Down syndrome, Dawkins and doubt
Even the greatest have intellectual blind spots...
I regard Richard Dawkins as having one of the greatest minds of our time but I think he was wrong to say what he did this week. He has given a kind of apology/clarification but I'm still unconvinced about his key point. His most recent statement argued that...
"...if your morality is based, as mine is, on a desire to increase the sum of happiness and reduce suffering, the decision to deliberately give birth to a Down baby, when you have the choice to abort it early in the pregnancy, might actually be immoral from the point of view of the child’s own welfare."
I've spent time around teenagers with Down syndrome and they certainly did not strike me as being especially unhappy, and often seemed quite a bit more happy than many others their age.
I worked with some teenage students with the syndrome during my teacher training in the 1990's and have very fond memories of two kids in particular. Jason was a big, quiet guy who loved soccer. His favoured response to most questions was "Nuh. Nothin'..."
Mary was a lively and flirtatious girl who had a huge crush on Australian game-show host Larry Emdur. She always insisted that I sit next to her because she believed I looked like her idol.
Here is one woman's beautiful and moving account of the joys of having a brother with Down's syndrome.
The Catalans in Queensland
A detailed, fascinating look at the their 20th century history in the north-eastern state of Australia, via Cristina Poyatos Matas.
(Link also here.)
[Thanks to Ferran Fabrellas.]
InTransit is a site that has English translations of opinion pieces that have appeared in the Catalan-speaking press or Spanish press.
It's worth reading or even subscribing to their e-newsletter.
The 500 year-old voice
When French songwriter/musician Luc Arbogast sings it is as if you are listening to a voice from Europe's Middle Ages.
This video is of "Sefardic Song."
"Gay cure" author's books for sale in Spain
Some of the largest booksellers in Spain – Amazon, El Corte Inglés and La Casa del Libro – have started selling a dangerous book that teaches parents to "fix" their gay kids. The author – an American doctor famous for promoting "gay cure" therapies globally – is in Spain for the launch right now.
He's spreading dangerous "treatments" that could push so many LGBT young people to self-destructive behaviour and even suicide.
Both national stores have policies that prohibit products promoting discrimination. Sign [this petition] now to ask Amazon, El Corte Inglés and La Casa del Libro to take off their shelves any harmful books that try to "cure" people of being gay. Together we can save thousands of lives and send a strong message to anti-gay groups who are trying to impose "gay cures" in Spain.
Campaign held in partnership with Spanish organization COLEGAS."