Caritas Awards, Prize Givings and a Valedictory Mass

I have written before about my pride in the Catholic education being delivered to my daughters at their school in Hamilton, and the good things it brings.

This week has been one where many facets of the Catholic principles espoused by the staff and pupils of John Ogilvie High School have been made clear for all to see.

First of all, let us start on Sunday. I was fortunate enough to be in attendance at the Clyde Auditorium for the second annual presentation of the Pope Benedict XVI Caritas Awards.

As the website of the Scottish Catholic Education Service explains:-

The CARITAS AWARD has been established by the Bishops of Scotland as one way of keeping alive the legacy of Pope Benedict’s historic visit to our country in 2010.

It takes 3 elements – Witness, Learning & Reflection – and provides a structure through which to experience, record and share the impact of these on their faith journey.

The award takes a snap-shot of a young person’s faith witness in one year but is built on the learning and reflection that (s)he has experienced over the course of time within school.  It is hoped that the award will encourage young people to recognise that they are part of a community of living faith and to consider how they can share their gifts and talents with the wider Church in the future.

Last Sunday saw 913 award winners being recognised for their participation in and completion of the award programme. The Clyde Auditorium was full of parents, teachers, carers, friends and supporters of the award winners.


We were treated to a gorgeous sunny day, and then to heartfelt words from Archbishop Tartaglia.

Jasmine McFadyen, a pupil from St Paul’s in Glasgow accompanied pictures and words on screen inspired by the Year of Faith with her own composition which she sang and played on her guitar, to an enormous ovation.

We had the North Lanarkshire Primary School Choir performing three songs, and ending with “Bring Me Sunshine”. The performance of the Primary 5, 6 and 7 pupils was inspiring, showing skill and confidence far beyond their years, and ably led by conductor Val Moyes.

Michael McGrath tendered the Vote of Thanks and Bishop Toal offered the closing prayer.

But the main part of the day was the receipt of the awards and the recognition for the award winners as they crossed the stage to be presented with their medals by various dignitaries, including Archbishop Tartaglia, Bishop Toal, Sir Tom Farmer and Lorna Hood, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. One of the biggest cheers was for Bishop Emeritus Joseph Devine, newly retired after many years of sterling service to the Church in Motherwell Diocese and throughout Scotland, and who received one of the warmest ovations of the day.

Some of the award winners told stories of what they had done to achieve the award in video clips on the big screen. We heard of people becoming actively involved in Parish activities, in going out into the community to help others, in providing service to many as part of their Caritas programme. The stories on screen were told with humour, and humility and are part of the pathway to what Pope Benedict declared in his visit to Britain in 2010 as the making of “21st Century Saints”.

In my own Parish and at my daughters’ High School, pupils had been involved in helping in school and in their parishes – for example, helping with Children’s Liturgies and preparation for receipt of the Sacraments.

It was clear that the programme had lead these young people from all over Scotland to make a clear and forceful commitment to doing things for others, and that through the Caritas programme, they had been encouraged to see it through to the end. However, for many, the end of the programme will simply be a beginning for a continued life of service of others.

The atmosphere in the hall was remarkable – there was a great feeling of community amongst all who were gathered there, and the volume of applause for recipients of the awards stayed as loud for the last as for the first – even though the clapping was taking a toll on some hands!

I was immensely proud of all of the pupils from John Ogilvie High School who received the award, but most of all of my eldest daughter.

The ceremony was capped by the reading of a letter which was sent on behalf of Pope Francis by Cardinal Bertone, Secretary of State:

His Holiness Pope Francis was pleased to be informed of the Benedict XVI Caritas Award ceremony taking place on Sunday 2 June 2013 at the Clyde Auditorium in Glasgow, and he sends his heartfelt greetings to all who are taking part.  He appreciates the generosity shown by these 900 young people from all over Scotland and he encourages them to continue to place their lives and their talents at the service of their fellow men and women, especially those most in need.

As Pope Benedict taught, justice requires us to ensure that those around us receive what is rightly theirs, but charity transcends justice and completes it by prompting us to give what is ours and to forgive any wrongs we may have suffered (cf. Caritas in Veritate), in his way mirroring the gratuitous love shown to us by our Creator.

Commending all the award winners and their families to the intercession of Saint Andrew and Saint Margaret of Scotland, His Holiness cordially imparts his Apostolic Blessing.

Pope F


From the Clyde Auditorium on Sunday we moved to the school hall on Monday for the Junior Awards ceremony.


Here again a packed room saw many pupils honoured for their endeavour, merit and service to the community. The pupils who were recipients of the various accolades, from first year to third year, were warmly applauded by the “mums, dads, grannies and grannies’ dugs” who were there. My youngest was chuffed to be an award winner, and her mum and dad even more so!

The Head Boy and Head Girl, Matthew and Anna, compered the presentation brilliantly and professionally, and this was made even more admirable by following upon their quick sample from “The Little Shop of Horrors” which is the school musical for the summer. (Tickets still available!)

As always with the school, the ceremony was run like clockwork, with excellent musical interludes from the Junior Band and fine solo performances too.

This all came on the back of the Head Teacher’s powerful talk at the start, where he acknowledged the great spirit of community in the school, stemming from the children’s homes, and fostered by parents and carers in conjunction with the work done by the school itself. This had manifested itself in the huge engagement by parents with the visit to the school of the Inspectors in March, and the extraordinarily high rates of parental participation in the Inspectors’ surveys and meetings, all of which helped the school achieve excellent results in the Inspectors’ Report.

Whilst there is an emphasis, and rightly so, on academic merit, the school gives great weight too to participation in events and activities, whether sporting, choral and musical, or community.



Then, on Tuesday night, we were back at the school for the Valedictory Mass for sixth year pupils. Father Lamb said a fine Mass, and preached on the reading of the letter of St Paul to Timothy, where my patron saint wrote:-

I have fought the good fight to the end; I have run the race to the finish; I have kept the faith; all there is to come for me now is the crown of uprightness which the Lord, the upright judge, will give to me on that Day.

Father Lamb told the assembled Sixth Year pupils that, in accordance with the motto of the school, “Faithful to the End”, and the words of St Paul, we were marking the pupils having reached the end of their school lives, but now embarking on life outside, and looking to take the lessons learned at school, and applying them for the benefit of others as they go out into the world.

There was a large congregation in the school to take part in the Mass and to support the leavers.


After Mass, the pupils were presented with their Diplomas and sundry awards for activities throughout their school lives, and then the passage of the years was marked with photos covering the six years, put to music, including tracks by Willie Nelson and Billy Connolly.

The palpable sense of community amongst the pupils and shared throughout their teachers, parents and carers made itself felt in the positive feelings generated throughout the evening, and the pride shown in all of the children, now young adults of course, for all of their achievements so far. The Head Teacher too praised the sixth years for the efforts they had made when the Inspectors had been in, having entrusted the Inspectors’ school tour to the Senior pupils, rather than to staff. As he said, the Inspectors saw this as being a gamble, but anyone who knew the quality of the pupils knew that this was not a gamble at all.

As is the case every year, the school will miss them, but that is the nature of education. The leavers now spread out across the world – heading to further education at University of college, or to work, or to “gap years”. The leavers left behind their message – “Be a 2 Marshmallow Student”!


I am sure that there are non-denominational schools too with inspiring teachers, with committed and determined senior pupils, and with significant achievements.

Equally school children can do good even outwith the Caritas Award Scheme!

But there is undoubtedly a feeling, which was present in the Auditorium on Sunday, and in the school on Monday and Tuesday, of Catholic community, framed within the teachings of Our Lord.

The Church in Scotland has not had, at least according to the press, a great year, what with Cardinal O’Brien’s departure and associated issues. For Church-goers, failings by people at the top of the hierarchy, whilst not pleasant to contemplate, do not detract from the Church’s message. After all, the teachings we follow are not those of Cardinal X or Bishop Y, but of Christ. Humans are fallible.

What the last few days have shown is that there are very many young and committed Catholics who are proud of their faith and are using it as a basis for their lives going forward.

Having seen the group of leavers who have moved through the last six years together makes it clear how strongly the ethos of the school acts as a bond and shows the positive side of Catholic education. It will inspire many of them as they go out into the world.


People bemoan the state of the Church. Some people attack the Church as irrelevant, or as not having moved with the times.

Politicians feel that they can talk about everything they want, but that the Church should keep quiet about social issues.

At least amongst my local Parish and my daughters’ school communities, there is active participation in Church activity – our chapel is full every Sunday morning, and there are many young people there.

At a time when it is seen to be “square” to be involved with religion, the packed Clyde Auditorium and the full school halls show that the “easy” analysis is wrong and there are many of our young people whose lives, as they move to adulthood, are inspired by their upbringing and education to do the best they can for others.

And long may that continue!

Posted by Paul McConville




Filed under Catholic Church, Catholic Education, Personal

210 responses to “Caritas Awards, Prize Givings and a Valedictory Mass

  1. JimBhoy

    Small world…

    Excellent school Paul, I have written a couple of times about how a school took on a lot of pupils from another local non denominational that was demolished rather than travelling via free bus to another non denominational school a few miles away. The school I referenced was Ogilvie… My old school, my kids school… Pals are pals regardless of religion.

    Last year they had a meet to commend the 4th years for their exam results and it was quite a moving evening with respect to what the school does in the community and the obvious endorsement of that ethos to the pupils, it was great to hear….

    There were pupils leaving and it was great to hear how some past leavers had done so well in their chosen university courses..

    I attended a parents night a couple of years back and met my old Registration teacher, the only man to give me 6 of the belt 😦 and he recognised me right off, albeit my daughter still recalls how he addressed me by my surname… The man was and is a legend, I recall he was caught up in the french ferry strikes whilst over in the continent watching the Celtic many years back….

    My daughter tells me she knows your lass, mine is a year under, well into 6th yr now I guess. I wish your girl all the very best for the future mate…

  2. Monti

    Afternoon Paul, reading your words here sent a warm wave through my heart.
    Our church is sacred & we hold it dear.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts & god bless your eldest & indeed all your family.
    As i have always known, we really are the Papal!

    • JimBhoy

      @Monti Religion apart mate a well run school can only be a good thing especially if they can instill a good community spirit and influence the kids to become assets to the community and great citizens..

      The school in question has a high percentage of non catholics, emphasizing my point..

      And I won 5 league championships when i was in the school team…. Couldn’t resist a footie swing there.. You know me 🙂

      Sun is shining, looking forward to a great weekend, a couple of interviews to do on webcam and a meeting with the boss is the only thing standing in my way… 😦 HH to all

  3. Geddy Lee.

    Marvellous stuff.

    Those pupils who embrace the school ethos go into adulthood with a strong moral grounding, that will enable them to make the RIGHT decisions more often than nought.

    I must say though, these should be life values not exclusive to the Catholic faith. Although my own school (St Andrews Carantyne) follows these same values, with the same wonderful results, I can’t help feeling that ALL schools
    regardless of faith should be be working to instill high social and moral values in their pupils

    I hope we hear from posters who went to “Non Denominational” schools, with similar stories to tell.

    • JimBhoy

      @Geddy my point above to the Monti man…. I am sure it is also indicative of many other schools of all religions in this country…

      • JimBhoy

        Gives a man a little hope for the future in these austere times…

      • Monti

        Jimbhoy, I agree the principles of a healthy upbringing should spread across all religions, however I am comfortable in expressing my feelings about the Catholic faith & church without the need to comment on other faith’s, for some sort of balance. HH!

        • david

          Monti, are you saying that other religions do NOT encourage a healthy upbringing?

          • Monti

            No David I am not & frankly I struggle to see from my post,how you could ask such a question!
            Let me make my position on religion clear, I feel we are all equals in the world, I respect all religions who have peace at their fulcrum, I dislike people who attack what is dearest to me, the Catholic church!
            I hope this sits with you!

    • Ally McMoist

      “these should be life values not exclusive to the Catholic faith” – FFS you sound just as bad as the other side in your warped superiority complex minds.

      You honestly believe only Catholics have high values??

      All the catholics i know are either alcoholics or sluts , including many of my family members. I personally think it’s down to the GUILT that the catholic faith instills in people. My mum’s half-Irish by the way.

  4. Geddy Lee.


    My big sister became a heroine in our school after she insisted on adressing a teacher by his second name until he stopped doing the same to her. LOL

    You should have seen his face on my first day when he found out who I was. LOL

    AHH the memories.

    • JimBhoy

      Lol good ploy, mind you there was the belt in my day… Didn’t take much for some to administer that and worse of all was going into another class to borrow a belt and taking it back holding back a tear…The walk of shame…

  5. Tecumseh

    All very nice Paul……

    But get real man, your parish church may be full on a Sunday…..Coatbridge churches are packed….

    The seminaries…..oops…!!!…Scotland doesn’t have one of those nowadays does it..??….No priest no mas… mass no Catholics … daughter will have lost her faith by the time she’s your age …..because the faith will be dead by then…..

    Of course she could join us at the various Traditional Latin Masses that are more and more available…..that will be her only hope.

    The Bishops are a disgrace…..and have been for years…..

    When one of my younger brothers was at school the teacher asked the class….”children, the Bishop of Motherwell, Francis Thompson is retiring, can anyone of you tell me the name of the new Bishop….???”

    My brothers hand shot up….”Robert, do you know the name of the new Bishop..??” ……

    ” yes miss…’s Bishop Joseph Devine”

    “We’ll done Robert, very clever, how did you know that…???”

    ” miss my daddy said that….first we had Francie… we’ve got Josie…!!!”

    Now that the second half of the comedy double act that has been sitting on the Cathedra in Motherwell since the early 60’s is finally retiring leaving a wrecked church in their wake…….will the Scottish church become Catholic once again……or will the Celtic supporters and other semi Protestant mugs demand that the “Poison Mass….the Novus Ordo” ….stays….because we like the country and western “hymns”

    I urge you and your readers to to check out this…..

    The man in charge of promulgating the Novus Ordo mass was a Freemason

    The. Traditional Latin Mass is a truly Catholic Mass

    Your parish mass….is a lame Protestant sham.

    • Monti

      That’s a bit harsh!

    • willy wonka

      Might be wrong here but was Bugnini not removed from his post BEFORE the new Mass was introduced ?

    • david

      Are you saying Protestant services are a sham?
      Distinct whiff of Catholic triumphalism in these posts, which is completely unsupported by evidence.
      ALL schools should deliver good young citizens.

    • Niall Walker

      ” The. Traditional Latin Mass is a truly Catholic Mass ”

      The Bible was written in Biblical Hebrew and Greek, the first Latin version was not until the 3rd century, and the translation was not up to scratch, they confused ” young ” for ” virgin “.

      Jesus spoke Aramaic, and God spoke in riddles to make the show more interesting.

    • “sitting on the Cathedra in Motherwell since the early 60′s is finally retiring leaving a wrecked church in their wake”??????? in the 60’s Joe Devine was in Glasgow and Helensburgh. He did not become Bishop of Motherwell until 1983 but hey, never let an ignorant rant get in the wy of the truth eh?

  6. Niall Walker

    Do we really need to wrap bronze age voodoo around kindness and goodness, our ancestors believed human feelings were the product of an unseen agent of purpose, nothing wrong with some of the moral principles but the voodoo is well passed its sell by date. In my view the supernatural element demeans the sacrifice of Jesus.

    • Idiot…………..Niall are you suggesting Jesus’s ministry was a secular venture?
      your pomposity, arrogance & your pleasure in offering gratuitous offence “voodoo references” makes you look a bigger fool with every post.
      Whether people believe in God or not is neither here nor there to me, but this latest piece of revisionism Niall is your most laughable yet.
      “In my view the supernatural element demeans the sacrifice of Jesus”
      Even Dawkins would piss himself at that guff, one minute your writing Jesus off as an apocalyptic nutter, next your being reverential about his sacrifice…………….
      Your also making an arrogant assumption as to the mindset of our Bronze age ancestors………no surprise there.

      • Niall Walker


        ” Niall are you suggesting Jesus’s ministry was a secular venture? ”

        I am suggesting it was a human venture, Jesus was a human being and died a human being for preaching universal( secular) human values.

        ” your pomposity, arrogance & your pleasure in offering gratuitous offence “voodoo references” makes you look a bigger fool with every post.”

        Talking burning bushes, talking snakes,walking on water, water into wine, raising the dead, curing lepers, drinking blood and feeding the masses with a fish supper are all acts of magic and sorcery..Saul was possessed by a spirit.
        All of these supernatural acts are synonymous with voodoo and mythology, its not offensive to describe reality.

        ” Your also making an arrogant assumption as to the mindset of our Bronze age ancestors………no surprise there.”

        The most educated human in the Bronze Age would not pass the 11 plus, the ignorance of our ancestors is not an assumption, it is a historical fact.

        ” Whether people believe in God or not is neither here nor there to me,”

        I have no problems with people believing in gods, fairies, leprechauns or winged flying horses, it is what humans claim God wants and does that troubles me,

        ” one minute your writing Jesus off as an apocalyptic nutter, next your being reverential about his sacrifice ”

        Will you just please stop inventing my position, I have never described Jesus as a nutter, neither his ethical preachings( Torah) nor his sacrifice are diluted by his apocalyptic beliefs, he was a man of his time, God was an understandable explanation for the natural world.

        The people today who go about preaching the apocalypse are nutters.

  7. Paul

    Seems very quiet in here is our host putting out the line to see what he may pull in. Anyway to me the most important issue in Scotland is not the denomination but, the education that is taught to ensure we turn out the best brains in the country instead of having to import them.Anyone remember when we could claim to have invented almost everything or discovered almost everything. I look forward and hope these days are returned and our kids are given the best chance in life free from methadon and the likes and allowed to show the potential that put the proud/brave into Scotland.

    • Tecumseh

      Importing brains…..!!!!

      Would the numbers of….imported brains……be directly proportional to the numbers of contracepted and aborted brains….???

      What is the Catholic Churches stance on contraception…..???

      Who to ask…..Fr Ted or Fr Dougal…..???….better ask one of that comedy double act than ask a “real” catholic priest…..and Fr Ted would give you a more catholic answer, I’d bet.

      First they killed the mass, then the faith died……then they had to import half of South Asia just to keep the wheels turning.

      Here in the north of England just 95 miles from Glasgow our parish has lost over 1000 of its regular mass attenders since 1968….. We are down to just over 200 regular mass attenders on a Sunday…..

      The reason Glasgow area still has some areas with large mass attendances is due more to supporting Celtic and other socio / politico factors than love of the faith…..

      The really shocking thing in the Cardinal O’Brien imbroglio wasn’t the trouser fumblings…….the shocking thing was that for at least 25 years dissident priests were spouting heterodox teachings in various media….some on sale in St Mary’s Cathedral Edinburgh, to the outrage of the faithful. Cardinal O’Brien knew of this and did nothing…..he had lost the faith, he lost his priests, he eventually lost his….breeks…..!!!!

      But before all that……he lost the Mass.

      Ordained in April 1965, as a young man he probably fell, hook, line and sinker for the post Vatican II guff……the out pouring of the Holy Spirit and all that……so as a priest he probably hardly ever said the real mass……his faith had been torpedoed……long before he ever launched his own depth charges…..

      Get real people….if your catholic and want to stay that way… have got to get back to the real Traditional Latin Mass

      Confession, Mass the Rosary…..our fathers knew all this…..and they built all the splendid neo gothic churches in Scotland…..

      The Vatican II Church is responsible for this monstrosity…..'s_Seminary,_Cardross

      Empty pile of rubble …..surprised…..Moi….!!!!

    • @Tecumseh…I have no truck with people who mock religion, for many it’s a fashionable enterprise, in being cool, I myself though have a problem with religion itself when it presents itself as “The Truth” rather than an interpretation or a version of reality or truth in both spiritual & material terms. Faith is based on belief, not empirical evidence & should be regarded as such.

    • david

      Good post Paul.
      Scottish Presbyterianism has been at the forefront of every human advance, particularly medicine, and that continues to this day.
      ALL SCHOOL PUPILS regardless of religion should progress with such a history of solid achievement behind them.

      • JohnBhoy

        “Scottish Presbyterianism has been at the forefront of every human advance”

        David, I challenge you to support that statement. To begin with – and I intend to place a list of human advances on your plate – how was Scottish Presbyterianism at the forefront of art?

        • david

          MEDICINE- so many to mention, but a few are Penicillin, treatment of TB, right down to the present day with Ultrasound and Beta Blockers.
          John Boyd Orr- new field
          Edinburgh the centre of World Medicine for years.
          SCIENCE- too many to mention, but James Clerk Maxwell is my favourite.
          GEOLOGY- funny how a walk round Arthurs Seat revealed a new science.
          INVENTIONS- could fill a page with them.
          PHILOSOPHY- Common Sense school, David Hume.
          EXPLORATION- Famous explorers to all points, Livingstone being the most famous.
          LITERATURE- Scott, Stevenson, Buchan, Conan Doyle plus a host of others.
          RELIGION- I do not think any religion has a monopoly on truth or wisdom, but the Church of Scotland with its democratic and egalitarian principles is a distinctive and great institution. This led to great Missionary work.
          EDUCATION- the first universally literate country in the world with a fine tradition carried on to today with our world-class Universities.
          MILITARY- kept a more powerful neighbour at bay and this was carried on with our proud and famous regiments.
          SPORTS- Golf, football ( we really invented the modern game, even if we are not very good at it anymore. But there was a time. ) and others.

          I could go on and on, but Im too shocked at winning against Croatia.
          Art- who gives a toss? Does not save lives or advance Human Knowledge.

          • JohnBhoy


            To show that Scottish Presbyterianism was/is at the forefront of every human advance you need to do two things: 1) identify every human advance and 2) clearly illustrate that the cause of that advance was Scottish Presbyterianism. You have done neither. Listing some areas where we have contributed, some significantly, falls far short of achieving either, never mind both.

            Even if we select just one of your areas of “human advances”, literature, it is not obvious that Scotland led the literary giants in that field: Shakespeare, D H Lawrence, T S Eliot, Walt Whitman, William Blake, Balzac, Shaw, Henry Miller, George Eliot, Gabriel Garcia Marquez, Saul Bellow, Shelley, Ezra Pound, Ibsen, Bronte sisters, Tolstoy, Tennessee Williams, Sophocles, Goethe, Steinbeck, Mark Twain, Iris Murdoch, Virgil, Coleridge, Keats, Wordsworth, Ovid, Byron, George Orwell, Euripides, Yeats, Homer, Chales Dickens, Chaucer, Virginia Woolf, Dante, Doestoyevsky, Proust, Chekhov, Samuel Beckett, Milton, James Joyce, Faulkner, Kafka, Dylan Thomas, Jack Kerouac, Charles Bukowski…

            Furthermore, your view of human development is very limited if you ignore art. Art represents our view of the world and so at a fundamental level it adds to the sum of human knowledge; it also improves our quality of life and so is crucial to the development of us as human beings. Many people care about art, even if you do not.

            Ok, now list the the Scottish Presbyterians that have been at the forefront of mathematics.

            • cam


              Bill Bryson’s book “a short history of nearly everything “is a great read.
              Back in the day the Scottish education system and the Protestant work ethic came together to produce our finest minds.

            • david

              Well, Napier- inventor of Logarithms for one.

              As regards Literature, are you comparing Scotland with the rest of the World?
              What about Duns Scotus?
              Our literary giants stand as tall as any of them.
              And we have the Bard- who has more statutes world-wide than any other non-religious figure.
              He was right to express the hope that
              Sadly his wish has not come to pass yet.

              Art is not my thing, it has never saved one human life or advanced human knowledge one iota.
              Not really a Presbyterian thing, we are much more practical, although we have had some successes like Raeburn.
              As Voltaire said ” We look to Scotland for all our ideas ”
              I think Hemans book ” How Scotland Invented The Modern World and Everything In It ” is a bit over the top, but it is essentially true.
              The link to this flowering of knowledge is Prebyterianism- many of these people believed they were doing God s work.
              Another contribution is Freemasonry- it amuses me to read comments which reveal ignorance of the Worlds greatest fraternal and charitable organisation , and link it to the Loyal Orders. It has attracted the greatest minds for centuries.
              BTW had a great time in Malta, anyone wishing a free holiday can contact me, best if you are a good Catholic. I was given a picture of Padre Pio whom I dont know much about except that he was a Stigmata ( or stigmatic )

            • david

              Scottish, Mathematicians , apart from Napier, include James Stirling ( permutations, etc ), Craig, Haldane, Brown, Drysdale, Sinclair, Ivory, ore.Anderson , Brown and Arthur.
              I am sure there are many more.

              BTW- Byron was a half-Scot and declared himself a full one.
              Like me, he was mad, bad and dangerous to know.

            • david

              The Scottish Enlightenment did not happen by accident.
              It happened because of the educated populace.
              The educated populace came about from the Presbyterian insistence on schooling and education, and a desire to allow people to read the Scripture themselves.
              Art is no substitute for hard knowledge which improves human lives ( medicine and science ) and prosperity.

          • Gortnamona

            ” I could go on and on, but I’m too shocked at winning against Croatia.”

            Another great victory for Scottish Presbyterianism?

            • david

              Given it was Snodgrass who scored Id say it was a victory for Greenock timmism. Bless him.
              I can remember beating Yugoslavia 6-0 at Hampden, now there are 6 countries there and until last night couldnt beat any of them.

          • Gortnamona

            David – For the true story of the development of Penicillin read –

            Eric Lax’s book — The Mold in Dr. Florey’s Coat — tells the story of how Howard Florey and his team at Oxford University took Alexander Fleming’s penicillin mold, which Fleming had dismissed as too difficult to extract and purify, and developed the first wonder drug that would save hundreds and eventually millions of lives worldwide. The most Fleming had done with his penicillin mold broth was to use it to “decontaminate petri dishes in his lab”.

            And yes I did read it, quite a few years ago.

            ” People sometimes think that I and the others worked on penicillin because we were interested in suffering humanity. I don’t think it ever crossed our minds about suffering humanity. This was an interesting scientific exercise, and because it was of some use in medicine is very gratifying, but this was not the reason that we started working on it.”
            Howard Florey (24 September 1898 – 21 February 1968)

            • david

              So what are you saying?
              Fleming did not discover Penicillin?

            • Gortnamona


              ” So what are you saying? Fleming did not discover Penicillin?”

              The use of molds, including mushrooms, to treat various human ailments dates back to early Greek and Roman societies. Fleming certainly deserves the credit for recognizing that there was something potentially important in his mold. “Many had stumbled upon penicillin mold but Fleming was the only one who looked at what he had tripped on.” Fleming was the first to recognize the antibacterial qualities in penicillin and wrote several papers on penicillin in the late 1920’s. However, when he found it too difficult to extract and refine the active ingredient in the mold, he went on to other things. It was Howard Florey, a Rhodes scholar from Australia, who painstakingly did the work that made penicillin a life saving reality.

              “Florey never wrote his memoirs. If he had, he might well have claimed that the first beneficiary of penicillin was not Anne Miller but actually Alexander Fleming.”

              The neuroscientist Maxwell Cowan wrote “Fleming was the first person Florey saved. Without Florey’s work he would have gone down as a somewhat eccentric microbiologist.”

              Carol Christensen Cordy, M.D.

        • Niall Walker


          Human art began in the caves of forgotten dreams some 40,000 years ago, long before Christianity was born.

          Art does not advance, it depicts consciousness, our consciousness advances and art records this advance.

          • JohnBhoy

            “Human art began in the caves of forgotten dreams some 40,000 years ago, long before Christianity was born.”

            Good evening Niall. It is not my thesis that Christianity is responsible for the development of art. Why are you raising the issue of Christianity? While Christianity has played its part – the art of Giotto, Raphael, Da Vinci, for example, was influenced by religion – nonetheless over the centuries many other non-religious influences have contributed to the development of art.

            All academic subject areas advance over time. Art has advanced in terms of techniques, movements, materials, and purpose. Reducing art to a mere recording device is bizarre. At one level art contributes to our knowledge of the world, although it is not always representative and does not need to be. It advances our understanding of our world and of ourselves. Picasso’s painting of the Spanish Civil war, Guernica, is a good example of art that helps us appreciate the horror of war.

            To say that it is our “consciousness that advances” and not art, is to negate all subject areas because, ultimately, it is our brain that interprets everything. You might as well say that Wilfred Owen’s war poem Dulce Et Decorum Est is merely a collection of words and adds nothing to our understanding of war. Like art, the language of poetry can advance in its own right and it can also advance our view of the world, if not ourselves.

            Art is simply a different medium from say literature or mathematics, but no less important in contributing to the advancement of human knowledge.

            • Niall Walker

              morning John,

              ” It is not my thesis that Christianity is responsible for the development of art.”

              I agree, your thesis referred to ” advances “, and I am trying to point out to you that art is in the eye of the beholder, and it neither advances nor retreats based on materials or techniques. Advancement infers improvement, and it is simply impossible to say Picasso is an improvement on a cave painting as an empirical fact, it is purely a subjective opinion.

              ” To say that it is our “consciousness that advances” and not art, is to negate all subject areas because, ultimately, it is our brain that interprets everything. ”

              Consciousness is the property of our brain that interprets everything, as we become more conscious of subject areas we depict these concepts in picture form. It is these conscious concepts that advance not the methods we use to replicate them, it is our mind and thoughts that are advancing.

              ” You might as well say that Wilfred Owen’s war poem Dulce Et Decorum Est is merely a collection of words and adds nothing to our understanding of war. ”

              Since I am not suggesting art is just a collection of paint, I fail to see the relevance of this example.

              ” Art is …… no less important in contributing to the advancement of human knowledge.”

              Art is no less important because it records the advancement of human knowledge, and knowledge is a product of our consciousness.

            • JohnBhoy

              Morning Niall. Another lovely sunny day.

              Giotto attempted to capture 3D objects. He failed. Artists now know how to paint that makes what’s on the canvas more look realist than Giotto’s paintings. That’s an advance in art.

              “It is our minds and thoughts that are advancing”. You prove my point that, according to your rationale, subjects in themselves do not advance. There have been advances in art writing, art techniques, art asterisks etc.

              The Wilfred Owen analogy, which you fail to see the relevance of. It was your expressed view that art merely records advances. In that case, poetry merely records our thoughts and poetry, like art, does not in itself advance. That is a preposterous position. Poetry, art, music, acting, film, etc. can all advance in themselves and advance us as human beings. There is a symbiotic interaction between our brains and the external world, irrespective of the art or science that engages us.

              “At is no less important because it records the advancement of human knowledge…” Art is not merely a recording medium. By the same token, mathematics would just be viewed as a collection of symbols on a page. Our brain does not operate in a vacuum – we create and are influenced by what we create. Knowledge is more dynamic than you portray. Art can provide insight and alter our knowledge of something for the better.

          • cam

            Music can be classed as one of the “arts” and is far more enriching and important than paintings or sculptures.
            Photographs beat paintings all day.Our own Oscar Marzaroli and Harry Benson along with Winogrand,Frank and Cartier-Bresson produced work that i could look at all day.

            • JohnBhoy

              Cam, I was referring to art, not the arts in general. However, my claim still holds. Music is as important as art, in all its forms not just painting and sculpture. Music is as important as literature or mathematics. They are all important. Your belittling of painting, for example, is at odds with the perception of many thousands of people who visit art galleries every day.

            • Gortnamona

              ” Photographs beat paintings all day”

              Comment is superfluous.

            • cam

              Not belittling painting,just putting it in my order of preferences.Used to love listening to the art critic Brian Sewell. A very opinionated chap and witty with it.
              a well taken photograph is an art form unto itself,capturing that brief moment in time.Paintings,sketches are an interpretation of the artists viewpoint.Some obviously are fantastically skilled and folk can take all kinds of meanings from them.
              As big DJ says,,,its all about opinions.

            • @Johnbhoy….fully agree, art has proved invaluable in our evolution & is not merely a tool for recording our experience. The imagination would prove superfluous if we were simple perfunctory creatures.
              Also the much maligned Catholic church played a massive part in this process. Museums the world over are packed with art produced as a result of Church patronage. Much of this art goes way beyond simple biblical illustration

  8. MMS

    Caritas Awards, Prize Giving and Valedictory Mass – brings back memories of my own school days – I know that I, my brothers & sister truly benefitted from our Catholic Education, we respectively left Secondary School and attended either University or College upon graduation we all went onto gainful employment. Individually and collectively we have each continued as practicing Catholics and have raised all of our children in the Catholic Faith: my nieces and nephews are either at University, College or graduated professionals – Lawyers, Teachers, Dentists or Doctors.
    Also (by no small effort), and I say with utter pride our child has successfully attained a place at a prestigious Catholic Boys, Boarding School. The education system here in Australia is either State School (non-denomination) or Private School for anyone who wishes their child to be taught in a particular religion or belief. He has always been in Private School since prep-year (yes it is expensive) and we could have sent him to a Sate School but fortunately we can afford the cost but primarily we wanted him to have what we all had – a good Catholic Education. The Boarding School will cost a fortune – we are paying not only for a first-class education – but the teachings of faith, charity and responsibility all valuable and priceless.
    Catholic Education in Australia (despite all the issues) is in immense demand and parents of many faiths select the Catholic Schools as their first option because in actuality it is the best of the best. There were 2,897 applications for the Boarding School and they have an intake of 350 per year but parents are more than willing to go through the lengthy process; application forms, school information nights, open days, parent & child interviews and the fees!!
    The estimated cost over the year would probably be around the “average” person’s wages in Scotland – but the demand is enormous and every year the applications get more and more. In actuality the first schools who “close” their applications due to demand are Catholic Schools.
    We started the process in Feb and attended the Parents & Child Interview in May – he has just been informed of his acceptance – he starts 1st February 2014 after the Christmas Holidays (Summer Holiday period in Australia).
    We are not even half-way through this year and they have “closed their intake” and there is now an extensive waiting list – that’s how far in advance they can complete their enrolment – supply and demand so the proof and evidence is all there for anyone to see. To all who have something unkind to say – it does not matter – it will not change my opinion that a good Catholic Education is far superior to any other. In acknowledgment of this we are more than happy to spend the money on our child’s education. He will follow in the footsteps of his family who are educated, gainfully employed, contribute to the community and are not a burden on society – all due to the fact – we had the benefit of a Catholic Education, came from a practicing Catholic family and hold true the teachings of faith, family and community.

    • Niall Walker


      ” I know that I, my brothers & sister truly benefitted from our Catholic Education,”

      I know people who did not benefit from a Catholic education, I know people who did not benefit from a secular education and know people who benefitted from a secular education.

      You cannot know you would not have benefitted just the same from any education.

      • Geddy Lee

        Excellent point.

        Not all pupils left my school with moral values in place.

        The kids, and their parents have to embrace it.

    • david

      Utter rubbish completely contradicted by evidence.

  9. JimBhoy

    Right off out to get some sun, cya all later and may your God go with ya.. 🙂

  10. Monti

    I don’t understand why people can’t just share Paul’s family’s occasion & wish them well for it, without turning it into a ‘ my dog is bigger than your dog’ thing ffs?
    I don’t give a fcuk what religion people are, I only have a problem when they attack mine!

    • Ed Pàislig

      You are correct sir. Paul writes the blog in a spirit of pride in his daughter and her school and we get comments about old rites and new rites and how it was Scottish presbyterianism that was the stimulus behind every achievement of mankind. Relax fellas and enjoy the fact that Scottish schoolchildren are intelligent, highly motivated and dutiful to their parents, their god and their school.

      • Ally McMoist

        So should we also enjoy the fact that Islamic children in Scotland & around the planet are dutiful to their god by being taught to hate infidels?
        I can’t believe so many otherwise intelligent people on here & elsewhere believe in an invisible man in the sky who will punish them eternally if they don’t believe in him & they need some deviant in a frock & a pointy hat to reinforce it to them every week. Weird world.

  11. Monti

    Scottish Presbyterians were prominent in a shameful, sectarian signing policy, at a former football club, I recall!

    • david

      I think you will find Monti that few people indulging in such were regular Church attendees.

    • portpower

      If the Grannies had bingo at half-time all would be fine. I miss my Grannies.
      Met them once from Australia into Scotland 1977. Not just them but met everyone around.(all relatives were handcuffed with me) I`ll never have that time again but my children I hope are welcomed. That`s the mark of Scotland. Walk down the road and you`re never alone. Hello Port Glasgow & Greenock. The middle of Glasgow and my Dad made me take an old ladies messages home for her. Dad left me on my own but the lady explained to the kids around and they took me back to the Glasgow centre and The Old Man was there waiting. Well done son, never be afraid it`s only up the road. The Beautiful lady was his cousin. Fell in Love with Scotland. They wanted to take me to Ireland but that`s a different story. (missed out) sister was older so she went. Don`t let the kettle boil over. Enjoy it like the Aussies. PS When did Scotland last beat the Aussies against the patched Ball? Please reminisce. And I caught a salmond in the Clyde. Never got to taste it. Granny put in milk and had it for breakfast. Neverknew where she worked? But she slammed the door 7:00am every morning. Loved the fresh baked rolls. Sorry for the rabbit. Love thy Grannies. She`d pull me up for my grammar.

  12. Good to see a school actually as part of the community at large rather than somewhere to dump the kids while mum and dad work. And only wish there was more of this kind of time and effort and resources put into more schools.
    It cannot come from just the school itself, it needs input from the community too.
    On another topic. I was brought up scholastically by the belt. Is there a statute of limitations on cruel and unjust punishment? I’m sure they are due me thousands for every stroke of the lash I got for someone else’s misbehaviour. I am willing to accept the barbarity for actions I may have been involved in, but after all these years I think the culprits for talking in class, running in corridors and in one case writing Eddy and The Hot Rods on the blackboard could be persuaded, as the right thing to do, to own up to the activities I took the fall for, despite my rigorous denials, which invoked an extra lash or two. Do I have a case? Of course it would have to be no win, no cash, but is it worth a punt? I could be quids in.
    I was even lashed for an incident that happened when I was absent. The teacher didn’t have time at the end of his previous lesson, but lashed the whole class on arrival at his next. I doubt it but if there are any retired teachers here who lived by the belt reading this ( mewling craven cowards thrashers of children ), remember you have your maker breathing down your neck, come clean and I could be due some compo for being treated in such a sub human fashion. Forty odd years of hurt and mental scarring, caused by adults payed to look after me, is surely worth some pay back.

    • Niall Walker


      ” remember you have your maker breathing down your neck, come clean and I could be due some compo for being treated in such a sub human fashion.”

      Proverbs 13:24
      “He that spareth his rod hateth his son; but he that loveth him chasteneth him betimes (diligently).”

      Proverbs 19:18
      “Chasten thy son while there is hope, and let not thy soul spare for his crying.”

      Proverbs 22:15
      “Foolishness is bound in the heart of a child; but the rod of correction shall drive it far from him.”

      Proverbs 23:13
      “Withhold no correction from the child: for if thou beatest him with the rod, he shall not die.”

      Proverbs 23:14
      “Thou shalt beat him with the rod, and shalt deliver his soul from hell (Shoel).”

      Proverbs 29:15
      “The rod and reproof give wisdom: but a child left to himself bringeth his mother to shame.”

    • cam

      Man up,a few wee scuds wi a belt never did anybody any harm.Society nowadaYs is well humped,,bunch of smart arse,i know my rights,i’ve got a lawyers,left wing, pinko, commie, benefit dodging layabouts.
      Bring back the birch,flog em in the morning.
      I feel a lot better now!
      I won an award for being the second smartest in my year at school,but my techy teacher who was a perceptive wee man,realised i had a distinct lack of moral fibre and couldn’t take anything seriously.That and a lack of desire for material possessions eventually led me to my chosen path of caring for big orange baws.
      My own thoughts are that schools are for education and that faith is for the home or church.
      Organised religion of all faiths are akin to brainwashing IMHO.
      Nice to hear a pwoud father talking of his childrens achievements,they will be sure to put you in a good home Paul,where you can blog away about Rangers beside Leggo in the future.
      pip pip

      • Niall Walker


        ” My own thoughts are that schools are for education and that faith is for the home or church. Organised religion of all faiths are akin to brainwashing IMHO.”

        A parent will not be able to smoke in the car with their kids soon, but its ok to brainwash them into believing voodoo.

        I concur.

        • Ally McMoist

          Spot on. Religion is divisive. Faith/voodoo is for people afraid to die & accept death for what it is. Praying?? – What is that all about? Asking god for favours? If everything is “god’s will” then what’s the point in praying if “he’s” going to do whatever “he” likes anyway?? & a mass-murderer or multi-rapist can get into “heaven” if he “believes” but i can’t, even though i haven’t cheated anyone & been a model citizen? That plus mountains of evidence tells me it’s all complete bollocks!

  13. cam

    Well i’m going canoing on Loch Lomond at the weekend,Monti do you want to come?,,,we need a fat guy in the canoe in case we get lost.
    Play that banjo man

    The winner gets a season ticket a Porkheid!

    • david

      Cam, is that outside your hoose?

      • cam

        That’s my cousin’s hoose on my mothers,brothers,auntie’s uncles side of the family,,,Cletus fought at the 1980 Scottish Cup Final and had a square go with a police horse.His other cousin whose mum he married,saw that he was winning a second prize and gave him handers by sticking the nut on the poor horse.The boys haven’t been quite right ever since and can be found on the TSFM site.

    • Budweiser

      If you see adam paddlin aboot lookin fer the amazon – gie him some use of your internet access.

  14. Niall Walker

    I hope Charlotte Fakes is more clever and honest than Craig Whyte:

    “THE theft trial of the housekeepers of disgraced former Rangers owner Craig Whyte may be delayed because the prosecution cannot serve a witness citation on the elusive millionaire businessman.”

    Horan’s defence lawyer Eilidh Macdonald joined with the Crown motion for a further diet because a report on the analysis of a COMPUTER was not yet available. At an earlier hearing in February, Ms Macdonald claimed that evidence produced by Mr Whyte may be FALSE. She said then: “Reference has been made to a letter which the complainer [Whyte] produced from a computer which is owned and operated by the accused and purporting to be from the accused !!!!
    “I have that computer in my office and there is a suggestion that the LETTER has been FALSIFIED.”

    This guy is like Clouseau.

  15. graham

    Well done wee chesnay Scotland pump Croatia 0-1 fantastic

  16. cam “organised religions of all faiths are akin to brainwashing IMHO”
    sometimes it is, sometimes it isn’t, depends how it’s imparted.
    It’s amazing how many people are able to walk away from the brainwashing without a backward glance………..

    • Ally McMoist

      Mac “sometimes it isn’t” – When?? – You’re asked to “repeat after me..” at mass/church service/gathering by the con-man in the frock. What’s that if not attempted brainwashing?

  17. Tam McCondie

    Tecumseh, I agree with you entirely. I am sick hearing (rubbish) about Catholic teachers. Circumstances dictate that I attend various churches to attend Mass and the one in which I am familiar with the congregation has normally four or five teachers there on a Sunday. Only one of them shows any respect for the Blessed Sacrament. They troop into the church and sit down without genuflecting. They head up to communion with the hands held out and you would swear they had been handed bubblegum. Their jaws go faster than Alex Ferguson’s on their way back to their seats. One of them is the main R.E. Teacher in the local secondary. I worked most of my working life on construction sites and the Catholic men I worked with were more devout than any of that lot. I wonder how many pupils would have received an award if it had been for church attendance or even a belief in the Real Presence. If Caritas chooses to spend their cash on this type of show then I’m afraid I will be passing the plate on the next time they come begging.

    • Niall Walker


      ” They troop into the church and sit down without genuflecting.”

      Is that similar to dancing for rain ?

      Sorry, please forgive me, its not my fault God gave me free will, big big mistake.

      • “is that similar to dancing for rain”
        I was under the impression that this latest blog was a consideration of how education enhances the development of children.
        Is there no end to your overbearing rudeness? There is a time & a place for everything, Is your aggressively anti religious stance appropriate at the moment.

        It always amazes me how the “Most Pious Preachers” these days are a particular category of bombastic atheists, you certainly carry an unpleasant holier than thou air about you.

        As I’ve said I’m neither up nor down about religion, but I showed your recent posts to a couple of friends who are both convicted athiests & art practitioners. I believe they are both still laughing at your historical illiteracy & your wholly inaccurate appraisal of art, which is frankly astonishing.

        • cam

          Mac, that was nice of you to visit your friends in jail and take Niall’s posts up for entertainment.
          I’ve taken all the posts in here to my friends at NASA NARSA who are building a bluenose ark for the coming apocalypse.
          Unfortunately most of you guys aren’t getting to come on board.We may invite mick to orate Shakespeares work for entertainment and carntyne and cregganduff along with marty will be used as our enforcers.Armed with a broken Tizer bottle in case of alien encounters, they can howl at the moon to their hearts content.

          • Niall Walker


            ” Mac, that was nice of you to visit your friends in jail ”

            ….and he has the cheek to call me illiterate, you just couldn’t make it up.

          • cam 🙂 Will get back to you on your scandalous slur against painting’
            Sons of the Reformation….philistines …..:)

            • cam

              I like some of the early pre Raphaelite painting by numbers jobs and Spirograph was a particular favourite.
              My original oil painting of King Billy riding his white horse,,,,steady!!,,must be worth a few bob.
              I’m not Tom Jones,so posting me your undies wont get me loving the green green grass of Rome.I assume you will be riding your Colagno in these moist panties?,,,,send them to Gort,,,must be a cyclist thing!

          • @cam……I stand “convicted” & accept my well deserved riddy, To consolidate my humiliation I’ll wear Union flag underpants for 24hrs, I’ll stick them in the post when I’m finished 🙂

        • Niall Walker


          ” I believe they are both still laughing at your historical illiteracy & your wholly inaccurate appraisal of art, which is frankly astonishing.”

          Unfortunately for you, neither your astonishment nor their laughter are evidence of my illiteracy or inaccuracy, I tend to ignore appeals to authority when the authority is struck dumb.

          Either support your claim or go throw stones at schoolkids.

        • Niall Walker


          ” It always amazes me how the “Most Pious Preachers” these days are a particular category of bombastic atheists, you certainly carry an unpleasant holier than thou air about you.”

          I am preaching people should not believe things are true without giving it some thought, it is what we teach our kids at school, I fail to see why God or religion should be exempt from this common sense approach.

          Do you ?

        • Ally McMoist

          Mac “I was under the impression that this latest blog was a consideration of how education enhances the development of children.” – You missed out one important word- Catholic. This post has been comment after comment about how superior Catholic faith schools are.
          ” Is your aggressively anti religious stance appropriate at the moment.” – Frankly, yes, it is. Appropriate when folk are banging on about “if only everyone else had the morals of Catholic schooling”. A more appropriate time than any to mock the believers in fairies. The believers in fairies who think they’re brighter than the rest of us.

  18. Allan

    I too attended my daughter’s prize giving at her school this week and like you, I and her mum are so proud of her.Congratulations to all children who have been recognised for their efforts.

  19. Niall Walker

    In the city of Ur some 6,000 years ago, the term ” human ” was attached to those residents behind the walls who obeyed the codes of conduct needed to socialize and civilize some 65,000 people.

    Those who lived outside these codes and walls, and still lived by the barbaric hunter-gatherer codes, were considered still to be wild animals.

    Humans were created by the word, in the beginning was the word and the word was our feelings and thoughts…..or ……God.

  20. dan

    Deniall, you really do blow it out your arse. But I’m going to give you an even break. I believe in God. Demonstrate the impossibility of God to me (and I don’t mean mere opinion) and I will bow to a superior intellect. If you cannot demonstrate the impossibility of God, then moderate your language when speaking of religion, or explain what you mean by ‘voodoo’. Thanks in advance. If you can’t do the deed, then—-‘be gone’ as another poster on here is won’t to put it.

    • david

      I believe in God / Supreme Being / Great Architect.
      If Einstein could detect the hand of God , thats good enough for me, he was a lot smarter than me.
      I dont think any religion has a monopoly on truth but if everyone practiced what the Good Book says the World would be a better place.

      • Niall Walker


        I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own — a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbour such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotisms. (Albert Einstein, obituary in New York Times, 19 April 1955)

        • david

          Niall, suggest you check some later stuff.
          I believe there is a God.
          A Presbyterian one ( not to be taken as anything other than a joke )
          Impossible to prove, but much better minds than mine have concluded so.

          • Niall Walker


            ” Niall, suggest you check some later stuff.”

            I know everything there is to know about Einsteins religious beliefs, there is no later stuff that contradicts his obituary, Einstein believed in Spinoza’s God which is about as far away from Monotheism as you can get.

            • david

              No wonder the Tims dont like you, Niall.
              You seem to know everything about everything, especially superiority and egotism.

          • @david….”who gives a toss about art”…was that a bit of mischief on your part? 🙂
            david, who was the Catholic parish preist who embarrassed Einstein in front of the whole scientific (theoretic physics) community?
            Father Le Maitre a priest, & amateur astrologer from Brussels was “The First ” to postulate that there was a “big bang”, ie an expanding cosmos with a detectable beginning. He submitted his findings to Einstein who claimed that “his sums” were wrong. Le Maitre proved otherwise & totally annihilated Einstein’s ‘steady state universe’ theory.
            It should be noted that Le Maitre was written out of Science history because of the embarrassment caused to the rational scientific community by a cleric.
            Also wonder if you’ve heard of Francis Collins, a Darwinian evolutionary biologist & the director of the Human Genome project, John Polkinghorne, Anglican Priest & highly respected Experimental physicist & Alistair McGrath also a Darwinian biologist now a theologian I believe at Cambridge. All moved from childhood atheism towards belief.
            Interesting characters..

            • Niall Walker


              ” It should be noted that Le Maitre was written out of Science history because of the embarrassment caused to the rational scientific community by a cleric.”

              I believe you have just made this up:

              ” The classic solution of the Einstein field equations that describes a homogeneous and isotropic universe is called the Friedmann–Lemaître–Robertson–Walker metric, or FLRW, after Friedmann, Georges Lemaître, Howard Percy Robertson and Arthur Geoffrey Walker, who worked on the problem in 1920’s and 30’s independently of Friedmann.”

              Lemaitre is still recognized as having one of the finest mathematical minds, by the way Einstein also discarded Quantum Theory, he was not infallible, science is not like God.

            • Le Maitre’s findings were initially ridiculed by Einstien, very publicly…..
              This was not made up Skywalker, Le Maitre was only recently credited with his theory regarding the expanding cosmos.
              Also worth considering that Newtons religious views & practice were hushed as they were considered at odds with rationalism by “dogmatic” scientists.
              I never made any claims of perfection on behalf of any deity, talk about inventing position…….pot & kettle.

    • Niall Walker


      ” I believe in God. . Demonstrate the impossibility of God to me (and I don’t mean mere opinion).

      This question should be directed at those who claim God is impossible, I am not one of them, I do not need to prove fairies are impossible to believe they do not exist.

      • Paul

        I agree slightly and would like to add why does an atheist,(horrible word btw given by believers), have to prove the non existence he/she is quite happy to ignore what would prove too difficult a task to prove and is not the one with the problem, they can accept life and do not try and force their views only object to the views of others with no tangible proof of their beliefs.

    • Ally McMoist

      “Demonstrate the impossibility of God to me” – Ridiculous argument. That’s just like saying “Demonstrate the impossibility of a giant tea-pot in the sky” !! Do you believe in the tooth fairy & Santa?
      Tell you what, if you believe in god, pray to him that if he really exists he’ll save you from death when you jump off the roof of a very tall building, head-first? If you believe, he’ll save you, right??
      You’re the one who believes in something ridiculous, the onus is on you to prove it’s existence.

  21. Budweiser

    Seems like we are promised ‘The Holy Trinity’ in THE interview.

    Charlotte Fakeovers ‏@CharlotteFakes 53m
    The next set of audio, when uploaded, will feature 90 mins of Brian Stockbridge, Imran Ahmad and Craig Whyte. It’s the interview 🙂

    • cam

      Bud,why would anyone with a functioning brain listen to any of this crap?
      In the run up to the court case that Craigie is threatening we shall be “treated?” to more exposes’ no doubt,,,,what a sad little creature he is.

      • Was it not by listening to “this crap” that forced Green to own up to his dealings with Whyte,
        Green would still be lying through his teeth today about his “history” with Whyte if it was not for Charlotte,
        Whyte bought the club when no one else would, SDM was desperate to off load it after 4 years of failing to find a buyer, ( ffs)
        then we had the Yorkshire liar given his shot to milk his £millions out of the 50,000 Dupies that turn up to watch the tribute act struggle against part timers,
        why was Green like Whyte allowed anywhere near Ibrox? simple ..not one true blue, not a fans group or any other “true blue” would spend a few quid to Buy/save the club,
        sugar daddy dependants from the cradle to the grave.

        it amazing how the billionaire that was going to buy 10 in a row is reduced to a sad little creature, every one else tried to tell you he was a fake but the Euphoric wave drowned out the warnings,

        • willy wonka

          Not one true blue group, in fact nobody would’ve taken on Rangers while the big tax case was pending.
          Whyte did. But we all know why.
          As for “50,000 turning up” – almost double the amount that turned up to see the SPL flag being raised or the majority of the other games at Porkheid.
          Says more about the green and grey than it does about Bears.

        • Niall Walker


          ” Was it not by listening to “this crap” that forced Green to own up to his dealings with Whyte,Green would still be lying through his teeth today about his “history” with Whyte if it was not for Charlotte,”

          Nope, it was the letter released to the press regarding CW’s intentions to sue.

          • portpower

            Explain your own. I will. They canny run. FAKES (the rangers)SEVCO(5088)2012. Whose going to explain to the one? Watchout.It`s not just fun anymore having the piss taken out of your seat? You`re to take the blame so I can. Least we forget the selfish that never help all. Leave Please. No sauce on the pie.

        • cam

          I didn’t believe Whyte was a billionaire for a second.
          I will admit to being naive enough to not accept that somone could behave in such a disgraceful manner as that loathsome little nyaff.
          Rangers were made an unattractive proposition,in part by the scaremongering and sweetie wifing of the organised group who used their “talents” and some documentation that is the subject of a police investigation.
          The fact that the fans are staying loyal and ensuring that Rangers carry on is killing the hate mhob who are becoming ever more desperate in their attempts to prevent Rangers coming back to put the east enders back in their place.

          • barcabuster

            Awright mate, Fraud I have to disagree with you there mate. Nobody came in for Rangers because of the state Murray had them in. I don’t think bread heads take to Mich notice of sweetie wifery, mid wifery, or agricultural husbandry. As for back to their rightful place, come on.!
            Celtic are champions of Scotland. It is a transient place. To stay there next season we will need to earn that right. It belongs to no-one, but available to all who enter.
            I don’t know if you have heard the latest Cha audios. It looks an open and shut case big fella. Wee Craigy admits admin was the game plan all along, but hit problems. Basically he needed Chicco to bring the assets out the other side of liquidation, where they could divvy up the spoils.
            It would appear that Murray must have at least had more than a suspicion that admin was on the cards, but bottled it to shoot his own fatally wounded horse.
            What now for the fans? I don’t know mate. Your biggest strength, Loyalty, was used against you. Ownership of the assets and brand are now hiding in corporate vaults and off shore havens. Don’t think you will ever get it back.
            The best you can hope for is a train driver who says he will take you to Saltcoats, while the fat controller diverts the railrack to Grimsby.

            • Niall Walker


              ” Wee Craigy admits admin was the game plan all along, but hit problems.”

              His biggest problem was he screwed up the floating charge.

            • cam

              I don’t listen to any of Craigie’s tapes leaked onto the internet by his pals to put the pressure on the Gers,,,well at least in his reality.
              My anti scum firewall keeps creatures like Whyte well away from my HDD.
              I’m telling you this as a stone cold fact,Whyte is getting not one thin dime!Celtic will be champs for at least the next 6 years.There is no competition and next season Hearts and Dundee Utd are going bust,Kilmarnock will follow.
              There is no way any sponsor wants to be associated with this utter crap.
              If Celtic get any decent bids in for their Galacticos then they better take it quick before someone realises that looking good against rubbish who can’t control a ba means nothing.
              Look at the mens semi final between Nadal and Djokovic,,,sheer brilliance,oor Andy has the game,maybe not the temperament to defeat at least two of the big four in the majors on a continuous level.
              When Celtic sell and downsize and fail to qualify for the CL,then its game over.They will be playing in front of 34,000 at home.

          • barcabuster

            It may well happen that crowds will fall off, and more expensive players will be sold on. However with the skills gap decreasing competition may become more intense and have the opposite effect on gates. Time will tell.
            You are neglecting your duty as a good bluenose by not listening to the audios. These audios are the nuts and bolts of the deal being put together to extract maximum wonga from your team. Straight from the horses mouth.
            Your a decent judge of character, and no daft. You know enough about the mechanisms to follow the script, so have a wee listen. It’s shocking what the lot of them have done/are doing. Nobody will be able to convince me that Murray never knew this was inevitable. I think he knew he was throwing Rangers into a corporate machine(he owns one) and it is now heading for a period of back street garage mot’s before it claps out.
            Keep your money and buy something for the weans bud. or a new 5-iron. Sounds like you need that more. Lol.

      • Budweiser

        If it had been tapes of withey and mc geogh in the St. Mirren boardroom then I would be interested. It beats me why you are NOT interested. Because it is another team, then it is pure entertainment, and wonder at the machinations. – It’s like ‘REALITY RADIO’. LOL.

        • barcabuster

          Your right mate. They are as fascinating in their intrigue, as they are with the casualness in how they are conducted.
          Remember when you were wee, and there was a scary shadow or something in your room. Sooner or later you would find the balls to check it out, but there was the sit tight with white knuckles clutching the blankets under your chin period before the bravery took hold.
          It must be a bit like that for It does sound like wee Craigy has taken a sharp one between the shoulder blades.

          • Budweiser


            ‘ @Budweiser.
            Your right mate. They are as fascinating in their intrigue, as they are with the casualness in how they are conducted.
            Remember when you were wee, and there was a scary shadow or something in your room. Sooner or later you would find the balls to check it out, but there was the sit tight with white knuckles clutching the blankets under your chin period before the bravery took hold.
            It must be a bit like that for It does sound like wee Craigy has taken a sharp one between the shoulder blades’

            If you listen to cam;adam and oor wullie, wishing ‘ hell and damnation’ on wee craigy for destroying their club [ note ; – not the holding company – but the club – not that I give a fig ! ] and then hear CW on the tapes. OK, he wants to make money – but , and it’s a big but, he seems to care about Rangers. He does talk about ‘ the blue mist ‘ but in terms of delusional, impractical idealists, with no sense of the financial realities. He wants rangers to emerge from a cva unhindered by debt and sees opportunities [ eerily echoed by chico] to capitalise on the rangers ‘global brand’.
            He also, on the tapes, makes reference to ” I’ve been checked out ” [ re. criminal activities – eg . fraud – ticketus ] and also states that HMRC encouraged him to wait till the January transfer window to get some cash to pay their bills !
            He [ in discussions about the ticketus £27m] says [ de facto] ‘rangers – the club’ will not be held responsible – he will deal with it ! Even though the money was used to pay off rangers debt to Lloyds. I really don’t get it with regard to the hatred displayed by cam wullie adam & co towards CW – Need for a scapegoat perhaps?

            • barcabuster

              Agreed mate, I was actually quite warming to him, and felt that although he was riding the system, his original intentions were to help the club and make a few bob at the same time. Now he is left with little choice. His rep shattered, £18m down, and no choice.
              The pension fund wonga, (Jerome?). Did that arrive, or get covered.?
              It’s clear a lot of the share money raised was promissory, so I wonder what their actual cash state is.
              The out company for CW to get the debenture shares, Tiffon, Tiphon, Tifon?. Foundation. Can’t find anything. He did say it was under the radar. Where’s ecojon?
              If wee Craigy is in the right, and the audio not doctored(I think its real) then the SFA need to act. Maybe they could ask wee Craigy to investigate himself. That seems to be the SFA policy on things.

    • portpower

      The strip is saved.

  22. Faith has a great part to play in many people’s life’s,it is not for point scoring,but it is personal.Paul choose to give us an insight into his and that of his family’s pride of their choice of school and religious background,it should be applauded for what it is,a dad proud of the way his siblings are turning out and active in their religious studies.
    Like all of us dads we hope our children become better people than what we are,no matter what school we attended.

    • Niall Walker

      ” Faith has a great part to play in many people’s life’s,it is not for point scoring,but it is personal.”

      Once you bring your personal beliefs into the public domain, they are no longer private.

    • Ally McMoist

      “it should be applauded for what it is,a dad proud of the way his siblings are turning out and active in their religious studies.” – Is this the same for Islamic children who are brainwashed into thinking we’re infidels??
      I think indoctrinating kids into a specific faith & putting the fear of god/allah into children is at best, lazy parenting & at worst, child abuse.


    All through our upbringing we were told that the Catholic faith was based on tradition and not a slavish adherence to the Bible (in whatever version) – the Latin mass was a big part of our tradition and many of us took the time to learn and understand the vernacular. It is my view that the modern format lacks the solemnity and gravitas of the Latin version – why on earth can’t the faithful be taught, and, learn the Latin – is it too much to ask?

    I do not normally agree with George Galloway on many things, however his recent writings on the inevitable demise of our Catholic schools within ten years of an independent Scotland MUST be taken seriously.

    The SNP have never had the well being of our minority at heart and a separatist Scotland would throw-up factions that we know are there, under various pseudo-political guises, who will look to marginalise us and drive home their “Scotland is a protestant country” message.

    We are protected by the larger UK population, the empathy of the Anglican Church and the support of the Westminster government, whatever the colour. I say to those members of our minority who are considering voting SNP because of the Ibrox Klan’s claims to the Union – these people are NOT the UK – an independent Scotland will, in the medium to long- term, be no friend to us.

    • Niall Walker

      ” I do not normally agree with George Galloway on many things, however his recent writings on the inevitable demise of our Catholic schools within ten years of an independent Scotland MUST be taken seriously.”

      If there was even the semblance of any evidence I would take George seriously, Catholic schools will die out eventually, nothing to do with independence, everything to do with reason and information technology.

    • david

      John, I just cannot understand your position.
      There are no danger whatsover to Catholic schools in an Independent Scotland, or Catholicism generally.
      Quite the reverse.
      What evidence do you perceive for your claims?

    • Ally McMoist

      “a separatist Scotland would throw-up factions that we know are there” – By the comments on here, it’s clear religion is to blame for why we are already a separatist Scotland with various factions who all think theirs is the way & the “truth”.

  24. Mac Tomas
    June 7, 2013 at 4:20 pm

    Faith is based on belief, not empirical evidence & should be regarded as such.

    But Mac, how do the vast majority of people come by their religious beliefs?

    In my case it wasn’t a choice but an indoctrination from birth, and everyone I knew was the same.

    They followed their particular religion because their mother and father did.

    They got their religious beliefs just as they did their political beliefs, from their parents.

    But just as some change their political beliefs when they get older, so I changed my religious beliefs.

    Education stresses the importance of questioning and testing the things we believe to be true, but when it comes to religion the reverse is true.

    Many a discussion I’ve had with the religious, priests in particular, have turned nasty when you question their strongly held religious beliefs.

    Their stock answer to awkward questions is usually…’you must have faith my son’.

    Apart from being patronising, this goes against the grain of what education is all about, or should be.

    What % of people would have become christians in this or any other country if they had not been assured in school that this was the only truth.

    My childhood was marred by threats of hellfire if I ate meat on a Friday or didn’t attend mass on a Sunday.

    Threats intended to control.

    It dawned on me eventually that religion had more to do with control and restricting people’s freedom to choose freely what to believe, than in what it preached…loving your fellow man.

    They say to keep the peace you should never discuss politics or religion, and with good cause.

    With that thought in mind I’d like to point out I would never have brought this subject up except….somebody else did!

    I’m sure Paul is a sincere, decent bloke, but the rosy picture he paints of religion is like a Bing Crosby Xmas movie.

    Full of homilies and good cheer, but only a small part of the appalling history of religion.

    Of all religions.

    • Monti

      Good result for Scotland last night, well done Strachan & the boys!
      Noticed Regan & Ogilvie in the stand, these two stood out from everyone else to me, i felt they looked isolated! Why are they still employed? Disgusted!

    • Ed Pàislig

      Paul paints a true picture of a group of children and parents together in a wholesome common purpose. He isn’t trying to get you back into the confessional booth. I have no particular faith either but when I read Paul’s blog I felt a yearning for that togetherness and belief in a greater purpose. Perhaps I believe in an omniscient creator – sometimes I do, sometimes I don’t. I wish I had greater faith and I have admiration for people who have deep and sincere faith in God, of whatever religion. As Dave Allen used to say – may your god go with you.

    • cam

      Bloody hell,,,,carntyne,i agree with all of your points!
      I’ve searched through them and i can’t find any flaws.It must be my influence on you that has brought about this enlightenment.

    • @carntyne… I tend to agree with much of your post. I was actually attacking Dogma which I do not associate with a freely adopted belief. I don’t however condemn anyone for simply adopting a belief in God.
      I agree we are often forced into a belief system rather than offered it for consideration. For my part most of the priests I had dealings with were decent easy going guys who did not clamp down on questioning.
      I can’t argue against the bloody history of religion, but the secular world has also left a trail of bloody destruction.

      • Mac Tomas
        June 8, 2013 at 9:26 pm

        I can’t argue against the bloody history of religion, but the secular world has also left a trail of bloody destruction.

        Both have, but its not a choice of having to pick one or the other.

        The aim should be to make the world a better place, not to introduce a belief system that’s just as bad as what’s gone before it.

        Doesn’t christianity teach that god created the universe and everything in it?

        Before that there was…nothing.

        So, our mythical creator must be responsible for evil as well as everything else.

        But he gave us free will…

        Whit?…A loving god gave us the capacity to rape, assault, and murder each other…just to see how it would all turn out?

        A guy who (I’m sorry girls, I assume its a guy) knows everything, is watching you every minute of the day and night, and presumably already knows how it will all turn out?

        This is the bit the religious jump in with…’you need to have faith’…

        ‘It is all a mystery that only god understands’.

        Its a mystery all right.

        A mystery how anyone can believe such teachings.

        I’m not having a go at god, arguing with him, so to speak, because, that’s right, there is no god.

        I offer the above in the spirit that Paul offered his beliefs and opinions, but I know full well that it will offend some who hold on to religion tightly.

        They can say what they will, but the rest of us mustn’t say anything in case they are ‘offended’.

        Our opinions don’t matter, but they feel free to preach to us.

        I’ve come across another religion which in attitude mirrors lots of what christianity is about.

        Can anyone guess which one

        • carntyne……”Thou shalt not kill”……..I think that is fairly clear, Whether that can be attributed to God I would doubt very much, but it is a reasonable way for all, both religious or not to conduct their lives by. I would not for a second say that religious teaching is not problematic, I have issues with much of it myself. My position is that in considering the Great mystery regarding what we are all doing here it is reasonable to consider if a God is at the centre of it.
          To my mind both the Atheist position & belief in God can be viewed as equally ridiculous & equally valid. Stephen Hawkins an atheist currently postulates that everything in the cosmos was borne out of” nothing”, Is that any more preposterous as suggesting that Intelligence (God) was behind creating the cosmos? . Of course we enter the infinite regress problem of who created the creator?
          I agree it simply is not good enough for someone to simply argue you must have “blind” faith when asking or requesting that you believe in God.
          we have intelligence. If god exists then i think he, would expect his creations to use it.
          Always enjoy your posts carntyne , especially when your hammering the bloonoses 🙂

  25. JohnBhoy


    You expressed the unambiguous and ridiculous view that Scottish Presbyterians were at the forefront of every human advance. You immediately exclude Chinese and Greek and Roman advances before Scottish Presbyterianism ever came into being. While some Scottish Presbyterians have made a fine, on occasion exemplary, contribution to human advances, it is false to claim that they are always leading from the front in every field.

    Producing some mathematicians does prove not your claim. The mathematicians you list have made a contribution but do not lead in the field of either abstract or applied mathematics and their contributions, while important are not viewed as so meritorious that they are considered world leaders. The best mathematicians tend to come from the US these days; some from Cambridge which has a fine record. Many lists of top mathematicians have been produced over the years, and I have yet to see a Scot, never mind a Presbytarian Scot, appear in the top 50. For example, here’s a credible list of the top 100 mathematicians of all time: In literature, the top 100 pieces of literature would not include a Scottish author, and so on.

    Further, higher learning and real research advances largely occur within Universities. I am not aware that Universities in Scotland espouse Presbyterian value sets. Neither I nor my academic colleagues teach our subject specialism and do not attempt in any shape or form to introduce our own religious beliefs when doing so. Neither I nor my colleagues are aware of the religious background of our fellow academics. Research output does not record that information; nor should it. In addition, it is almost unheard of these days for research advances to be attributable to one individual. Human advance is a collaborate effort, and an international one at that.

    While it is commendable that you bat for Scottish output it is disgraceful that you divide contribution according to religious denomination and, worse, that you hold up one religious group as a model of human advance. Race and religion are not the characteristics upon which we should celebrate human advances. My academic colleagues would, like me, find your stance insulting and a dangerous road to go down. It ranks of the WATP mentality and divides rather than unites.

    • david

      I think you are putting words in my mouth and making claims which I do not espouse.
      I posted in response to the oft-repeated claims on this site about the benefits and superiority of Catholic education which has no basis in fact whatsoever. I have never at any time expressed any anti-Catholic sentiments, only pro-Presbyterian , of which I am proud.
      And in terms of human advancement, I made it clear that I was talking about the modern world.

      • JohnBhoy

        David, here is what you wrote: “Scottish Presbyterianism has been at the forefront of every human advance”. I put no words in your mouth. I point out the invalidity and import of your claim. Your claim automatically attributes contribution according to religion. I make no such counter claim with Catholicism. You have a right to be proud of Scottish Presbyterianism but your assertion quoted above was as outlandish as it was dangerously triumphalist.

        Your original post does not state at all that you are referring exclusively to the “modern world”. In fact, it is quite clear that your context precedes the modern world because you also add to the above text I have quoted that these leading contributions “continue to this day”. Even allowing for the context to be the “modern world”, your claim still lacks credence. As I say, my colleagues would find your claim without foundation in the modern world of academia. Religious boasting is not part of the modern research community. We work together and assign credit only in terms of contribution, not religion.

        What is wrong for someone to claim that they benefited from Catholic orl or Presbyterian education or Hindu education or whatever? I do not consider one to be superior over another and if someone claimed that Scottish Presbyterian education was superior to a Catholic education I would not go scouring for evidence of academic output where the main scientist etc was Catholic. Such a route is dangerously divisive and undermines the collaborative work that is done in Universities.

        • Niall Walker

          ” Scottish Presbyterianism has been at the forefront of every human advance”

          Unless this has been extracted out of context, this claim seems ambitious, can we assume humans had advanced somewhat before Scottish Presbyterianism, and there has been many advances since not attributed to Scottish Presbyterianism.

  26. Niall Walker

    If posters on here really believe Paul posted a religious theme not knowing the consequences, then they are being naive.

  27. Niall Walker

    Faith is gobbledegook for believing without evidence or reason, anyone who believes the Bible is true without evidence or reason has a malfunctioning brain.

    If I have faith Lord of the Rings is true then my sanity would be questioned.

  28. Niall Walker

    There is no correlation between religiosity and morality, if you substitute the Bible for Lord of the Rings, the moral effect would be the same.

    All religions sell a form of death denial, the belief in an afterlife is the opium.

  29. Niall Walker


    “It is our minds and thoughts that are advancing”. You prove my point that, according to your rationale, subjects in themselves do not advance.”

    According to my rationale, subjects come from our minds and thoughts, and they do advance, art merely records this advance.

    What materials or techniques are used to portray these concepts cannot be an advance, since beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

    Anyway its just my personal opinion, each to their own.

    • JohnBhoy


      Beauty has nothing to do with the advances made in mass producing pastel or oil paints or drawing paper. And not all art is about beauty. Even in the simple process about writing about art there has been a marked improvement on explaining art and differentiating good art from bad art.

      The arguments that you employ against art can be similarly used in every field of human endeavour. In mathematics and philosophy, arguments raged, and still do, about which mathematician or philosopher developed the best solutions for particular problems. In sociology, debate is never far away. Economics is a field whose place on societies pedestal has taken a recent battering. Music is to personal taste but that does not mean that neither musical instruments nor the development of music itself has not advanced. In effect, that is why we have in Universities topics on The History Of Art or Mathematics or Science or Music or Philosophy etc – it is to show how the professional specialists themselves are largely in agreement over academic advances in the various fields.

      “Subjects come from our minds and thoughts”. That is a novel thesis that misrepresents the relationship between our minds and the external world.
      It is not a one-way street. Applied mathematics, for example, comes from a combination of hypotheses and trial and error. Art is no different.

      A one level I accept each to their own, but without a common understanding between researchers and practitioners of what counts as development, ie agreed ground rules, then advances of any kind would be difficult to achieve.

      • Niall Walker


        Do you mind if we just agree to disagree, if I believe Picasso’s art is no more advanced than a 40,000 year old hand print, then nothing technical is going to change my mind. To me art mirrors concepts from our consciousness, the beauty is in the meaning not the technique, obviously you disagree.

  30. Niall Walker

    @John and David,

    As someone who has always debated against all religions your argument interests me, so please excuse me for adding fuel to the fire.

    There is no doubt prior to the Reformation the Catholic Church obstructed knowledge, and the Enlightenment was an outcome of the Reformation. However Protestants were no different in opposing knowledge that contradicted the Bible, so it is a little disingenuous to propose Protestants were the architects of secular reasoning.

    • david

      Niall, Charles Darwin was a Protestant, so were the advocates in the ” monkey trials ” in Tennessee, who repudiated his theory.
      Ian Paisley believes literally in the Old Testament size of Heaven, most Protestants dont .( It if was, it would be full by now )
      A Scot first postulated the age of Earth by observation of the rock around Arthurs Seat- contradicting the stated age in the Bible.
      What you mean is SOME Protestants opposed knowledge that contradicted the Bible

      Gimme that Ol Time Religion, the as the Hillbillies would say

      • Niall Walker

        @ david

        ” Charles Darwin was a Protestant,”

        You are correct he WAS a Protestant, and he became a quasi deist and eventually an agnostic, Charles Darrow was a cross between an agnostic and an an atheist, he was the son of an atheist.

        The concept of theistic evolution was eventually adopted by both Catholics and Protestants because of the sheer volume of evidence that supported common ancestry, it would have been perverse to deny it.
        Only in America does does literalism still exist in any numbers, half of the country rejects evolution and most if not all are Protestants.

        Christian fundamentalism obstructs science, regardless of the denomination.

    • tecumseh


      How many european universities were founded bh the catholic church…….

      Lets start with Oxford, Cambridge, St Andrews, Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen……Paris…..Bologna. ….etc……etc

  31. Niall Walker


    ” You seem to know everything about everything, especially superiority and egotism.”

    I tend to avoid posting about things I have no knowledge of, since you do not know me I suggest you may wish to adopt my habit.

    • david

      Stick your suggestion where the sun dosent shine, this is supposed to be about honest opinion and debate .
      Please feel free to point out any factual errors; nobody on this site, or on this planet has a monopoly on knowledge on wisdom.
      You really do come across as so pompous, especially deriding peoples sincerely held religious beliefs. This seems to be a modern characteristic of secularism.
      You will find out one day who is right and who is wrong.
      St Peter might show you your posts then point downwards.
      Must debate have to include insults?

      • Niall Walker


        ” Stick your suggestion where the sun dosent shine, this is supposed to be about honest opinion and debate ”

        I am debating with you and giving my honest opinion, I deride those who believe the Bible is the word of God and is true, it is an old book written by ignorant humans trying to understand the world they inhabited.
        We have learned a lot in 2,500 years and one of the things we have learned is to question extraordinary claims, you want me to accept these claims without any reason or evidence, this I cannot do, my brain does not work like a sheep’s brain, I have no need for a shepherd.

        • Skywalker….”I have no need for a shepherd”
          That may very well be true, but what you do need are some manners & a respect for other people who contribute to this blog.
          You are without doubt the most obnoxious, arrogant, humourless & offensive personality I have ever encountered.
          This is the last time I will ever respond to any of your contributions, please reciprocate.

          • Ally McMoist

            ” what you do need are some manners & a respect for other people who contribute to this blog.” – The same must be said for those who claim to be superior due to their catholic education. That’s a bit disrespectful to non-catholics, don’t you think?

  32. Niall Walker


    ” What you mean is SOME Protestants opposed knowledge that contradicted the Bible ”

    Galileo was Catholic.

    • david

      I never mentioned Galileo, or Catholics, or Da Vinci as a case.

      • Niall Walker


        I mentioned Galileo, because not all Catholics opposed knowledge that contradicted the Bible.

        There is simply no truth in your claim that Protestantism inspired secular knowledge, reason inspired the Enlightenment and Protestantism did not promote reason, it promoted religion.

  33. Niall Walker


    ” Please feel free to point out any factual errors; nobody on this site, or on this planet has a monopoly on knowledge on wisdom ”

    The statement ” God exists ” is factually false, God may exist but until existence is proven then it remains an unsupported claim, one I reject.

    I do not know how one expects to find a ” thing ” when the ” thing ” has no properties to identify the ” thing “.

    • david

      I have never said that he exists in a sense of proof.
      Nobody can- that is the essence of faith.
      I believe he does. I may be wrong.
      I hope Im right; will find out , likely a lot quicker than you.
      Either way, you will not likely be hearing from me, unless white noise really exists.
      Or I will ask Jesus to do the Second Coming at Bayview in a black and gold strip.

      • Niall Walker


        ” I have never said that he exists in a sense of proof.”

        If people see design in the universe then go ahead and believe in a designer, how you get from there to Moses and a talking bush that for some reason has also to be on fire, requires more than faith, it requires turning off your brain and going la la la.

  34. cam

    God gives me free will,i use this to decide(i think) that i believe in a life force as proof of God’s existence.I don’t believe in a biblical version through the facts that i perceive.Faith is what i’m lacking.I can’t see His hand at work,i can see the Devils.My brain hurts as Rangers are divine and proof of a greater being.
    Will God punish me and abandon me for not having faith?
    Were all those Belishas cleaned in vain?
    Is Craigie a sign from above?
    Can Moses Smith part the Red Sea of debt?

    Everything we say and think on this subject has been said and thought of before by countless generations and we’re none the wiser.
    Morag,be an angel and fetch me another drink!

    • Niall Walker

      @ cam

      “God gives me free will,”

      I cannot prove God does not exist but I can prove free will is an illusion, albeit a necessary one, your conscious choice to believe in free will is the sum of antecedent causes going back to the big bang, if it is caused then it is not freely chosen.

      ” i use this to decide(i think) that i believe in a life force as proof of God’s existence.”

      If we were conscious amoebas then I would join you, however humans evolved by a brutal tooth and claw mechanism, death of the least adaptable and able is a selection process of a sadist.

      But……….each to their own, nothing wrong in believing in the human spirit, the evolution of the human spirit is my religious epic.

  35. Stevie

    @David .
    Personally I do not believe in a “God” of any denomination.
    A god is simply a concept adapted to and adopted by, various dominions over the course of our planets existence.
    In my opinion it is nothing more than the greatest boogey man story you will ever be told.
    Of course there are those who have and continue to seek solace or comfort in the teachings of the bible, I have no qualm with that. People of all religions are entitled to indulge in whatever it takes to see them through to their journey’s end.
    What i do have a problem with is people who attempt to ram religion down others throat’s. Significantly more abhorrent are those who use religion as a tool or promotion for dastardly deeds and/or self indulgence.
    David,you are entitled to your beliefs and your viewpoint,however you cannot exclude your adopted church from the atrocities it has committed throughout the ages. The Vatican has “Amassed’ (no pun intended) the largest and most valuable art collection on this planet,yet there are still vast amounts of it’s devoted followers living in poverty. It was not the catholic church which brought Poland into the light from the darkness. It was Lech Walesla an ordinary working class man. The same could be said of Mother Theresa amidst the squalor and depravation of Calcutta. Then we have Islam. If ever religious doctrine has been twisted and manipulated,then surely this is the prime example of everything that is wrong with the concept.
    Adhere to your faith if you feel the need to,take comfort if thats what you seek and are fortunate enough to find,but please refrain from proclaiming that your’s is a just and superior bastion of self indulgence than that of others. It is not.

    ‘Where sitteth the whore of the seven hills”

  36. JohnBhoy

    Niall: “I cannot prove God does not exist but I can prove free will is an illusion, albeit a necessary one, your conscious choice to believe in free will is the sum of antecedent causes going back to the big bang, if it is caused then it is not freely chosen.”

    Good evening Niall. I have just joined the debate. You are in a company of one if you have proved that free will does not exist. There have been arguments put forward, but as yet no proofs. The sentence “your conscious choice to believe in free will…” is not a proof, only a theory. Can you outline your proof?

    Also, what type of determinism do you favour? There are different branches, some permitting compatibility with free will, others – hard determinism – rejecting free will completely. Some of your previous comments suggest that you accept a level of free will (“each to their own”; “beauty is in the eye of the beholder”, etc) yet you declare above that free will is an illusion. Anyway, back to your proof.

    • Niall Walker


      I do not accept any level of free will, and neither of these terms indicate such a notion, I am a full blown stone cold determinist, everything is physical cause and effect, although quantum indeterminacy has me scratching my head.

      My proof is simple, neuroscience has proven our choices have been made before we are conscious of making them, if we are not consciously choosing them then there can be no free will. I tend to ignore all the classical logical arguments.

      I do like these arguments against my position.

      But as Dennett correctly points out, this is an issue that’s far from being an open-and-shut case. Advocates of the “free will as illusion” perspective are still going to have to improve upon their experimental methods, while also addressing the work of philosophers, evolutionary biologists — and even quantum physicists.

      I am not sure why neuroscience must address bloody philosophers, philosophy( except ethics) is dead, and I fail to see how any evolutionary biologist would even object to free will being an illusion.

      The only gap is quantum mechanics, a wee hidey hole for a sub conscious consciousness exercising free will, all this quantum consciousness nonsense is just 21st century death denial………….no different from dancing for rain.

      • JohnBhoy

        Niall, the experiment you refer to is not proof. In fact Kornhuber and Deecke accept that we have free will in both initiating the actions and in stopping the actions, in that simple and limited experiment. The experiment therefore allows for a degree of free will and does not prove that all choices are predetermined. Nor does it debunk the notion of free will in, for example, moral judgements: in fact, it has nothing to say in that area. And it certainly does not prove your theory that life is wholly determined from any Big Bang.

        Furthermore, your notion of causation requires a Final Theory of Everything where space and time are fixed, knowable and predictable ie a Newtonian physics that does not exist in reality. Quantum Physics throws a major spanner in the works: the best that scientists can do is give a guess on how QP will behave. If that is your proof then you are on shaky ground.

        The ontological arguments, either for free will or against, are actually very interesting – to me anyway – but inconclusive in terms of proving anything. Personally, I go for a mix because while we may have many free “willings” some of our actions and behaviour are outwith our control and guided by our environment, genes, etc.

        Of course the consequence of your position is that there is no such thing as personal responsibility. Places a different perspective on what happened to Rangers and who was “responsible”.

        • Niall Walker

          morning John

          “Of course the consequence of your position is that there is no such thing as personal responsibility.”

          I think we must be accountable if not responsible, in my opinion we are all products of our environment and that environment must include the necessary illusion of free will, or we would create an irresponsible environment. As life has become ever more complex, the causes( nature-nurture) become ever more complex, but they exist never the less, we are physical machines with chemical levers and pulleys reacting to events. Humans are different to the extent we are aware of our thoughts and actions, and it is this conscious awareness that gives us the illusion of free will.

          The biggest effect it has on my story is not dissimilar to religions, they preach forgiveness and understanding, there but for the grace of God go I etc etc. It also enables me to recognize many of the environmental causes for immorality and crime, effectively mitigating circumstances.

          The Scandinavians in particular concentrate on the mental well being of children from 1-7, it is now becoming apparent how influential these early conditions are to our minds.
          My hobby is evolutionary psychology and it is slowly but surely marrying up with many of Freud’s original theories, almost everything is an adaptive trait from our basic reward systems of sex, food and nurture.

          I certainly cannot entertain the thought of some independent force choosing without causation, Cartesian duality is just death denial and in my opinion there is no ghost in the machine.

          • JohnBhoy

            Good afternoon Niall. I understand and respect your views and also recognise snippets of various psychological and philosophical positions. Your DECISION not to accept the theory of free will is in itself evidence of free will. I agree society would not function, or at least function differently, if a determinist view of life was accepted by communities. For example, our concept of punishment would have to be revisited. Hell, Thatcher even posited that there was no such thing as society.

            Your deterministic world-view ties you into creating a self-aware illusion of free will, together with a necessary illusion of responsibility. My compatibilist world-view has no such difficulty: I believe the to be actual free will and personal responsibility. However, I separate free will from free actions because while we have many alternatives in our head, we may not have the power to exercise these options, so some are more free than others. I also differentiate between deliberate choice and natural character. For example someone who behaves “saintly” as a part of their natural good nature, I would argue is not acting freely; whereas someone who has the choice of behaving good or behaving bad is exercising free will. And so.

            I see your position on religion and you are very antagonistic, as are many people, some with very good reason. Once again our views differ, however we both arrive at different conclusions from an intellectual position. My belief in God is primarily an intellectual one. The basis of my decision is too long to fit in this post, but think about this Niall: a deterministic theory depends on an all-encompassing, mechanistic world-system of blind cause and effect; my theory depends on an all-encompassing omnipotent and omnipresent being. Proof? And this is where it gets interesting. I cannot prove that God exists, not to anyone, and no one can prove that he does not exist. The same is not true of determinism: Quantum Physics disproves a Final Theory Of Newtonian Physics. Quantum Physics has been shown to be indeterministic. That said, I have leanings towards aspects of determinism. In addition, the arguments between determinism and free will swing from one to the other without outright victory for any side, which is poor show given the time spent trying to come to a conclusion.

            The criticisms against religion on the basis of costumes, and human failings, and voodoo this and voodoo that are unwelcome and unnecessary. Your intellectual arguments are much stronger and at least raises the debate to a proper academic level and allows people with different perspectives to understand their differences and, indeed commonality, and to at least respect disparate opinions. In fact, I love reading the letters that scientists and philosophers would send to each other trying to persuade and change entrenched scientific or philosophical views – no silly name calling, just pure intellectual thought.

            Your claim that philosophy is dead will be news to many! I’ll not celebrate or commiserate just yet.

            • JohnBhoy

              Oh, it was me that gave you the TU for your post.

            • I would add that recent developments in Quantum (theoretical) physics actually reignite the “does God Exist” debate. Theories on multi verses & parallel realities make some of the outlandish claims in sacred scripture seem less absurd.

  37. willy wonka

    Never ever took to the idea of debating “faith”.
    If someone has faith in a God, Supreme Being or whatever, what’s the point in debate ?
    Two men of the same faith might debate with each other about the exact form of their faith [ much as the Jews do ], but what is the point of trying to prove to another person that their faith is wrong ?

    • barcabuster

      That’s a fair comment bud. I don’t have any faith, but I will not/cannot argue I am correct, nor will I argue with another who has, is wrong. As a teenager I did judge people on their clothes and record collection, but I have grown out of that. Lol. I was young and daft then.
      How is the new ownership deal coming along? Did you mean ownership when you said “In charge”. or am I assuming too much?

    • JohnBhoy

      Willy, I agree. One faith is not better than another, or no faith. I have one religious faith, David has another, and Nall has none. No one is the better or worse for it. We just have different views.

      Niall does raise an interesting question, though, about the notion of free will. I’m not convinced by his “proof” but his question was worth asking.

    • portpower

      Ones own experience is your childs future peace.

    • last we find something to agree on. No individual or group has ownership of the truth, only versions, or interpretations of the nature of reality. All Dogmas, religious or secular should be consigned to the dustbin of history. Tolerance & intolerance are both characteristics of the human condition, that’s where the real conflict is, or should be focused on, not trying to prove which worldview religious or not is superior.

    • Nothing to do with ‘proving’ another person’s faith is wrong.

      Its to do with being preached at.

      If religious preaching is allowed to go unchallenged, its as good as admitting it is true.

      If people have dearly held beliefs that’s fine, but if they express them in public those beliefs are, and should be, open to question.

      Anyone offended by this either doesn’t have much faith in their beliefs, or are afraid of how shaky their beliefs are.

    • portpower

      If it`s two of your own. Forget the rest till the till is empty. Never you mind son, we`ll carry on playing the game.

  38. barcabuster

    I have no real opinions on Religion in schools, but you have such obvious pride in your daughter, and are clearly happy that the school more than meets your expectations of what you would hope they will provide.
    Do not under-estimate your own, or good ladies input in this success. I am of the view, that a school is only as good as the parents, of the children who attend.
    Congratulations to both your family and the school. And I wish your daughter every success.

  39. cam

    I’m gonna publish my own theory on the whole “big bang”,expanding universe,steady state,dark matter/energy debate.
    My calculations and research have taken into account universal mass,Doppler shift,quantum mechanics,string theory,black holes and the Bryson effect.
    Some fools at CalTech have poo poohed my work but their alternatives are equally unproven.
    My theory is that our current universe and everything in it including ourselves as the only known life form,are merely the contents of a large black garbage bag left out for collection by an entity beyond our comprehension.
    Humanity is just a fungal spore forming in a benign environment,every life form beyond the single cell amoeba develops a need,a reason, for cellular replication.God is the bin man who we hear about but can’t actually see, and the big bang/crunch, which in our reality takes place over billions of years, is actually every second Wednesday.
    Now quite where Celtic and Rangers fit into this proposed universal model is still at the theoretical stage,but particle physicists in the Louden, studying the effects of neutrinos passing through a pint of Stellar Artois are coming round to the idea that both clubs are the opposite ends of a gigantic soiled nappy and are currently embroiled in a centuries old conflict to ascertain whose shit stinks the most.
    I have the maths worked out, but in true Countdown style i haven’t written it down.To give my theory some pseudo authenticity i find its always useful to quote someone with a functioning brain.JBS Haldane stated that the universe is not only queerer than we suppose,but queerer than we can suppose,,,
    He was an interesting guy!
    Now i must retire as the vino is affecting my trajectory as a mass being affected by unquantified forces,,,burp,,,nite

    • JohnBhoy

      Cam, that sounds like Hitch Hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy stuff. Hope you’re not going to start reading Vogon poetry to us.

    • Cam, I agree with JBS Haldane that the universe is queerer than we suppose but I disagree with him when he states: “I have read and heard many attempts at a systematic account of it, from materialism and theosophy to the Christian system or that of Kant, and I have always felt that they were much too simple.”

      I reckon simplicity is actually the key to the universe and their accounts are far too complex.

      A simple mathematical equation can, after all, represent a universal law that applies on an unimaginable scale.

      Fractals are interesting in this regard. “The underlying principle of fractals is that a simple process that goes through infinitely many iterations becomes a very complex process.”

      A simple paradox can help explain the universe – complexity requires the building blocks of simple fundamentals.

      Therefore the universe’s “queerness” is a direct result of its simplicity.

      On the other hand, maybe I am just a drunken simpleton who can’t get his head around the complexity of it all and my Heath Robinson pseudo-metaphysical theory of simpleness is a psychological defence mechanism secretly activated by my subconscious to stop my head exploding!

    • FairBairn

      Cam, I have a fairly simple theory for everything, i.e. the more you look, the more you’ll find.
      The seekers after the ultimate answer will always find new questions. I believe in Christianity because it’s sensible. The Ten Commandments is really good advice. When Jesus was asked what was the most important he said “Love your neighbour as yourself”.
      Over forty years ago while grapepicking in France I met an Algerian (moslem) whose theory of the important things in life was “une belle famille, un belle maison et un bell voiture.” It probably sums up the whole world’s aspirations.

      • FairBairn
        June 9, 2013 at 9:31 am

        I believe in Christianity because it’s sensible.

        The Ten Commandments is really good advice.

        It sure is.

        How about giving us your views on some of christianity’s contentious issues.

        You know, the ones that aren’t sensible…

    • portpower

      While young only a trip(lsd) on a long weekend. Come the next thought I was pencilless. But one thing I`ll always remembered? You only wear one pair of cotton bum warmers to wipe your backside(commando) with. rangers are recycled into sevco. Thankyou for doing the only right thing to disinfect. Follow the arrows and become Green. Open the lid, put it in and compress. There`s good sides about. Spend elsewhere?

  40. Just to add a religious element to the theory of simpleness.

    Einstein said: “When the solution is simple, God is answering.”

  41. I also like the physicist David Bohm’s simplistic idea.

    “Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one. This is a virtual certainty because even in the vacuum matter is one; and if we don’t see this, it’s because we are blinding ourselves to it.”

    • @Ray, …..”Everything we call real is made of things that cannot be regarded as real”…….Niels Bohr (nobel prize winning physicist)………..he also said that poetry was the best way to describe quantum physics, not mathematics…..

  42. portpower

    Thankyou for sharing your family thoughts Paul. The number one feeling for a Father is: You little smart arses, “I`m so PROUD.” Now don`t be like your Mother.(and have all the answer?) Your Father told you?

  43. Niall Walker

    The problem I have with the space age voodoo of the universe( and/or God) being one big consciousness is this, a consciousness cannot exist in of itself, it has to be conscious of things to exist, and if everything is consciousness then there is nothing left to be conscious of. … what is the point of that fairy story….God isn’t conscious of us because we are his consciousness !!

    • portpower

      Question your own question. Know thy- self? I do while picking my nose. “Where the hell does it all come from?” Inside and filtered.

  44. david

    Niall, did you see todays Sunday Times?
    Some Oxford professors are having themselves cyrogenically frozen after death in the hope of being brought back to life in the future.
    £45 a month.
    Have a whip round, it may work for you, when you are resurrected in the distant future Rangers will still be bust and East Fife may be European Champions.

  45. Niall Walker

    Humans are unique in that we create our own environment, our well being depends on the environment we create and we are products of the environment we create. It seems reasonable to propose that what we don’t want to do is create an environment where the greatest amount of suffering and harm is inflicted on the greatest number of people. Morality is the antithesis of this, we must try and create an environment where the least suffering and harm is inflicted on the least number of people, in other words ” love thy neighbor as thyself “.

    Now how you want to build this message into your own personal epic of meaning, purpose and significance is entirely up to you, there are many routes to both goodness and badness, and I do not claim mine is true for anyone but me.

    What I will say is ritual( religion) enhances meaning, significance and purpose, it is a comfortable support and if people need that support then as long as they are not harming others then live and let live. What gets right up my nose is others telling me my story cannot have significance, meaning or purpose because it lacks a supernatural element.

    There is no greater epic than the evolution of the human spirit, we have come a long way since we lived in caves and ate our neighbor in harsh times, killing our first female born and sacrificing virgins to the sun.

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