Archive for October, 2011

M34 and Double stars in Pisces

Another dark night had me relaxing with the easier prospect of viewing some double stars: much less stress than faint fuzzies.

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The Pacman Nebula (NGC 281), the Fiddlehead Galaxy (NGC 772), and the Misty Clover Cluster (Trumpler 37)

Yesterday on a very cold but clear night, I hunted down three deep sky objects on the Hidden Treasures List.

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Copernicus Crater, NGC 7789, NGC 6939, NGC 6946

On 7th October (going back a bit I know), I finally sketched Copernicus crater. Read more…

Front Garden Frog

It was such a cutie, I thought I’d show you the frog we found whilst weeding the front garden on Sunday. Photo courtesy of the missus. Read more…

Issues about belief, especially Christianity and Atheism

In this post I want to clear up some common misunderstandings about belief that crop up when people discuss it with me. Read more…

On atheist arrogance, hypocrisy, tolerance and the fine line.

So, in slanging matches with theists over the last few days I’ve been accused of all sorts of things, and want to respond to them. Read more…

Bronze Age Bishopthorpe

The Enlightenment has still failed to penetrate many areas of Britain. Although the people it has not reached are only a minority, they are a substantial one in most areas, and a majority in some small enclaves. These people hold views of the universe that are not substantially different from those of their ancestors two thousand years ago. The world is an utter mystery. Though science has made some headway of course, scientific findings are not accessible to the common person and can only be appreciated by the very clever. The scientific method is also utterly mysterious but can be summed up the phrase “being clever”, and is thus indistinguishable from magic to the common person, who cannot hope to reach this height. To such people, there is no single truth or reality; only personal experience and opinions, and each opinion is just a flawed attempt to grasp at things beyond our comprehension. In this darkness, religion brings the necessary light to make sense of life. Priests, fuelled by their deep study and knowledge of the Bible, and intimate relationship with God, help us to make sense of the world. They relate the life affirming traditions and revelations of ancient wisdom that satisfy our inner longings. Without their guidance, children would be lost, and without their political influence society would collapse into anarchy. They reach out to the lost and lonely and bring them and us closer to God, without whom there is no possible meaning. Of course, critics point out that religious people have, in the past, caused wars, but only because they deviated from the true path, and we should be cautious to deepen our faith to ensure that this doesn’t happen to us. Atheists like Richard Dawkins try unsuccessfully to destroy what we cherish, but that is only his opinion, and what does he know about God? No rational argument can ever dampen our faith; only deepen it. Other religions are only different manifestations of the same longing for God and thus we share the common cause of defending faith against the forces of secularism, which is the cause of so much darkness in the world today. The Alpha Course is a beacon of hope in this mad sick world; it makes so much sense. It helps people to open the door to Jesus, and there is nothing more important than that, Jesus himself said so. The Holy Spirit will pour down into you and give you the strength to do God’s work and bring more of his Children to Him. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. Praise be to the Almighty, King of Creation: show me the path that I may follow. Amen.