This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Shane McKee's Profile

Shane McKee's Avatar Joined over 7 years ago
Gender: Male

Latest Discussions Started by Shane McKee

More Discussions by Shane McKee

Latest Comments by Shane McKee

Go to: Forgery in the Bible

Shane McKee's Avatar Jump to comment 39 by Shane McKee

The fascinating thing is that the bible is full of stuff like this - Bart is shooting fish in a barrel (and I agree, that is fun). One of my favourite examples is the "Double Donkey" in the gospel of Matthew - the text is quite clearly based on Mark, but in order to make the text fit Matthew's (not his real name) misinterpretation of an earlier prophecy, Matthew adds in another donkey. I've blogged about it here:

That's my favourite example, but the resurrection stories are even more clear on where the forgeries and interpolations lie. I'd love to hear the marvellous new TV Biblical Wunderkinde, Dr Francesca Stavrakopoulou tackle that one :-) She's on Twitter @DrFrancescaS , and you'll recall her dignified pwning of the Ex-Bishop of Rochester on BBC The Big Questions a couple of weeks ago.

Bart rocks!


Wed, 18 May 2011 14:14:35 UTC | #627964

Go to: Educational apartheid: Ulster First Minister's view of faith schools

Shane McKee's Avatar Jump to comment 35 by Shane McKee

I blogged a little on this at "Answers in Genes" - it's all a little bizarre, but it absolutely needed to be said, and the rather rabid reaction of the Catholic Educational Zealots demonstrates very clearly that Peter Robinson has hit a sore spot. The fact that they have to drag back to 140 years ago to find a time when the rise of the Catholic schools might have been seen as a good thing is rather telling.

Richard, that was a good interview you did on TalkBack - the interviewer was William Crawley, and he's pretty skilled at getting people to say things they might not necessarily want to say.

Mon, 18 Oct 2010 21:46:19 UTC | #535266

Go to: Blackford: data give accommodationists no solace

Shane McKee's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Shane McKee

It's a perfectly acceptable term, and has been used for hundreds of years; e.g. Dr Pangloss in Voltaire's "Candide". A gloss is an explanation of something. You could write a gloss on the Mona Lisa or Ozymandias or The Selfish Gene. It is certainly not a "shiny surface".

Sat, 19 Jun 2010 07:05:37 UTC | #481560

Go to: Number of Chromosomes

Shane McKee's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Shane McKee

Chromosomes split and fuse. Humans usually have 46 (23 pairs), but lots of people have 45, due to fusion, the commonest being a "robertsonian translocation" between 13 and 14. Our chromosome 2 arose this way. There is much more that can be said on this topic!

Sat, 19 Jun 2010 06:35:28 UTC | #481555

Go to: Astrophysicist Jennifer Wiseman to Lead AAAS Effort to Build Religion-Science Dialogue

Shane McKee's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Shane McKee

OK folks, let's try another thought. Here is an analogy for you. I'm a doctor; I frequently have to take blood samples from very small children. My objective is to get as much blood as I need (no more, no less) into my syringe, so that I can decant it off (carefully of course) into small bottles to send off for lab tests. I want to do this in a way that minimises distress for the child, but even with anaesthetic ("magic", but we know how they work ;-) creams etc, the best technique is to get it FIRST GO.

So I place the small needle in the vein (back of hand, or antecubital fossa usually), and I very gently pull back the plunger of the syringe, and, slowly, softly, out comes the blood.

One of my colleagues barges in like a bull in a china shop, slams in the needle and pulls the plunger right back with as much force as he can muster without breaking the syringe. There is more negative pressure, to be sure, and the first wee speck of blood comes out quickly, but the vein then collapses down on the tip of the needle, and no further blood is forthcoming.

So, by being gentle, and keeping the continuity between syringe and bottle open and "non-threatening", I succeed where he fails.

This is perhaps a rubbish analogy, but what I am saying is that sometimes a gentle approach can bear fruit in the "science religion interface" too. It's not that I want to get less blood than my colleague - I want more (bad doctor!). But there may be ways of achieving that other than by hammering religion every fart's turn. My impression is that there are lots of people whose religion doesn't actually involve specific truth claims - they are "cultural Christians" like many of us here, and may be amenable to some respectful dialogue.

That said, I agree - the perpetuation of the notion that "science and religion are compatible" is total cobblers while religion continues to make truth claims. If it's about a way you love your life, cultural furniture for the brain and some social interactions, then that's usually fine. But so often it is much more than that.

[I've had to write this a little tongue in cheek - I enjoy the direct anti-religious approach (not to taking blood though)].

Fri, 18 Jun 2010 13:13:51 UTC | #481391

More Comments by Shane McKee