Archive for July, 2011


Yesterday we did a five mile walk from Blakey Junction round the track of the old Rosedale railway at the head of Rosedale, to Dale Head farm. Read more…

Goldfinches in the mini-meadow

I haven’t recorded much in the way of macro-fauna in the mini-meadow. A frog is present every year when I cut the hay. A hedgehog visits, judging from the trails through the grass and droppings left behind. So it was nice today to boost that number to three species. Read more…

Does religion cause harm and is atheism just as bad?


 One caricature of the current debate between theists and atheists is as follows:

Atheist: “Religion is bad: look at the inquisition, the crusades, 9/11.”

Theist: “But religion also does a lot of good; don’t forget that. And most religious people don’t go off on crusades. Also atheism causes a lot more harm; look at Stalin, Mao Zedong, Hitler, Pol Pot. The harm caused by religious people isn’t caused by religion itself but by base human nature.”

I want to address these arguments and their validity. I do so because I think the majority of religious people accept the above theist stance as valid, and that it is a major factor keeping some people in their current religion; as a religious friend of mine once said “If I’m right then I’ve lived a good happy life, and if I’m wrong, no harm done.” I want to examine if this is true. Read more…

Review of “The Greatest Show on Earth” by Richard Dawkins

It’s been a while since my last book review and I’ve read lots of books in the intervening time, so it’s time I put fingers to keyboard again.

I was given this book by my mother, who probably found it at a discount somewhere, but was very glad to read it as I generally enjoy Dawkins’ books. Read more…

The Girl Guides Promise and discriminating against secular families.

I have just sent this letter to the Girl Guides Association:

Dear Sir/Madam,

I am writing to express my concern about the “Promise” required by Girl Guides. Read more…

Ellerburn fauna

Again, where to start? Moths!

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Ellerburn flora

Where to start? Spotted orchids is a good place. Here is some of the variety on show (the second is my favourite):

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