Sunday 21st of July 2024

holy omnipotence .....

holy omnipotence .....



Pope Benedict XVI has admitted to mistakes in lifting the excommunication of a Holocaust-denying bishop, according to reports.

A letter has been sent to all Roman Catholic bishops apparently saying that insufficient checks were made beforehand and lessons will be learned.

The Pope's decision in January caused a rift in Catholic-Jewish relations.

The Vatican has asked the bishop, Richard Williamson, to recant his views, but he has not done so.

Bishop Williamson has denied the existence of gas chambers and said only 200,000 to 300,000 Jews were killed by the Nazis.

Church leaders said the Pope had not been aware when he lifted the excommunication that the bishop had voiced such views to a Swedish TV programme recorded last November.

of spiders and monkeys...

March 16, 2009

French Physicist Wins $1.4 Million Religion Prize


PARIS (AP) -- A French physicist and philosopher of science was named Monday as winner of a religion award described as the world's richest annual prize given to an individual.

Bernard d'Espagnat, 87, will receive the Templeton Prize, valued at $1.42 million. He played a key role from the mid 1960s through the early 1980s in exploration and development in quantum mechanics, focusing on experiments testing the "Bell's inequalities" theorem.

The John Templeton Foundation announced the prize at a news conference at the headquarters of the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) in Paris.

In a nominating letter, Nidhal Guessoum, chair of physics at American University of Sharjah in the United Arab Emirates, wrote that d'Espagnat "has constructed a coherent body of work which shows why it is credible that the human mind is capable of perceiving deeper realities."

D'Espagnat said in prepared remarks that since science cannot reveal anything certain about the nature of being, it cannot tell us with certainty what it is not.

"Mystery is not something negative that has to be eliminated," he said. "On the contrary, it is one of the constitutive elements of being."

He added that he is "convinced that those among our contemporaries who believe in a spiritual dimension of existence and live up to it are, when all is said, fully right."



And here I was, contemplating writing something about this old chimp who collects stones — a few hours before the opening of the Swedish zoo he's kept prisoner in — to throw at the tourists coming to gawk at him. He was lauded by scientists to demonstrate the first recorded "planning with intent' in the "animal" world...

So I salute him with reverence like all our companions who travel on the same planet and have emerged from the same process, on a different speciated branches of the "same" tree (there might have been a few different "trees" at the beginning, but they soon evolved and twisted together and some of the branches are not as far apart as we think).

Same, I was about to  write about the amazing life of "Joanna", the net-casting spider who lived for about three weeks in one of my bathtubs. Spiders are fascinating creatures and come "in all different ability — as well as shape and sizes". Some species make simple webs, some make layered webs, orb webs, some make messy webs, some species just hunt and some like "Joanna" species make nets that they throw like a fisherman catches a prey.

Spiders are usually minimalists when it comes to effort — once they've set up their position of wait, or attack. And there is a lot of planning in a web AND A LOT OF UNCERTAINTY in the result of this effort, in which I suspect the spider is capable of perceiving deeper realities. See even spiders of the same species will construct webs with a general similar look but there will be variables such as the number of mainstay threads, of spokes and of orbital sticky spirals... It's a planned adaptation to the environmental factors. The spider will "learn" that a web built too low might get taken away by tall-powerful animals we call Homo sapiens. Thus after two web destructions under such conditions, the web is constructed in the same plane but higher up, leaving enough clearance below. True.

One of these deeper reality is the relationship between the effort of choosing a position that may or may not provide a catch... And the choice is based of previous successes. When the spider was little it fed on mozzies (mosquitoes), but soon, needed to feed on bigger insects to sustain its incremental growing size. Uncertainty of catch is an important parameter of survival. And I believe that "Joanna" was "aware" of this delicate balance. The water outlet of the tub may or may not provide the next bigger insect, such as a small cockroach or even attract a blowfly. 

In the darkness, The huge eyes of the web-casting spider could have seen anything that came along, but nothing came. "Joanna" stood still in one single position for about a week then moved along by half a foot, then stood still for another week... 

I thought the spider was becoming weak. The space between the legs holding the net was becoming less and less, slowly. Even standing still at minimum energy expenditure there is a point at which not catching a prey is fatal. A long legged spider came to visit for a couple of days, but Joanna" was so weak, one could see her "abdomen" become blotchy and black. Necrosis. It took another week for Joanna not to show any sign of life. By the end, she had fallen from her superfine webbed scaffolding and her net had "blackened" as the threads tension had made her front legs joined like in prayer...

For a couple of weeks I thought "Joanna"  had developed a coherent body of work which showed why it was credible that the tiniest mind is capable of perceiving deeper realities and would know its relative position in its known universe.

You may think I'm mad. I won't hold that against you. I think so myself... Yet I have long postulated, that any living creature with a memory as small as it is, is able to perceive deeper realities. The difference with humans is that our memory is quite larger than we need to survive, passed a critical point at which we "need" to make more "stylistic" decisions and less "survival" decisions.


The Pope today reignited the controversy over the Catholic church's stance on condom use as he made his first trip to Africa.

The pontiff said condoms were not the answer to the continent's fight against HIV and Aids and could make the problem worse.

Benedict XVI made his comments as he flew to Cameroon for the first leg of a six-day trip that will also see him travelling to Angola.

The timing of his remarks outraged health agencies trying to halt the spread of HIV and Aids in sub-Saharan Africa, where an estimated 22 million people are infected.


Whether the pope likes it or not, sex is part of natural life and not part of morality. That humans try to regulate this activity via morality (a stylistic interpretation) is commendable but not a fully practical solution when it comes to STD — associated sexual transmitted diseases. The people who do not subscribe to the "morality" or those who might "sin" on the side (including "chaste" priests) need to be protected from the ravages of AIDS for example.

In the end. no amount of penitence, absolution and forgiveness will be able to cure the infection. Abstinence is not an option for most consensual adults. Not that all will be infected, but condom can prevent the infection effectively.

And the more I look at it, the more the little pope-ish white cap — with its little upright white stick — looks like a symbolized condumpumpum... I could be wrong.

holy tourist...

When Pope Benedict XVI pays his respects to the six million Jews killed in World War II at the Yad Vashem holocaust memorial in Jerusalem next Monday evening, he won't actually tour its stunning museum, inaugurated just four years ago.

The Vatican is at pains to say that this simply reflects the multiple demands already being made on the 73-year-old Pope during his long awaited first tour of the Holy Land. But it also means he will be spared a sight of the museum's short, but for the Roman Catholic hierarchy highly sensitive, notice questioning the wartime role of his most controversial predecessor of modern times, Pope Pius XII.



The UN has accused Israel of restricting development of the Bethlehem region in the West Bank.

The UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (Ocha) said just 13% of land around Bethlehem was open for use by the Palestinian population.

It said the traditional birthplace of Jesus Christ was hemmed in by Israeli settlements and military zones as well as Israel's West Bank barrier.

An Israeli foreign ministry official said the issue was beyond Ocha's remit.

Next week, Pope Benedict is due to celebrate Mass in Bethlehem , a Palestinian governorate which is home to 175,000 inhabitants, including many Christians.


See toon at top... It's not easy being pope...


Pope Benedict XVI has said the suffering of Holocaust victims must never be denied as he visited the Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial in Jerusalem.

"May the names of these victims never perish. May their suffering never be denied, belittled or forgotten," he said in the midst of survivors.

The pontiff began his trip to the Holy Land by saying in Tel Aviv that anti-Semitism was totally unacceptable.

He also voiced support for the Palestinians' right to a homeland.


see toon at top

the jews and the bishop...

A British bishop who denied the Holocaust took place has been summoned to appear in a German court for inciting racial hatred, a court spokesman said.

Richard Williamson, from the ultra-conservative Saint Pius X Society, has denied the charges against him and refused to pay the 12,000-euro ($19,300) fine that would enable him to avoid trial, the spokesman said.

The court has not yet set a date for any potential trial and Williamson has the right not to appear in person but to appoint a lawyer to plead his case for him.

Williamson sparked an outcry in January when he gave an interview near Regensburg, southern Germany, in which he said that "not one Jew" was killed in gas chambers.


Denying the Holocaust took place, or questioning key elements, is illegal in Germany and Austria.


see toon at top...

The Art of Complete Faith? And its results?

How can anyone agree with Cardinal Pell and the Roman Catholic Pope?

Think - reason and logic.  How can an educated person believe that prevention is worse than cure?

Is this an example of the "blind faith" which - it seems to me - is diametrically opposed to science, education and any type of reasonable debate.

Can it be that this prevention of infection is also a prevention of the birth of another person of that faith? Because, only those who hold the Pope as the representative of God on earth could possibly agree with that.

It reminds me of the observation that perhaps the Vatican misunderstood the word Celibate for the word Celebrate.  Even though that is intended as a joke, I still feel a twinge of guilt as I was taught to as a child.

The fact is that sex – and its animal instincts – is a normal and valid part of human procreation.  So, instead of helping people to live by explaining that methods of avoiding that vicious disease is simply by satisfying the natural urge to produce can be safe - with a condom.  Better that you live as a Nun or Priest than continue to live as you have done since the beginning of evolution?

The attitude of the Roman Catholic Church is almost unbelievable.  They would rather those people abstain from what is considered as a “natural” ability to continue the species, and allow millions of believers to die a horrible death – but to be remembered at Sunday Masses.

Is this a lot different to the beliefs and actions of the Roman Catholic Church during the Spanish Inquisition?  Then the Church killed them – now they argue that the disease should do it for them?  Why? Is the life of a believer so unimportant?  Because only believers would abide by that attitude.

Cheers mate.  God Bless Australia.  NE OUBLIE.