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Showing posts from August, 2006


Non- overlapping magisteria (NOMA) is a term that Stephen Jay Gould proposed to define what the relation of science and religion should be. In his book “Rock of Ages” Gould defends the idea that science and religion are pre-eminent in their own spheres of inquiry. The Church (read Catholic) has supreme authority to teach faith, while Science (read Natural) has supreme authority to teach about how the natural world works. While Gould does a masterful exposition of the idea together with some theologizing (for which he was criticized since he was overstepping NOMA!), he is a bit late. The Catholic Church even before John Paul II was elected; was burned in the Galileo affair and had long accepted that idea. Catholic theologians did not term it as NOMA but as principle of limitation (PP). Philosophers have also called it the Independence Principle.

It was Galileo that put this line of argument on paper. In his theological treatise “Letter to the Grand Duchess Christina” Galileo argued tha…

Voltes V after 29 years

It is said that Philippine President Ferdinand E Marcos axed Voltes V off the air in late 1979 after that Zul planning -a -coup –against- Prince Zardoz episode was aired. In that episode, the Boazanian adviser and general Zul planned to use Dr Ned Armstrong (the father of three of Voltes V’s pilots) to build a replacement Voltes (after trying to deceive Armstrong that Voltes was destroyed by a beast fighter). Armstrong saw through the deception and so did Zandra ( Zardoz’s assistant who harboured a love interest). In the end, Zul’s plan was exposed and he was executed.

Now Voltes V is almost 30 years old. It is perhaps the only anime that may have catalyzed the political maturity of a whole generation of children. Much has been written about how this generation led the 1986 EDSA people power revolt. But when Voltes V was aired and sponsored by a Filipino hotdog manufacturer, the establishment thought that it was just any cartoon show, mere fantasy.

Cartoon shows beforehand were America…

Woman Priest

The first service I ever attended that was presided by a woman cleric was in Westminster Abbey in 1996 where I attended a Midday Eucharist. The cleric preached on CS Lewis and she apparently was of the Anglo-Catholic persuasion. After the service, as is customary in the Anglican Church to greet the people as they leave the church, I spoke with the priest and found out that she did a literature MA on Lewis. And being a CS Lewis fan myself, what should have been a short chat became a long conversation.

The Church of England in Holy Synod, voted to ordain women to the priesthood only in 1992. The first women priests were ordained in 1994 so I presume that the Vicar I spoke with was among one of the first to be ordained. The Episcopal Church in the US voted to ordain women in 1976 and ordained its first female bishop in 1988. In 2006, the first Woman Primate of this Church was elected by synod.

In the Philippines, the Independent Church (Aglipayan) ordains women to the priesthood and also a…

The Philippines at war

Yes, the Philippines is at war. I am not kidding. This is according to Natural Resources and Environment Secretary, General Angelo Reyes. In the recent national workshop on invasive species two week ago, the General sounded the call to arms. And the enemy is the alien and invasive species. Invasive species have the potential to wreck havoc on our ecology, disrupting farming activities and causing disease among farm animals and of course humans.

Well as in all wars go, recognizing the enemy is THE problem. The question is what is really an invasive or introduced species? People have been introducing species to different countries for the purposes of increasing food production, controlling pests and diseases and ornamental uses. People also introduce species as pets and companions.

There are a lot of introduced species that have been part of the Philippine environment for so long that they are considered “native”. The example is the stately acacia tree that lines many roads and that defin…