Faithful to Science

blog on science and religion

Month: February 2015

Sleepy Dust

This post is about biological evolution, and about the abuse of education and the abuse of the public promotion of science.

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Soil and Soul (2): review

I will be speaking next Monday (23rd Feb) in Birmingham at an event called “Can Christianity Help Science Improve the World”, alongside Peter Atkins. The event is organised jointly by Christians in Science Birmingham and the University of Birmingham’s Atheist Secular and Humanist society. Arts lecture theatre, 7pm-9pm.

The following are some reflections on Soil and Soil.

Alastair McIntosh’s Soil and Soul (Aurum Press 2001) defies the normal categories of writing. It is political and spiritual at the same time. How do you do that? McIntosh shows the way. He is driven by concern for social justice, and also by the feeling that yes, for goodness’ sake, we are spiritual creatures and are allowed to sing. We are allowed to do dumb things like take our boots off in order to enact physically our recognition of the holiness of place. This does not negate, but rather empowers the crucial exercise of getting facts straight and getting objectivity in view. Also it does not negate but rather empowers the otherwise dull drudgery of writing to an M.P. or organising a petition or getting permission to address a public enquiry.

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Soil and Soul (1): an extract

The above image is from www.nature.org.

I recently finished reading Alastair McIntosh’s wonderful book Soil and Soul (Aurum Press 2001). Next week I will write my own thoughts on the book as a whole. This week I would like simply to present an extract. Here it is (starting on page 31 of the paperback edition):

It would have been around 1970 that the fishing started to change in the Hebrides. I was coming up to fifteen years old and it was a very sudden thing; disturbingly sudden. We’d put to sea and find ourselves catching nothing, without apparent reason. The tide would be normal. There’d be no hint of east in the wind. Just nothing. Very dead, as Finlay would say. Conditions would be like that for about two weeks, and then the fish would come back in. And then: nothing again. So, very dead. Why?

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