Monks in Myanmar

Novice monks in Pindaya, Shan State, Myanmar (Burma). This place also had the biggest mosquitoes that I’ve ever seen; so big that I didn’t recognise the little blighters until they started biting and, by then, it was far too late to apply any insect repellent! Photo taken in December 2014.

Monks and smoke

Non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA)

It is easily demonstrated that non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA) is an invalid construct; science is the process used to gain an understanding of the world and, as religions claim superstitious phenomena interact with the world, then that phenomena is subject to scientific analysis. The religious deny this, of course, and cling to NOMA. Those particularly fond of NOMA are the so-called accomodationists who want to claim the beauty of science alongside the irrational and the nonsense of religion. Their cognitive dissonance, or delusion, can be highly ingrained. I, therefore, try and link to resources that highlight the nonsense that is NOMA.

Jerry Coyne’s recent article is quite apt:

Also, just for the delight in seeing him perform again, here is a short clip of Christopher Hitchens talking about the incompatibility of religion with reason.

Tower of London poppies

Today at the Tower of London…”Blood Swept Lands and Seas of Red“. The moat is filled with ceramic poppies, to mark the centenary of the outbreak of the Great War (the First World War), with each poppy representing the fatality of each British and Commonwealth soldier in that war. tower-hill-2

Coinciding with the school holidays and the unexpectedly glorious weather today, throngs of people visited this commemoration. Busy it certainly was, and most were impressed with this sea of red.

Impressive, yes, but a time of reflection and remembrance was given.

The enemy of your enemy

Razib Khan’s thoughts on the Islamic states in the Middle East and their fundamental failings in modernity and morality. He also expresses the dangers of partnering with various states and groups.

I am not a fan of allying with an enemy of your enemy. We can be better than that.

Society of Homeopaths and PSA accreditation

The Society of Homeopaths has achieved PSA accreditation. Andy Lewis explains at:

This accreditation purely about being competent to keep a registrar. It is not about efficacy of homeopathy. But Andy is right. Perception is everything, and the public need to be made more fully aware that homeopathy is junk (that placebo is at play), and that PSA accreditation actually has no bearing whatsoever with regard to medical treatments.