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.