Richard Dawkins, Dominus.

Oh Richard Dawkins, you so controversial. Yes, leading asshole and atheist Richard Dawkins has made it into the news in the UK yet again. For those of you who do not know of him, he is an evolutionary biologist who has become the ‘savior’ for new atheists, writing books such as The God Delusion. The current Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams(not Robin Williams, mind you), had just had a debate with Richard Dawkins in Oxford.

Mmm, neckbeard.

Surprising, for Dawkins at least, it was not a magical wizard’s debate, as you would usually suspect, but a slow, philosophical game of chess. They had hit each other with the usual questions, Dawkins asking evolutionary questions after Williams had admitted to the truth of evolution. One such was, “Then what is the point of the book of Genesis?” With a casually tossed back answer of, “These were not literal narratives, but stories with deeper truths about the nature of humanity and the creator, the archbishop countered.” All in all, most seemed to admit that no big blows were hit, which doesn’t seem like too big of a surprise. That’s the tame Dawkins.

On the other side of the In-God-We-Trust coin, Richard Dawkins made a comment about the Giant’s Causeway up in Ireland. The tourist exhibit up there has a mention to creationism, seeing as how beautiful and seemingly created the landscape is. The National Trust had made the move to talk about creation, and Dawkins is quoted with saying, “paid lip service to the

Giant’s Causeway, Ireland

ignorant bigotry of ‘young Earth creationism’, a view which flies in the face not only of science, but of theology too.” Interesting he said that last part, but he seems to have a very high respect for liberal religions which do not reject science. His funniest quote, he says that it is “intellectual baboonism.”

On the other side of the pond, he has written an article saying that tax-exempt churches were a disgrace, trying to show that non-believers are at least as charitable as believers. My belief on all of this is that Prof. Dawkins is a very intelligent, albeit harsh, atheist. While I do not like the delivery of his stances, I can’t help but agree with everything he says. I’ve read the God Delusion, a fascinating read, but it is not mine own holy work. All I can say is that I do not wish to be on the wrong side of his opinions.


Phallic or Jesus?

See, there’s this thing called a Celtic Cross; you all know of it, here’s a pop-culture reference to one, Unrated Special Edition. I’m your tour guide for the evening, and I’m here to let you in on a few secrets about it. We’ll start the journey off with the history of this super-cool religious symbol, followed by the Celtic Revival of the 19th Century.

As legend goes, St. Patrick–yes, that 6:00 AM St. Patrick–fused the Chi-Rho cross attributed with Christianity to the pagan symbol of the sun to help convert Druids. Now, Christians and Catholics would argue to the grave to the truth of this theory. There are indisputable examples of Christian use for these Celtic crosses, but there are otherswhich are more dodgy that predate. This is but one example of a truly Christian one.

Others will claim, especially in Irish and Scottish pubs, with a very pointy approach, that it is a Pagan symbol, standing for a phallus. These same people will claim that “as the names of the months, or of the days of the week are pagan,” so we can only listen to them for so long(Henry O’Neill). Personally, I would like to think that the symbol predates Christianity, if only to knock some Christians off their high horse.

In the 1840’s, it once again became cool and popular to wear and talk about Celtic Crosses, mainly attributed to a dude named Henry O’Neill. Starting in the 1890’s, they became markers for graves, and nowadays you’ll be hard-pressed to find one more than 100 years old, a relatively short history. Furthermore, the American Presbyterians use the Celtic Cross as a logo, a throwback to their ties to the Church of Scotland.

If you have questions, just ask and I’ll answer.

(Henry O’Neill. 1857 Illustrations of the Most Interesting of the Sculptured Crosses of Ancient Ireland)

Top O’ The Mornin’

Oops, wrong UK territory. Cheers! I’m Alex, I’ kind of an oddball. This sentence is me trying to not start a sentence with ‘I’. As a philosophy major, my department is generally hated by most students around Cal Poly; so, just as an American claims to be a Canadian while abroad, I dance around my major when others inquire into it. I’m adding a poll to this to see how people react to philosophy.

About my religious status, it is more of a lack of religious status. I used to be adamantly atheist, until I realized that forcing non-belief on people was as bad, if not worse, than forcing belief on people. As much as I enjoy a friendly debate about religion, at the end of the day, it is nearly impossible to change a belief, even if I wanted to. Nowadays, I maintain that I am not “religiously musical;” by that I mean I am interested in it, but my religious following matches my musical talent, which sounds like a dying elephant.

With respect to travel, I have traveled to the far land of San Diego, named after the famous and very punctual Saint Diego. Realistically, I’ve been to various regions in North America, from British Columbia to Florida. This is my first time to Europe, which I’m ecstatic for. Chip-chip cheerio, friends!