Monday, July 30, 2007

The pope and darwinism

Religion and science sometimes clash - mostly when both claim they have the explanation of everything. The International Theological Commission compiled the Vaticans views on evolution in a chapter called 'Science and the stewardship of knowledge' as parts 62-70 of 'Communion and Stewardship: Human Persons Created in the Image of God'. In this text they do not express a denial of evolution, but rather an acceptance that the evolutionary theory is compatible with the existence of God.

In summary paragraph
69. makes an interesting statement (here paraphrased by Philip):
According to the church both
(1) the neo-Darwinists that deny God because the incorrectly conclude 'purely materialistic evolution (A) -> no God (B)' and
(2) the intelligent design disciples which say "'purely materialistic evolution -> no God' is a wrong conclusion -> evolution is wrong" (i.e. not(A->B) -> C)
are *equally* wrong (the former because their conclusion (A->B) is wrong, the latter because they think that evolution exactly means (A->B) which it doesn't).

This is a very diplomatic and logical point of view expressed by the church. From reading this, my personal opinion about the pope and statements from the church has been shifted towards a more positive attitude.

See also:
Catholic opinions on evolutionary origins -
Evolution and the pope -

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Sunday, July 29, 2007


On July 23rd the world was blessed with a new face on this Earth. Hello to Max and congratulations to Al & Olga. See how he looks like his dad?

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Monday, July 23, 2007

Salsa in Vancouver

Thanks to and the website of Bravura Dance Company I realised quickly that Vancouver is one of those cities where it is possible to go salsa dancing virtually every day(night). On Saturday night I met up with Laureano who writes for, to go dancing at the
Howard Johnson Hotel, and on the Sunday afternoon I brought my sis along to the big social event Sunday Afternoon Salsa at Robson Square. It is an outdoor event, with a big and very good polished cement dance floor and good music from 3pm onwards. The last two days in Vancouver I spent my evenings trying out the local salsa classes: a ladies styling and spinning session with Nina and dropped in a partnerwork class with Roger Chen.

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Sunday, July 22, 2007

First time in Canada

Our vacation in Canada included quite a lot of first time experiences. First time to see: orcas, sea lions (in the wild), humpback whales, eagles within ten feet distance, beluga whales and temperate rainforest. For my parents they had their first ever kayaking experience and were so excited that the consider taking it up as a sport. And thanks to Josh I had something to eat at a sushi restaurant for the second time in my life.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Victoria, BC

The ferry from Tsawassen to Swartz Bay not only offered sunshine on deck and a tremendous view of the coast line, we also got a pleasant surprise when we saw two big groups of Orcas on both sides of the ferry followed at a distance by several whale watching boats. Two days later we went on such a tour ourselves and experienced the orcas close by as a mother and calf passed close by our boat. Amazing creatures!
Photo courtesy:

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Second stop Vancouver

After a brief pit stop in Heathrow and a long flight over the Atlantic, we ended up in Vancouver where a mobile home was waiting for us. Vancouver International Aiport (YVR for short...) has the most amazing exhibit of aquariums, plants and native art. It feels like walking through a big theme park rather than an airport. We spent one night in Vancouver before heading straight for Vancouver Island and Josh.
Photo courtesy:

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Sunday, July 01, 2007

First stop Copenhagen

Schiphol has changed one of the fruit bars in the shopping area to a Starbucks Coffee - reminded me of a cold afternoon in New York sipping a steaming hot Starbucks Chai Latte. In the plane from Schiphol to Copenhagen I sat next to two blond young women, twins, wearing exactly the same outfit and makeup. I asked them politely to take their photo and they accepted, so I got a few shots at the last-minute-taxfree shop in Copenhagen. During the shot I realised that these two women were far more different than you would think by first glance. You cannot tell everything by appearance alone.

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