Category Secularism

The correlation fallacy of faith schools and their ‘better results’.

I have often argued about (state-funded) faith schools in the UK, and whether their above-average exam results are used in repeated examples of the correlation fallacy.

Well, it seems they are.

The reality (and having worked in some, I should know) is that the sorts of parents who want their children to do well have high aspirations. Let’s call them HAPs (High Aspiration Parents). HAPs will do things for their children to further their education, both in and pout of school. HAPs will support their children by teaching them to read early, by setting high standards and expectations for their children and so on.

Is Islam threatening the world?

I recently wrote a piece, “I am Rationally Islamaphobic”, which set out why I think Islam is a problem, and is a worldview to worry about. Well, it seems like areas of the world are self destructing under its dogmatic extremes. We could argue about defining Islamic extremism, but there is something going wrong. Well, let’s look at what has happened over the last week

Sudanese woman who married a non-Muslim sentenced to death

This has been an ongoing saga which is nothing short of depressing. As the Guardian reports:

Amnesty International joins condemnation of death penalty for Sudanese doctor found guilty of ‘apostasy’ for marrying Christian

President Omar al-Bashir, an Islamist who seized power in a 1989 coup in Sudan
President Omar al-Bashir, an Islamist who seized power in a 1989 coup. The imposition of sharia law was one cause of Sudan’s civil war. Photo: Abd Raouf/AP
A Sudanese doctor who married a Christian man and who was convicted earlier this week on charges of apostasy was sentenced to death on Thursday, judicial officials said.

Beyond an Absence of Faith – a cracking read!

The new book that I have co-edited with Tristan Vick called Beyond an Absence of Faith: Stories About the Loss of Faith and the Discovery of Self has been really favourably reviewed by those who have read it, and hopefully some of those reviews will filter trough the internet.

Christianity and science. Again.

Here is a quote that I posted on the Daily Telegraph (eek) in the UK which was reporting the letter it had received denouncing PM Cameron’s claim that we should be proud that we are a Christian nation. I will first post the comment I reacted to:

The protection of minors against excesses of sects

H/T to Gandolf for this one, in response to the article about the girl being taken out of a Christian school because she didn’t look girly enough. God move for the European Union to be tackling such issues.

This is from the Parliamentary Assembly Committee on Legal Affairs and Human Rights. Read the hole thing here.

‘Islamic takeover plot’ in Birmingham schools investigated

As a teacher, I cannot tell you how much this worries me. I will be striking later this month in opposition to this government push on ‘free schools’ an academies which is thinly veiled attempt to privatise education and politically liberalise it. I could bore you for hours on the ramifications and implications of such a stupid approach to education, not least adding in the utter stupidity of scrapping a national curriculum and assessment framework whilst neglecting to be organised enough to have something in mind and prepared to replace it. Total idiots. And yes, if I meet Education Secretary Michael Gove in a dark alley…