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Rowena Hopkins

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About Rowena Hopkins

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  • Birthday 01/10/1991

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  1. I used to get worked up about this topic but now I just find it tedious stating the obvious. Gay marriage does not hurt anyone. Banning gay marriage does. If we are civilised nice kind people who would like to be treated fairly I suggest that we treat others as fairly. Is there really any arguement beyond that? Rowena
  2. Here follows the final paragraph of a weekly column written by a Canadian Minister in our regional paper. In it he argues for the sanctity of life, puts forward the arguement that it is a little bit rich for one of "the most violent societes on this planet" who consider it a right to carry arms to be getting all noble about this particular case and concludes with the following "What is really at issue in the Terri Schiavo case is not the sacredness of life at all but a fear of death. Her parent's desperate pleas to keep their daughter alive seem to be motivated out of grief; they are unable
  3. so, who wrote the bible? If humans (the great destroyers) do have souls then so do dogs (loyal and obedient), worms (natures great recyclers) and birds (singing their hearts out at their pleasure at livng every sngle day, not just once a week). What on earth do human being have going for them that makes them the best candidates for possessing souls...other than the fact that we define our own beliefs and therefore get to choose who gets them. Religion is all very well and good if it makes people happy and leads to good things being done. In actual fact so many wars have ridden on the back
  4. The trouble with trying to prove yourself right as an atheist is that you can't and neither can you prove religion wrong. Relgious people demand proof that atheists are correct whilst atheists are not allowed to demand proof from religious people because it is all about 'faith' and 'belief'. It does seem that we are setting off on an unfair footing. Ultimately if someone told me that they believed in father christmas and that they knew he existed because they felt it in their heart and he made them feel whole then it would be impossible for me to prove them wrong without insulting them person
  5. Yep, that was the other thing that really got my goat in Rwanda. The pity of my students that I had not 'found' God. It never ceased to amaze them that I could be a happy atheist who loved nature and people and life but didn't need religion as an emotional prop to stop myself going off the rails. I found it somewhat ironic that a bunch of children considered themselves to be more wise and knowing than their teacher who had experienced far more of life than they had and also read more than one book! Some even offered to pray for me - I politely asked them not to and asked them to do some work
  6. My first brush with religion and science came in my second week of unversity when i was writing an essay about geological time - relative dating vs absolute. After a few hours of trawling through papers I rushed down to a colleagues room and announced "Plant Earth is 4.55 billion years old, and I am 18. What it the point of my life!?". And no, I hadn't been drinking;-) Science is so big it is awe inspiring and I do hope to maintain that sense of awe, but that doesn't mean that I should just hide under the bed, or take the easy option and say 'its all down to God', and frankly that would be
  7. I have been following this debate from Canada and what I don't understand is, if Terri didn't have any tests performed on her why is it that we were shown (on the CBC news) her brain scan, next to the scan of a healthy person? Frankly there didn't seem to be much of her brain left! I can't help thinking that her death should be a blessing to her parents in the long term. At least now they have the opportunity to grieve for their daughter instead of clinging onto a hope that seems fairly baseless. Rowena
  8. Hi There, Happy Easter or Joyeuses Pâques as we say here:-) I moved to Canada 18 months ago and finally got accepted as a resident last week. At this point I received my teacher certification from the Teacher Certification Board in Fredericton (the provincial capitol of New Brunswick). This would all be wonderful were it not for the fact that they clearly don't understand the British education system and so have applied Canadian rules to my qualifications. In short I have been accepted as a teacher of ARTS (including Chemistry, Science and Geology) - I have a BA from Oxford and whilst I hav
  9. I believe that reasons for the huge public response to the tsunami disaster are two fold. Firstly there is the dramatic nature of the disaster meaning that it received a huge amount of press (compare that to the ongoing situation in Dafur). Secondly the fact that this was a 'one off' event rather than an ongoing political problem. This gives people the impression that by donating money it will actually lead to positive results rather than being lost in a sea of beurocracy/ corruption. Of course the media has provided amazingly little coverage of the ongoing political issues in Banda Aceh and
  10. Living in Africa for 4 years meant that I often found myself pondering the issue of the British Empire. The general consensus amongst the Africans that I discussed it with was that the British were 'Not as bad' as the Belgians or the Portuguese and that they brought schools and roads and 'organisation'. this made me feel slightly less uncomfortable. Ugandans are also quick to point out the most of their African leader post collonial era were actually worse than the British and some even voiced the opinion that they would quite like us to come back! That said, none of these people were old en
  11. Sounds a little like those weapons of mass destruction, but it didn't stop Britain invading Iraq! Rowena
  12. Yes menus should reflect more of what is available to adults which means that there should be something other than pizza, chips, breaded animal offal and other such disgusting things on offer. And if you are a vegetarian, well there is always chips, or some soggy lettuce.... I eat out in town and always manage to find somewhere that will serve me with soup and a sandwich, or a curry, or falafel... when was the last time you saw any of that on a school menu?! The "Nanny state" already exists in the school canteen and she is an evil nanny who 'protects' schools from providing children with les
  13. As a scientist Earthquakes to me are simply a natural phenomenan. End of story. However, you may be interested in the idea (almost obsession) of Shamita Das, a senior lecturer in Seismology at the Univeristy of Oxford, who believes that most earthquakes occur on religious holidays, resulting in a higher survival rate (fewer people crowded into office blocks and schools). As an undergradute I never really understood why she thought this happened or whether she simply thought it was a convenient co-incidence. But she was certainly convinced that there was a pattern there. Rowena
  14. An old one, but still very funny...... Al Gore was in London and met the Queen. Gore asked the Queen about her leadership philosophy. The Queen said she found that the best way to govern was to surround herself with intelligent people. “But how do you know they are intelligent? Gore asked. “I ask them testing questions. For example, when Tony Blair became leader of the Labour Party, I telephoned him and asked the following question: “Your mother has a child, your father has a child and this child is not your brother or your sister. Who is it?” “Why it is me,” said Tony Blair, without a pause
  15. Hi Tim, of course there is more to any science subject than just regurgitating facts, but in terms of actual science teaching and learning, often that is pretty much all there is to it. Science teaching in schools does not reflect science. That is the problem. Rowena
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