Tuesday, December 19, 2006

The Differences Between Them

For those of our readers who may have a hard time distinguishing between the various breeds of Muslim, Joe Carter at Evangelical Outpost provides us with a good summary of the main differences between Sunni and Shia.

In our opinion, the differences seem minor compared to what they share in common, i.e. a desire to convert the world by killing all infidels, if need be. Nevertheless, the distinctions between Sunni and Shia must be significant in their own eyes because when they aren't killing infidels they sure delight in killing each other.

Israel Should Have Attacked Syria

The founder of MEMRI (Middle East Media Research Institute), Meyrav Wurmser, believes Israel let down the U.S. by not attacking Syria. She is a leading "neo-con" who has lots of interesting things to say about the situation in the Middle East in an article in YNet News.

She believes, for instance, that the reason things are moving so slowly in Iraq is not because neo-cons had too much influence in the Bush administration, as has been alleged, but because they had too little.

Read what else she has to say, especially her rationale for an Israeli attack on Syria, at the link.

An Open Door

Sal Cordova at Uncommon Descent notes that the secularists are beginning to wake up to the fact that Judge Jones' ruling against the Dover school board a year ago is not the defeat for Intelligent Design that it has been touted to be.

The judge left the door wide open for teaching ID in philosophy, sociology, and religion classes. As Lauren Sandler says in her book Righteous:

[I]ntelligent design proponents keep quiet about the idea that [Judge] Jones's decision opens new legal support to teach their views in philosophy and religion classes. "We do not question that many of the leading advocates of ID have bona fide and deeply held beliefs which drive their scholarly endeavors. Nor do we controvert that ID should continue to be studied, debated, and discussed...." Jones wrote, suggesting that intelligent design is a legitimate field of study outside biology class. This is a victory to an intellignt design movement....

There are a couple of problems, of course, from the point of view of one who wants students to learn both the evidences for evolution and the difficulties with a purely materialistic view of the development of the universe and of life. First, not every high school has a quality philosophy program and not many sociology teachers would be equipped to teach a unit on the sociological aspects of the controversy. Even in those schools which do have a philosophy elective, not every student takes the course.

Nevertheless, it is often the brightest students who do sign up for it, and it is these who would benefit most from hearing both sides of this issue presented. And, if these students are turned on to the topic, discussions of it will inevitably spill over into their AP science classes.

Perhaps there will come a day when many young people going into public education will be motivated to pursue a minor in philosophy and, when circumstances allow, offer a course in it in the schools at which they teach. Perhaps, too, the questions and challenges surrounding exclusively materialistic explanations for the origin of life, the origin of higher taxa, the origin of consciousness, and the fine-tuning of the cosmos will all find their way into the curriculum.

If so, students who enroll in such a course will be immeasurably benefitted from the experience.