflict. As Harun Yahya remarks,

"Both the eugenical murders, which were propagated by Ernst Haeckel and performed by the Nazis, and the Nazi mass murders of war years had a common philosophical ground: The idea that humans are mere animals and there is a perpetual conflict among their races. Nazis did not hesitate to kill hundreds of thousands of children for this cruel idea." (From the article Racism And Social Darwinism)

Harun Yahya also points out that

"a heavy Darwinist influence can be seen in all the Nazi ideologues. When this theory, which was given form by Hitler and Alfred Rosenburg is examined, one sees concepts such as 'natural selection,' 'selective mating,' and 'the struggle for survival between the races,' which are repeated dozens of times in Darwin's The Origin of Species. The name of Hitler's book Mein Kampf was inspired by Darwin's principle that life was a constant struggle for survival, and those who emerged victorious survived. In the book Hitler talked of the struggle between the races, and said: 'History would culminate in a new millennial empire of unparalleled splendour, based on a new racial hierarchy ordained by nature herself."

These are some of the many reasons why Darwin's portrait on the £10 note ought to be replaced by Wilberforce. It is also shows how wrong ideas can have some pretty serious consequences. An idea can have more power than a thousand armies.
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Friday, December 15, 2006

Put Wilberforce on the Ten Pound Note

Can you think of a better way to commemorate the 200 anniversary of the Abolition of the Slave Trade Act, than to put William Wilberforce's portrait put on the £10 banknote?

A campaign to do just that was launched earlier this year by Pastor George Hargreaves at a conference of black-majority churches.

Since then, Christian Voice has also taken up the campaign, which is where my interest stems.

At a time when people like Richard Dawkins are telling us that the legacy of Christians in this world has been largely negative, we should ponder the fact Wilberforce and the other anti-slavery campaigners was motivated by their Christian worldview. This is a point that John Coffey brings out in his excellent article on The Abolition of the Slave Trade.

The campaign has added significance since Charles Darwin’s portrait is currently on the £10 note. Whereas Wilberforce's Christianity led him to campaign against slavery and racism, Darwin's theory of evolution has been used to justify racism over the year. In a following post I will expand on this.

To sign my petition, go HERE.

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A Worthy Petition

Timothy van den Broek has initiated a worthy petition as part of the Government's new e-petition scheme.

The wording of the petition is as follows: 'We the undersigned petition the Prime Minister to Reinstate the knowledge and use of Biblical law in society, particularly as summarised in the Ten Commandments written down by God and recorded in the Bible (Exodus 20 and Deuteronomy 5). '

In the section of more details about the petition, Timothy writes, "The United Kingdom is in a mess. The above request is one that if granted will help make the nation aware of sins we regularly commit against God as a nation. By so doing the nation will have a firm base for repentance – the turning away from, sorrow over and confession of wrongdoing against God. By repenting this nation has some chance of returning to its former strength under the Lordship of Jesus Christ. No action but that of repentance will turn the tide of lawlessness, hatred and wickedness that increasingly characterise the United Kingdom. Public reform, social work, education, and wealth may all be good, but they are only icing on the cake, the analogous cake being repentance. As a minimum the Ten Commandments should be displayed in the courts, taught in schools and memorised by every person holding public office."

I certainly agree with that! If you also do, you can sign the petition HERE.

My next post will give details of a petition I have created.

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Monday, December 11, 2006

Newton and the Enlightenment

Richard Dawkins and the community of scientific atheists hold as a high a view of Newton as they do of Darwin. Newton, they never tire of telling us, was one of the key figures for bringing Western Civilization out of the darkness of ignorance and advancing the project of secular enlightenment.

People have been saying similar things about Newton ever since the 18th century. This is not surprising. When I was studying about materialism and determinism in the 'Enlightenment period,' I was struck by the significant role Newton’s ideas played in advancing such ideas, even though Newton was neither a materialist or a determinist and was a firm believer in a personal God.

Before I say anything more about Newton, I need to define some terms.


Materialism in the philosophical sense does not refer to greedy consumerism. Rather, it refers to the view that “all entities and processes are composed of – or are reducible to – matter, material forces or physical processes. …materialism entails the denial of the reality of spiritual beings, consciousness and mental or psychic states or processes, as ontologically distinct from, or independent of, material changes or processes.”[i] That, at least, is how the dictionary defines materialism. Put more simply, the universe of the materialist is one in which everything, including you and me, is reduced to physics and chemistry. This worldview was summed up by George Wall, a professor of Harvard University, after someone asked him who Shakespeare was. Wall, a thoroughgoing materialist, replied that Shakespeare was a random collection of molecules that existed four hundred years ago.

Not surprisingly, materialism is usually associated with atheism and agnosticism. It is also sometimes called ‘naturalism.’


Another term that needs defining is determinism. Materialism is connected with determinism because the later is the logical result of the former. Determinism is the view that everything, including man’s actions, are pre-determined by physical forces. Determinists believe that free will, in the ordinary sense at least, is an illusion. They say that in everything we do, it is never true that we could have done otherwise. Human beings are like machines that are programmed by the laws of nature. Thus, a consistent determinist has to deny responsibility and the Biblical doctrine of sin.

This deterministic way of viewing of the universe was reflected in Diderot’s ‘skeptic’s prayer.’ After spending an entire book looking squarely at the consequences of the materialist worldview, he closes with the following prayer:

O God, I do not know if you exist….I ask nothing in this world, for the course of events is determined by its own necessity if you do not exist, or by your decree if you do…. Here I stand, as I am, a necessarily organized part of eternal and necessary matter – or perhaps your own creation….[ii]


You don’t have to read very far in the literature of the Enlightenment to see one name esteemed above all others. Voltaire called him “the greatest man who ever lived.”

The man was, of course, Isaac Newton (1642-1727), the great scientist who is perhaps best known for discovering the law of gravity. Newton’s work was extremely influential during the Enlightenment, especially where the philosophies of materialism and determinism were concerned.

Before Newton many scientists had made headway towards the goal of understanding the laws by which the universe was ordered. Galileo had shown the laws of terrestrial motion; Kepler had shown the laws of planetary motion while Descartes’ had showed that the universe operated mechanistically. What made Newton stand out above his precursors, however, was the way he effectively integrated all previous knowledge into a single, comprehensive theory.

Newton’s discoveries about the laws of motion allowed people to take a state-description of any system and work out from that description what the future state-descriptions would be and what the past state-descriptions had been. The same descriptions that held true of the universe also held true of the trajectory of a ping pong ball and falling apples. If the position and momentum of every point-particle is given, then a system can be completely described in mechanistic terms. Applied to the universe as a whole, this meant that the universe was rational, intelligible, and operated like a great machine in constant obedience to the laws God had created. Hence, Newton’s joyful exclamation, “O God, I think thy thoughts after thee!” Referring to Newton, Lucas writes,

He gives us a ‘God’s eye’ view of the universe, in which the whole of space at any one time is present immediately to God, who knows all the atoms individually, as it were by name, and knows where they are and what they are doing…. Newton views the world bathed in Absolute light, or better, illuminated by Absolute omniscience, a world of Absolute things in Absolute space, at one particular instant of Absolute time, all immediately present in God’s consciousness, as it were in His sensorium.[iii]

With God playing such an important part in Newton’s thinking, it may seem strange that his ideas played a central role in the development of a materialistic worldview. Before looking at that, however, it is important to understand the basic distinction between a materialistic universe and a mechanistic one. Newton showed that the universe was ‘mechanical’ in the sense that nature had fixed laws and operated like a big machine. But although Newton described the universe in mechanistic terms, he did not describe the universe in materialistic terms. He never believed that his discoveries rendered God unnecessary nor did he advocate determinism.

Although Newton showed the ways in which nature’s patterns were determined by nature’s laws, one cannot call this determinism since Newton never applied this to man himself. Newton’s laws of motion might describe the trajectory of a man being fired from a catapult, but not the same man walking round his garden. Above all, such laws cannot explain our thoughts and decisions.

Newton’s discoveries, properly understood, always pointed towards the Creative intelligence behind everything. In magnifying God, man’s role was also elevated. As creatures made in the image of God, Newton believed human beings had an important role to play in discovering the universe’s laws (‘thinking God’s thoughts after Him’). Man could meaningfully study these laws since he is himself more than merely the product of physics. Speaking again of Newton’s ideas, Lucas writes as follows:

…God, the Creator, is Himself uncreate, and not part of the created world. Newton, taking the God’s eye view, always considers the world from outside. He could thus embrace materialism and mechanistic determinism as completely true, because not true of completely everything – oneself, and every thing to do with oneself, was always excepted. Like God, the thinker was not himself subject to the laws he laid down as obeyed by everything else; and awkward problems were thereby avoided. [iv]

How then did Newton’s physics become wrongly associated with a materialistic view of the universe? We shall see the answer to that question in the following lesson. For the moment, however, we need to study a bit more of the background.


John Locke (1632-1704), was a contemporary and friend of Newton, who was also an important precursor of the Enlightenment. Now Locke was a determinist, for he believed that human beings, as well as the universe, are completely governed by deterministic forces. The principles that Newton saw as applying only to the material world Locke saw as applying to mankind. Locke believed that a complete description of the world (and that includes everything, including your and my actions) can be arrived at from mechanical state-descriptions. Thus, if we had enough information, then theoretically the future of the universe could be predicted in every respect, not just in some respects.

Such determinism even applies to our own thoughts. Hume, building on Locke’s theory in the 18th century, wrote about the involuntary association of ideas which our experience has connected together. “All these operations are a species of natural instincts which no reasoning or process of thought and understanding is able either to produce or to prevent.”[v]

Locke, like other philosophers of the 17th century, had been careful to try to fit his ideas into a Christian framework. Locke even wrote a book defending the reasonableness of Christianity. However, this mattered little to the next generation who was prepared to be more consistent with the consequence of his philosophy. In proposing a theory that reduced man to matter, Locke’s philosophy became one of the foundation stones of the Enlightenment’s attack on revealed religion.


Newton’s discoveries, filtered through the philosophy of Locke and then popularised by Enlightenment polemicists, gave impetus to the worldview of deism.

Since materialism maintained that it was possible to explain the universe in purely naturalistic terms, no longer was it necessary for there to be a personal God behind everything. The idea of a God who is interested in the affairs of mankind, a God who gives us an authoratative revelation or performs miracles, was dismissed as the by-product of pre-scientific superstition.

This does not mean the materialists were atheists. In fact, outright atheists were such a rare comodity in the 18th century that Hume was even known to remark he didn’t believe such people existed at all. Like the Epicureans of ancient Greece, the 18th century materialists were quite happy to believe in a kind of ‘God’ – one that was distant and uninvolved in the affairs of men.

The self-appointed task of the 18th century materialists was not to attack the existence of God but, rather, to attack the foundations of revealed religion. Once that was taken care of – that is, once it was no longer credible for a thinking person to believe in such things as authoritative revelation, miracles and a God interested in the details of our personal lives – these philosophers prefered to retain some notion of a Supreme Being rather than face the intellectual difficulties of complete atheism. As Becker puts it,

It seemed safer…to retain God, or some plausable substitute, as a kind of dialectical guarantee that all was well in the most comfortable of commonsense worlds. But, obviously, the Creator as a mere first premise no longer needed those rich and all too human qualities of God the Father. Having performed his essential function of creation, it was proper for him to withdraw from the affairs of men into the shadowy places where absolute being dwells. Thus withdrawn, he ceased to be personal and inconvenient.[vi]

This ‘Supreme Being’ was called by a variety of names, including First Cause, Supreme Architect, Prime Mover, Author of the Universe, or even Benvolent Entity. As long as this Being was unknowable, irrelevent and uninvolved, the philosophers were happy.

One way of establishing that this Supreme Being was irrelevant and non-personal was to show that the universe, and particularly man, was the impersonal result of matter and necessity. If man was not made in the image of God but was merely a system of pre-determined physical particulars, then even if you want to say that God started the ball rolling at the beginning, the overall conclusion remains crystal clear: God has nothing to do with our lives and, if He exists at all, is completely irrelevant to the closed pre-determined system in which we are trapped.

Another name for this philosophy is deism. It is contrasted with theism (belief in a personal God) and with atheism (belief in no God).

Newtonian Philosophy?

Although Newton was no more a deist than a materialist or determinist, his discoveries were used, or rather misused, to bolster up these secular worldviews.

Becker notes the names of six different 18th century books that popularized “Newtonian philosophy”, as it came to be called. The emalgamation of Newton’s discoveries into a ‘philosophy’ was significant. What was this new philosophy? It was certainly not that for every action there is an equal and oposite reaction. In fact, if you wanted to learn the principles of Newtonian ‘philosophy’, the last place you would want to turn would be Newton’s own writings. Better turn to such books as Martin’s A Plain and Familiar Introduction to the Newtonian Philosophy or, better still, Voltaire’s Elements of Newtonian Philosophy.

Though Voltaire’s book on Newton made clear that “The whole philosophy of Newton leads of necessity to the knowledge of a Supreme Being”[vii], the overall thrust of the, so called, ‘Newtonian philosophy’ was towards an impersonal and materialistic way of viewing things. Anyone who wanted to could start with the premise that the universe was governed by a set of rational laws (Newton had established that) and then leap to the conclusion that the universe and its laws were all there was, or at least, all that can be known (materialism). Similarly, one could start from the premise that the universe followed determined laws (Newton) and then leap to the premise that man’s decisions were likewise pre-determined - that the human being is really no different from lines, planes, and bodies (determinism). In taking this leap from the mechanistic science of Newton to the materialistic philosophy of the Enlightenment deists, you could feel that science was entirely on your side. Furthermore, since Newton’s discoveries were thought to have banished mystery from the world[viii] by showing that everything was rationally explicable on a purely scientific basis, it was again an easy step for those who wished to dismiss all aspects of the unseen world that had been central to Christian dogma.

In actuality, the new philosophy was not so monochrom as my brief discussion implies. The relationship between Newtonian physics and Enlightenment materialism remained complex and sometimes extremely vague. It was vague precisely because the new philosophy was rarely worked out from a systematized train of thought. Rather, the new philosophy revolved around an incholate notion that such ideas were somehow implicated by recent advances in science.

The closest parallel today would be the way some people have a vague (perhaps even unconscious) notion that science has disproved miracles or that evolution establishes atheism. Ask a person exactly how the non-existence of God is proved by evolution, or which scientist disproved miracles in which laboratory, and they hardly know what to say. This is similar to the general assumption in the 18th century that Newton’s ordered universe removed the need to believe in the supernatural.

In future posts I will be exploring some of the practical consequences of the worldview forged in the fires of Enlightenment.

[i] Concise Routledge Encyclopedia of Philosophy (New York, NY: Routledge, 2000), p. 535.
[ii] From Diderot’s Interprétation de la nature (1754), cited by Norman Hampson, The Enlightenment: An evaluation of its assumptions, attitudes and values (Penguin Books, 1968), p. 95-96.
[iii] J. R. Lucas, The Freedom of the Will (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1970), p. 105.
[iv] Ibid,, p. 105.
[v] Cited by Hampson, op. cit., p. 120.
[vi] Carl L Becker, The Heavenly City of the Eighteenth-Century Philosophers (New Haven & London: Yale University Press, 1932), pp. 49-50.
[vii] From the first chapter of Voltaire’s Elements of Newtonian Philosophy, called ‘Of God’, cited by Hampson, op. cit., p. 79.
[viii] This is reflected in Pope’s famous epitaph “Nature, and Nature’s Laws lay hid in Night/God said, Let Newton be! And All was Light.”
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The World of Christopher Robin

I've just finished reading Timothy The World of Christopher Robin, which includes the complete When We Were Very Young and Now We Are Six by A.A. Milne. With E. H. Shepard's unbeatable illustrations, you can't get any better than this. Here's one of my favourites:

Bad Sir Brian Botany

Sir Brian had a battleaxe with great big knobs on;
He went among the villagers and bopped them on the head.
On Wednesday and Saturday, but mostly on the latter day,
He called at all the cottages, and this is what he said:

"I am Sir Brian!" (ting-ling)
"I am Sir Brian!" (rat-tat)
"I am Sir Brian, as bold as lion -
Take that! - and that! - and that!"

Sir Brian had a pair of boots with great big spurs on,
A fighting pair of which he was particularly fond.
On Tuesday and on Friday, just to make the street look tidy,
He'd collect the passing villagers and kick them in the pond.

"I am Sir Brian!" (sper-lash!)
"I am Sir Brian!" (sper-losh!)
"I am Sir Brian, as bold as lion -
"Is anyone else for a wash?"

Sir Brian woke one morning, and he couldn't find his battleaxe;
He walked into the village in his second pair of boots.
He had gone a hundred paces, when the street was full of faces,
And the villagers were round him with ironical salutes.

"You are Sir Brian? Indeed!
"You are Sir Brian? Dear, dear!
"You are Sir Brian, as bold as a lion?
"Delighted to meet you here!"

Sir Brian went on a journey, and he found a lot of duckweed:
They pulled him out and dried him, and they blipped him on the head.
They took him by the breeches, and they hurled him into ditches,
And they pushed him under waterfalls and this is what they said:

"You are Sir Brian - don't laugh,
"You are Sir Brian - don't cry;
"You are Sir Brian, as bold as a lion -
"Sir Brian, the lion, good-bye!"

Sir Brian struggled home again, and chopped up his battleaxe,
Sir Brian took his fighting boots, and threw them in the fire.
He is quite a different person now he hasn't got his spurs on,
And he goes about the village as B. Botany, Esquire.

"I am Sir Brian? Oh, no!
"I am Sir Brian? Who's he?
"I haven't got any title, I'm Botany - Plain Mr Botany (B)."

Some of my other favourites from the same book are 'The King's Breakfast', 'The Four Friends', and 'Teddy Bear.'

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Thursday, December 07, 2006

Why I am against the database

In my earlier post about ID cards I mentioned that the problem is not so much with the cards themselves but with the database that will underpin it. THIS is what we could be heading for if the database proceeds as planned.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Bits and Pieces

A democracy, for all its problems, at least gauruntees that citizens will get the leaders they deserve.

An excellent resource for debunking Chomsky is THIS WEBSITE.

The Christian Voice website has added a lot of new material recently. We've got a set of webpages giving information about an Olympic mega-mosque that is proposed for London as well as some new webpages campaigning against casinos and sharing research on why gambling is harmful (this includes a long list of scriptures showing that the Bible is far from silent on the issue of gambling). There is also an article on 'Political Christianity in the Early Church'. Oh, and I forgot to mention, all of the above webpages were researched and written by yours truly.
In an earlier post I mentioned about an onling college I started. Next year I will be accepting new applicants at a small fee. On Friday evenings we have online discussions using Skype software. I would love to have other people drop into some of the discussions if any of my blog readers are interested. To find me on Skype just do a search for Mr.Phillips and I’m the one at Sutton-on-Sea.

You wouldn’t have to be familiar with the material to join the conversations because it is always helpful for my students to explain about their studies to an outsider. Nevertheless, to give a flavour of the kinds of things we’ve been studying, click on some of the following links.

Assignments for week 1

October week 2

October Week 3

November Week 1

November Week 2

November Week 3 & 4

December Week 1

December Week 2

December Week 3


Over the last month there has been a number of medical ethics issues that have come up in the news. I’ve written them up for my students HERE.

I've just read an insightful article by Michael Novak titled 'What the Islamists Have Learned: How to defeat the USA in future wars.' If Novak is correct, the Muslims have a real advantage over the West through understanding the tactical significance of narrative.

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