Sunday, January 02, 2005

Topics of the day

There was a short article in the local newspaper today about teaching creationism vs. evolutionary theory in the public schools in the United States. After George W. won the elections there has been, once again, a wave of upset conservatist Christians complaining that evolution shouldn't be taught in schools, since obviously the Grand Canyon was created in the great flood (the one with Noah and all sorts of animals in twos) and not by the waters of the Colorado river. The laws separating church and school are evil, no doubt.

Honestly, I can't believe what a backward way of thinking that is. We live in a world where science has been able to provide us with serious proofs for their theories (which, in my opinion, still could leave room for a deity of some sort to meddle in all of it, if you'd like to think so) and where the birth process of religious texts is better understood. It's so unbelievably difficult for me to understand how such texts could possibly be taken for the literal truth in today's world. Sure, if that's the way your brain works, that's fine, but mine just can't comprehend. And to feed that literal interpretation of the creation to high school kids, that's just ridiculous. Already religion is way too often the reason for wars and restlessness around the world. We don't need more conservatist Christians running the States in the future, thankyouverymuch. Or any kind of religious fanatics (or conservatists) running any other state either, for that matter.

Talking of religion and science, by the way, it was exactly the theme of Dan Brown's novel Angels and Demons. I think that the book was very entertaining and yet provided quite interesting questions for pondering. Fun thing about the book was that in the beginning of the story a scientist (both a priest and a physicist) discovers a way to provide scientific proof that the Big Bang was "ignited" by God and gets killed because of it. Murdered, because he had a theory that could've put together science and religion without a glitch. (Well, I suppose there was that tiny glitch after all...) I wonder what would happen if a theory of that sort would eventually pop up in the real world.

Dan Brown then brings to my mind another interesting theme that has been "in" lately. The Templars, the Freemasons and the fascinating conspiracy theories. I'm beginning to thing I should've chosen the Templars as the topic of my thesis instead of the more boring Order of Malta, or the Hospitallers, as they are also known. No rumours of vast treasures and world rule there. How dull. Yet, I can't help thinking that which of the Orders born almost simultaneously is still working all around the world? Yep, the one I'm doing my research on. And you know, they received quite a bit of Templar wealth when the other order was destroyed... Ah, I got a bit sidetracked there. I was going to mention that I saw the movie National Treasure last night.

An entertaining flick, at times quite flawed though. Like for example in the beginning, where the story of the treasure is told. It was supposedly found by the knights of the first crusades (ergo, that'll mean the 11th and 12th centuries for the most part) who then decided to call themselves the Knights Templar. Quite ok so far, because for the story to be interesting, there really has to be a treasure of some sort. But then the story goes on and it claims something like "Over the next century the knights took the treasure away from Europe to America." This is where I had to arch a brow. The Templars found America? In the 13th century? Sailing over the sea in the kinds of ships that weren't used until 2-300 years later? Interesting. At least they had the sense of labelling the movie "action comedy"...

As I've said before, I'm all for the freedom of the artist (in this case the director and script-writer) to bend the truth, but basic math wouldn't be too much to ask for, would it? But oh well, maybe they just had to get the treasure over the Atlantic before the Order was destroyed, which was before America was found - unless of course you count the vikings in - and that's why the wording of the story was a bit awry. Maybe that's it. Or better yet, maybe I just misheard the wording... In any case, I think National Treasure was a fun way to spend an evening. Switch your brain into off-position and if nothing else, go see Sean Bean as a baddie. He's so much better looking than Nicolas Cage... ;) And since I liked the story in the Da Vinci Code better, I hope they make a fun movie out of that one, too. This one seemed like it had been put together in a hurry just to beat the Code to the box office. We'll see.

Tomorrow it's back to the routines of normal life. There's the thesis to be written and quite some people to contact in order to advance that project, there's a magazine to edit, there are a few choreographies to do, there's weight to be lost, people to meet and places to go... Sounds like 2005 is going to be busy as heck, but then again, I can't very well just sit on my bum all the time. I'd be bored out of my mind. That's the problem with being me, in a nutshell. (Not me in the nutshell, but the problem...) Jeesh. About time to, metaphorically speaking, shut up. :)

1 comment:

Robert Micallef said...

Hello Johanna,

I have a post on my weblog 'Malta Study Center in the US' which has links to resources that may be useful for your research.

Let me know if I can be of any help

All the best for 2005