Saturday, April 28, 2007
Text of a lecture given by Lamarck at the Musée National d'Histoire Naturelle, Paris, May 1803
Charles Darwin wrote in 1861:
"Lamarck was the first man whose conclusions on the subject excited much attention. This justly celebrated naturalist first published his views in 1801. . . he first did the eminent service of arousing attention to the probability of all changes in the organic, as well as in the inorganic world, being the result of law, and not of miraculous interposition."
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
HumanistNetworkNews.org Apr. 25, 2007
About a century or two ago, the Pope challenged the Jewish community of Rome to a debate.The Jews looked around for a champion who could defend their faith, but no one wanted to volunteer. It was too risky. So they finally picked an old man named Moishe to represent them. Being old and poor, he had less to lose, so he agreed. He asked only for one addition to the rules of debate. Not being used to saying very much, he asked that neither side be allowed to talk. The Pope agreed.The day of the great debate came. Moishe and the Pope sat opposite each other for a full minute before the Pope raised his hand and showed three fingers. Moishe looked back at him and raised one finger. The Pope waved his fingers in a circle around his head. Moishe pointed to the ground where he sat. The Pope pulled out a wafer and a glass of wine. Moishe pulled out an apple. The Pope stood up and said, "I give up. This man is too good. The Jews win."
An hour later, the cardinals were all around the Pope asking him what happened. The Pope said, "First I held up three fingers to represent the Trinity. He responded by holding up one finger to remind me that there was still one God common to both our religions. Then I waved my finger around me to show him that God was all around us. He responded by pointing to the ground, showing that God was also right here with us. I pulled out the wine and the wafer to show that God absolves us from our sins. He pulled out an apple to remind me of original sin. He had an answer for everything. What could I do?"
Meanwhile, the Jewish community had crowded around Moishe, amazed that this old, feeble-minded man had done what all their scholars had insisted was impossible. "What happened?" they asked."Well," said Moishe, "first he said to me that the Jews had three days to get out of here. I told him that not one of us was leaving. Then he told me that this whole city would be cleared of Jews. I let him know that we were staying right here.""And then?" asked a woman."I don't know," said Moishe. "He took out his lunch and I took out mine."
Monday, April 23, 2007
Do not say that I'll depart tomorrow because even today I still arrive.
Look deeply: I arrive in every second to be a bud on a spring branch, to be a tiny bird, with wings still fragile, learning to sing in my new nest, to be a caterpillar in the heart of a flower, to be a jewel hiding itself in a stone.
I still arrive, in order to laugh and to cry, in order to fear and to hope. The rhythm of my heart is the birth and death of all that are alive.
I am the mayfly metamorphosing on the surface of the river,and I am the bird which, when spring comes, arrives in time to eat the mayfly.
I am the frog swimming happily in the clear pond, and I am also the grass-snake who, approaching in silence, feeds itself on the frog.
I am the child in Uganda, all skin and bones, my legs as thin as bamboo sticks, and I am the arms merchant, selling deadly weapons to Uganda.
I am the twelve-year-old girl, refugee on a small boat,who throws herself into the ocean after being raped by a sea pirate,and I am the pirate, my heart not yet capable of seeing andloving.
I am a member of the politburo, with plenty of power in my hands,and I am the man who has to pay his "debt of blood" to, my people,dying slowly in a forced labor camp.
My joy is like spring, so warm it makes flowers bloom in all walks of life.My pain if like a river of tears, so full it fills the four oceans.
Please call me by my true names, so I can hear all my cries and laughs at once, so I can see that my joy and pain are one.
Please call me by my true names, so I can wake up, and so the door of my heart can be left open, the door of compassion.
-Thich Nhat Hanh
Sunday, April 15, 2007
You would have been 30 years old today.
Time marches on even if painfully.
I've misplaced my poems, reflections & even my
Bereaved Parents book...
but I cannot forget you or the ongoing loss that intrudes
from time to time.
Emily Ruth Thompson 1977- 1993
Thursday, April 12, 2007
-John Muir, naturalist,(1838-1914)
Sunday, April 08, 2007
Sincerety the virtue of the mind ,
Courage the virtue of the spirit ,
Decision the virtue of the will"
-Frank Lloyd Wright