Thinking allowed

Life's Solution

Life’s Solu­tion is the title of a new book by Simon Con­way Mor­ris, Pro­fess­or of Evol­u­tion­ary Palaeo­bi­o­logy at Cam­bridge Uni­ver­sity. The sub­title Inev­it­able Humans in a Lonely Uni­verse encap­su­lates what seems to be the book’s cent­ral thes­is: that on an earth­like plan­et, the pat­terns of evol­u­tion are such that they will even­tu­ally bring intel­li­gent life into being, but that there are pre­cious few earth­like plan­ets in the universe.

I plan to make fur­ther com­ments as I read the book; mean­while you can buy it here — it looks well worth a read, though it’s a fairly demand­ing work.



martyrdom in the Solomon Islands

ACNS reports a ser­vice of thanks­giv­ing for the lives of the Melane­sian Broth­ers recently murdered in the Solomon Islands.

A Ser­vice of Thanks­giv­ing for the lives of Broth­er Robin Lind­say and his com­pan­ions — the sev­en Melane­sian Broth­ers murdered in the Solomon Islands – will take place at St Philip’s Church, Earls Court Road, Lon­don W8, on Thursday 18 Septem­ber at 5pm. The ser­vice will be fol­lowed by a recep­tion from 6pm – 7pm, dur­ing which an ecu­men­ic­al announce­ment will be made.

Arch­bish­op James Ayong, Prim­ate of the Anglic­an Church of Pap­ua New Guinea, and the Rt Revd Roger Jupp, Bish­op of Popondota, will be present.

Fur­ther inform­a­tion, and details of some oth­er ser­vices (includ­ing ser­vices at Chester Cathed­ral and Little St Mary’s Cam­bridge), may be found at the PNGCP web site.


Plain Bob Minor

For a few weeks, stretch­ing over the inter­rup­ted prac­tices of sum­mer, I have been ringing bell num­ber 2 at a plain course of bob doubles (with a ten­or cov­er). Tonight I had a go at bob minor, where the inter­rup­tions to plain hunt­ing are dodges at 3/4 down, then 5/6 down, 5/6 up, 3/4 up, and make 2nds. We did two courses — I pretty much kept my place through­out the first, and began to lose my place halfway through the second. That is, I knew where I was, but I was mis-remem­ber­ing where to dodge. I knew I was doing this and also real­ized that if I car­ried on I would come to lead in the right place, which is indeed what happened. For­tu­nately the ringers around me knew pretty much what they were doing.

Earli­er in the sum­mer, anoth­er ‘land­mark’ reached was super­vising a less-exper­i­enced ringer ringing up — I did this on two sep­ar­ate occa­sions (for two dif­fer­ent ringers), and each time I first helped them con­trol the rope, and then more or less took over from them. Per­haps not the best thing for them, but good for my hand-eye co-ordination!


Future Shape of Church

In his web­site Future Shape of Church Edward Green, an ordin­and at West­cott House, Cam­bridge, explores what it means to be Chris­ti­an in a post-mod­ern world. This devel­op­ing web­site con­tains a num­ber of inter­est­ing essays, includ­ing one on sexu­al­ity and anoth­er on the need for the exist­ence of God: ‘reli­gion,’ he writes, ‘is a thing of value that can exist inde­pend­ent of the actu­al­ity of a divine being’. The site also includes essays and ser­mons by oth­ers, includ­ing Dr Fraser Watts, Star­bridge Lec­turer in Theo­logy and Sci­ence at Cam­bridge University.