‘Science’ Category Archives


CHILDREN’S MENTAL HEALTH: factors that might help (e.g. “warm parenting”)

by Arnold Jago in Abortion, Australia, Family, Lifestyle, Science, Women, Youth

A new study by University of South Australia’s Centre for Population Health Research says one-fifth of Australian children are at serious risk of adult mental illness.
One factor identified being that one in three pre-teen children experience “low warmth” parenting.
“Warmth” as in, for example, a parent hugging their child for no reason.
Spokeswoman Professor Leonie Segal says, “We’re saying a lot of these things are inter-generational and if we don’t put the resources in the right places they won’t go away.”
And she says we need “earlier and more intensive intervention programs”.
Ouch. That sounds like more social workers.
Be warned.
Perhaps all this isn’t as complicated as the academics make out.
A couple of simple thoughts:
You can’t be warm to your child if you aren’t there.
You can’t even hug them if you aren’t there.
Step one in making children’s lives better has got to be a move towards more mothers staying at home with their children
And closing down more child care centres.

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“SCIENCE WILL SOLVE OUR PROBLEMS”: so they say, but will it? did it ever?

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Faith, History, Science

“Remember, young man, unceasingly, that the science of this world, which has become a great power, has, especially in the last century, analysed everything divine handed down to us in the holy books.
“After this cruel analysis the learned of this world have nothing left of all that was sacred of old.
“But they have only analysed the parts and overlooked the whole, and indeed their blindness is marvellous.
“Yet the whole still stands steadfast before their eyes, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.
“Has it not lasted nineteen centuries, is it not still a living, a moving power in the individual soul and in the masses of people?
“It is still as strong and living even in the souls of atheists, who have destroyed everything!
“For even those who have renounced Christianity and attack it, in their inmost being still follow the Christian ideal, for hitherto neither their subtlety nor the ardour of their hearts has been able to create a higher ideal of man and of virtue than the ideal given by Christ of old . . . .”

(. . . words of Father Paissy to his understudy, Alexey, in “The Brothers Karamazov”, by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, written 130-odd years ago.)

Sounds like a message we need today.


FUNDAMENTALISM IS OFTEN DANGEROUS BAD NEWS: can it be overcome by means of modern rational thought?

by Arnold Jago in Common Sense, Faith, Science, Truth

Today if you’re called a “fundamentalist”, somebody is probably trying to insult you.

The word “fundamentalist” was invented 100 years ago by conservative protestants who claimed that non-fundamentalists over-estimated the “rational” basis of religion.

They proclaimed three “fundamentals”, which (Latin-ised) were: Sola scriptura (“Scripture alone”), Sola fide (“Faith alone”) and Sola gratia (“Grace alone”).

Any religion based on anything “alone” sounds a bit sus – as though you’re being called on to swallow somebody’s ideas un-thinkingly.

OK. But isn’t today’s worst fundamentalism the one preaching “Sola scientia”?

Everywhere people say it with a straight face: “The only way to truth is through science”.

I heard it yet again on last Saturday’s ABC radio “Science Show”.

This creed isn’t based on common sense. It certainly can’t be proved scientifically.

Here’s one scientist who seems not to have fallen for scientismistico-fundo notions:


You needn’t accept every word he says. But isn’t he at least asking the right questions?




by Arnold Jago in Australia, Education, Ethics, Science

Federal Education Minister, Mr Pyne, has suggested Science and Maths as compulsory subjects for senior secondary students.

Why Science?

Science creates radio-isotopes useful for cancer treatments – but also others for making nuclear bombs to kill people . . . .

Science creates medical drugs to relieve people’s infections, ulcers etc. — but also others (heroin, ice etc.) which kill people . . . .

Science teaches how to do clever things — but can’t make people choose to do good things.

If only our schools could somehow teach students the reasons why it’s better to do good than to do evil.

How? More Science lessons won’t do it.

Virtue Ethics and Moral Philosophy aren’t compulsory subjects at present.

Perhaps they should be.


Students could study, for example, the books of Alasdair MacIntyre and Edward Feser.


SURROGACY AND SCIENCE: using the appropriate side of one’s brain?

by Arnold Jago in Australia, Ethics, Justice, Politics, Science

Some Council of Europe politicians, petitioning for an inquiry, have written how commercial surrogacy “manipulates the identity and parentage of children and robs them of any claim to their gestational carrier, which recent research points to being harmful to the development and wellbeing of the baby.”  *

Research? Did we really need research to work that out?

Research smacks of science . . . science implies statistical manipulatings . . . with results likely favouring the entity commissioning the research.

Don’t answers to ethical questions ultimately come down to considerations of right and wrong.

* source:  www.assembly.coe.int/nw/xml/XRef/Xref-XML2HTML-EN.asp?fileid=21092&lang=en




by Arnold Jago in Science, Truth

It isn’t easy to think straight.

Three enemies of thought today are our over-emphasis of (a) celebrities, (b) sport and (c) science.

And the worst of these is, perhaps, science.


One famous writer had this to say:

“Science is a system of second causes, which cannot describe the world adequately, much less account for it . . .”

Likewise you could say that science answers all our questions except the ones that matter.

You want to know how to make an efficient bomb? Science can tell you. Should you use that bomb in advancing your political purposes? Science cannot tell you.


Charles Darwin was willing to admit it, saying, “I feel most deeply that the whole subject is too profound for the human intellect. A dog might as well speculate on the mind of Newton. Let each man hope and believe what he can.”

The point is that there is no substitute for religion.

But not all religions are equally good or true.