Paper Clippings The Blog of The Crossroads Cultural Center

Paper Clippings, more than a classical blog, is a service providing valuable reading material in order to help readers reach a judgment about current affairs. Comments and discussion are more than welcome.

Sunday
Nov062005

Behe vs. Darwin


Everything you wanted to know about Michael Behe, the biochemist who became the lead witness for Intelligent Design, is in this nice profile in the Los Angeles Times

Sunday
Nov062005

Belonging

This survey on the effects of divorce is interesting because it points out that children depend on their parents' marriage at least as much as they depend on them individually.

Thursday
Nov032005

Looking for infinity

Scientists and theologians will join for a discussion of the concept of infinity at a scholarly conference to be held at the Pontifical Lateran University next week. The conference is the first international gathering of a project entitled STOQ: science, technology, and the ontological quest.
The purpose of STOQ is “to create a new climate of dialogue within the Catholic Church,” encouraging scientists and theologians to share their insights.
At a news conference on the Vatican project, cardinal Paul Popard said the faithful should listen to what secular modern science has to offer, warning that religion risks turning into "fundamentalism" if it ignores scientific reason.

Thursday
Nov032005

Appointing Catholics

The New Republic has discovered why the US Supreme Court is being filled with Catholics: because evangelical protestants have gained political power but they lack cultural artillery. The question is: must this void necessarily be filled by the Catholic "neocons," who are philosophically very close to the evangelicals? Is there an original Catholic proposal to American culture?

Thursday
Nov032005

California will do it for you

In summary, we hold that there is no free-standing fundamental right of parents “to control the upbringing of their children by introducing them to matters of and relating to sex in accordance with their personal and religious values and beliefs” and that the asserted right is not encompassed by any other fundamental right.

USA Court of Appeals
for the 9th Circuit, Pasadena CA, November 2 2005.

Tuesday
Nov012005

Radical despair

Theodore Dalrymple discusses the existential condition of suicide bombers. He wrote an impressive column about France three years ago. On Islam's inability to face modernity, you can also read the latest column by Spengler.

Monday
Oct312005

Turning point

Today's political landscape in the US was largely created by the McGovern Commission, that moved the levers of power in the democratic party from the urban (and largely Catholic) bosses to the college-educated liberals.

Saturday
Oct292005

"Stay hungry, stay foolish"


Here is an amazing reading. It's the text of the Commencement address by Steve Jobs, CEO of Apple Computer and of Pixar Animation Studios, delivered on June 12, 2005 at Stanford University. "You'v got to find what you love", said Mr.Jobs. We are sure you'll love this. You can also watch the video, available here.

Thursday
Oct272005

The atheist cathedral

This parable is actually very symbolic of the general situation of western "liberalism," not just in regard to marriage.

Thursday
Oct272005

A new creation

Now, to cheer you up, something beautiful.

Thursday
Oct272005

Decadence

Peggy Noonan is usually quite perceptive of trends in American society. If there is any unifying source to her melancholy, it may be the perception of a progressive weakening (starting among the elites) of the shared Protestant/progressive ideals that gave America its identity and its historical energy.

Sunday
Oct232005

Anne Rice's new career

This sounds somewhat interesting.

Sunday
Oct232005

Pragmatism or Originalism?


The nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court has heated the debate on the future of the Court. Two books can help to understand better how the Court works. One is a biography of Justice Sandra Day O'Connor, who "run the nation for nearly two decades as a majority of one".
The other is an essay by Stephen Breyer, "the first extended defense of judicial pragmatism by a sitting Supreme Court justice".
The Los Angeles Times review is worth reading.

Thursday
Oct202005

Hapless Dupes?

The New Republic assesses the relationship between the Bush presidency and "social conservatives." The upshot is that it is foolish to entrust one's hopes for a better society to politics ``in a vacuum" while neglecting the fundamental task of education.

Thursday
Oct202005

Logical vs. reasonable

The nature of ideology is to take rigorously logical steps starting from partially true premises, while ignoring any input from experience. The result is always an amazing level of violence.