Controversies over the teaching of evolution are back in the news. President Bush and a prominent Catholic cardinal have lent their support to the teaching of “intelligent design,” a purportedly scientific alternative to Darwin’s theory of natural selection.
After last November’s election, a frustrated member of a Mennonite congregation near South Bend, Indiana, wrote an article for his congregation’s newsletter. In it, he articulated his own political convictions.
After 9/11 Americans asked: Why do they hate us?—they being shadowy extremists from the Middle East. After the terrorist bombings of 7/7 in London, Britons pondered the enemy within: How could middle-class, second-generation British Muslims do this to their fellow citizens?
The Supreme Court pleased no one entirely with its mixed decisions in the Ten Commandments cases. That’s generally a sign that the court is doing its job and trying to decide each case on its merits—in this case, ordering that a display of the Ten Commandments be removed from two county courthouses in Kentucky, but allowing a display on the grounds of the state capitol in Texas.
Americans who don’t vote might consider their voter’s registration card expendable. And some might say that the resources of a public library are expendable too.But when something is taken from us, we realize its value. That’s what happened in Salinas, California, when word leaked out that budget cuts were forcing the city to shut down its public libraries.
If the nations of the world are to keep their pledge to combat climate change, vast amounts of fossil fuel—oil, coal, and even natural gas—must be left in the ground and sea, according to a new study published in the journal Nature. Over 90 percent of U.S. and Australian coal and almost all Canadian tar sands must remain unused, and none of the oil or gas in the Arctic can be used—if the global temperature rise is to be less than two degrees centigrade, as nations have agreed. In the modeling done by this study, the Middle East must keep underground an amount equivalent to Saudi Arabia’s entire reserves (Guardian, January 7).