December 8th, 2007


Creationism dismissed as 'a kind of paganism' by Vatican's astronomer
Believing that God created the universe in six days is a form of superstitious paganism, the Vatican astronomer Guy Consolmagno claimed yesterday.
Consolmagno, who works in a Vatican observatory in Arizona and as curator of the Vatican meteorite collection in Italy, said a "destructive myth" had developed in modern society that religion and science were competing ideologies.
He described creationism, whose supporters want it taught in schools alongside evolution, as a "kind of paganism" because it harked back to the days of "nature gods" who were responsible for natural events. "Knowledge is dangerous, but so is ignorance. That's why science and religion need to talk to each other," he said.  
Consolmagno argued that the Christian God was a supernatural one, a belief that had led the clergy in the past to become involved in science to seek natural reasons for phenomena such as thunder and lightning, which had been previously attributed to vengeful gods. 
"Religion needs science to keep it away from superstition and keep it close to reality, to protect it from creationism, which at the end of the day is a kind of paganism - it's turning God into a nature god.”
Consolmagno, who was due to give a speech at the Glasgow Science Centre last night, entitled "Why the Pope has an Astronomer", said the idea of papal infallibility had been a "PR disaster".

Kemo D. (a.k.a. no.7)
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Virtual Surgery

When Will Virtual Surgery Make the Cut?
Within five years doctors will be able to simulate organs, soft tissue, and skeletal structure.
Video games that simulate the experiences of combat, space travel and car theft have achieved a startling level of fluidity and detail in recent years to create increasingly realistic virtual worlds.
When it comes to medicine, however, the graphics that doctors and surgeons have to work with are closer to the grainy, cartoonish images of the Atari generation than they are to the video games Assassin's Creed or Grand Theft Auto.
The computing power required to render virtually realistic organs and soft tissue is still unavailable to most physicians (except for a handful with access to supercomputers), but it's coming, says Joseph Teran, an assistant mathematics professor at the University of California, Los Angeles.
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Quote of the Day

“I count him braver who overcomes his desires than him who overcomes his enemies.”
-Aristotle (384 BC - 322 BC)-
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Image of the Day

Bavaria Statue at Night in Munich

Since 1850, the statue of Bavaria has watched the Oktoberfest. This worldly Bavarian patron was first sketched by Leo von Klenze in a classic style and Ludwig Michael Schwanthaler romanticised and "Germanised" the draft; it was constructed by Johann Baptist Stiglmaier and Ferdinand von Miller.
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