Monday, 3 March 2008

Loving life and Swedish bees

Felicia Gilljam
Felicia of Life Before Death - her first name meaning happy - frankly admits that this is not a steady feeling of hers, which would be unnatural, of course. Atheists are sad and depressed, sometimes, but this is because they are humans, not because they have no God.

She is a biology student, ethology included, and is thus a colleague of mine. And there is another nice coincidence. She is a beekeeper, and a good friend of mine, the late Mika, has been a well-known bee researcher who has discovered the turn back and look behaviour of the bees: When they have found a source of food and filled their stomach, they take off and, before flying back to their hive, turn back and look at the food source.

Felicia's blog is about atheism, bees, Friday pics, humour, nature, pseudoscience and other stuff, superstition, and Sweden (in alphabetic order). In her Answers from an Atheist, she gives a good overview of her philosophy. I like this quote in particular:
"Atheism isn’t a worldview and writing a whole book on a positive vision of atheism would be like writing a book on the taste of water. Water is necessary for life as well as refreshing when you’re hot and thirsty and atheism is healthy because it’s (usually) rational, but just like you can’t live on water, atheism isn’t a complete set of beliefs to live by."

Carnival of the Godless

Felicia is host of Carnival of the Godless #86 where I discovered an interesting discussion about a creationism teaching ban in Sweden. The Hairy Swede is not quite happy about this ban. I can understand him, somehow. Banning seems not to be a good idea when you are a freethinker. But I think the crucial point is curriculum. Creationism should be banned from biology because it is not science and certainly not biology. But creationism should be taught in philosophical or historical or religious lessons. Creationism is a subject of contemporary history and should be taught and discussed, but in the appropriate context.


The Hairy Swede said...

Noticed the link to my post so I thought I would shoot you a comment. Also I attempted to clarify a bit my views so I added this to the end of my post:

*I felt it necessary to clarify what I have written. Having returned to this post after numerous comments I felt like my opinion became muddled. And no one likes a muddled opinion. So. I do not believe that creationism should be taught as science in public schools. However, this ruling, as I wrote about it, refers to the banning of creationism in faith based schools. Schools which people who believe in a higher power, people who base their life on faith, have chosen to attend. This is an active choice, not one forced upon people in the public school systems. My problem is that Sweden is banning this teaching of creationism alongside evolution in these very faith based schools. To do so smacks of prejudice in that creationism (as ridiculous as it seems to me) is viewed by many as legitimate, or at least something to be coupled with evolution. It is important to note that evolution is still being taught in these schools.

Hopefully that clarifies a bit.

Christian said...

In Switzerland, we had a similar controversy recently. In a new schoolbook a chapter presenting creationism alongside evolution has been planned. Fortunately, this chapter has been canceled.

I would agree to a teaching of creationism in faith-based as well as in public schools, as long as it is alongside of history and religion and NOT evolution. Just as flat earth theory should be a subject of history and NOT of geography.