Archive for December, 2006
29 Dec 2006
Got something you don't want any more, but it would be a shame to throw it away? Or is there something you want that someone else might be trying to get rid of? Join your local Freecycle group!
21 Dec 2006
Earlier this week I sang in a choir for a Christmas concert to raise money for treatment of HIV patients. I thought I'd do some research.
It is often trumpeted that HIV and AIDS affect all kinds of people. That is true. In sub-Saharan Africa, for example, it affects more women than men, and 24.5 million people are infected. In some countries, over 20% of adults are living with HIV. Worldwide, nearly 3 million will have died of AIDS in 2006 [1,2]. These are staggering statistics.
In the UK, of all those adults living with HIV (estimated 63,500 by end of 2005), about 44% are men who have sex with men . The rest are not. So it is clearly wrong to think of HIV as something that affects only gay men.
Virtually all HIV cases could easily have been avoided. So much suffering and death due either to ignorance or to deliberate lifestyle choice! How tragic!
4 Dec 2006
Religious knowledge is about faith, but scientific knowledge is about reason, right?
At least, not according to this talk (MP3) by Andrew Fellows. After examining various views of the interplay between reason and faith, he argues (convincingly) that "true understanding is always preceded by faith" because "we cannot arrive at knowledge until we first make a commitment to a starting point" (following Polanyi). In science this starting point is the tradition we inherit, which both shapes and moulds our understanding and also tells us which questions we should be asking.
A cautionary note to those who think that science is objective but religion is subjective.
Not convinced? Have a listen! Great thing to do while on the bus, walking home or washing up.