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Mauritanian National ‘Kidnapping’ Case on Course

first_imgTrial of a Mauritanian man held on bail for allegedly taking away his three children without the knowledge of their mother will shortly resume at the Monrovia City Court after a superior court, Criminal Court ‘A,’ on Tuesday, September 23, ordered it to do so.Mohammed Seedee Falee was charged with “Kidnapping” after an incident in which he took three of his children, Asia Mohammed, Sedemey Mohammed and Ali Mohammed to his native country without the knowledge of their biological mother, Jamelia Sylla.At Tuesday, September 23rd hearing, Judge Johannes Zlahn mandated Magistrate Kennedy Peabody to take over the case by declaring, “The Monrovia City Court is hereby ordered to resume jurisdiction over the matter.”Judge Zlahn had earlier halted Magistrate Peabody from further hearing the matter following a complaint filed against his initial ruling by lawyers representing defendant Falee.Initially, the Magistrate had mandated the defendant to produce the three children within three weeks period as of July 18.He also made defendant Falee to sign a promissory note, indicating that if he does not produce the children within the time specified, he would be jailed at the Monrovia Central Prison and his bail be set-aside.However, in the Criminal Court mandate, Judge Zlahn further declared that the court was only responsible by law to grant the defendant a bail, but not to go any further with the case.“Magistrate Peabody was to transfer the entire matter to the Criminal Court for an indictment to be drawn against the defendant by the grand jury for Montserrado County.”According to him, it was not in the preview of Magistrate Peabody to compel the defendant to prepare any promissory note or threaten to incarcerate him if he does not produce the children within three weeks.He maintained that the matter before the Monrovia City Court was for it to conduct preliminary hearing and to make sure that the defendant was bailed.“The court has the mandate to arrest and bail defendant, but not to render any decision into the matter,” he added.Before Judge Zlahn’s action, Magistrate Peabody rejected a “Motion for Enlargement of Time,” filed by Falee’s lawyers.The defense team, in their request argued that the Ebola outbreak in Liberia was making it difficult for people to travel beyond the country border.In that direction, they claimed the movement of citizens and foreigners have now become difficult, occasioned by the reported transmission of the disease to other people by travelers from Liberia.This situation and, the announced state of emergency by the government, the lawyers further claimed, have also compounded the existing problems.This, according to them, has rendered the defendant unable to produce the living bodies of the children before the court on the August 11 date.The case started in early July 2014, when Madam Sylla claimed that the defendant unlawfully took away her three children from her residence to an unknown direction where they were treated as a slave.She further alleged she feared that the children may have being killed. Therefore, she asked the court to ensure that her children are made to return to Liberia where the defendant illegally kidnapped them.Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

Squatting, non-performing leases a challenge for GL&SC

first_imgCommissioner of the Guyana Lands & Surveys Commission (GL&SC), Trevor Benn during the agency’s year-end press briefing on Monday revealed that squatting on land reserves and other open spaces continue to affect the work of the Commission.According to him, several agencies have some level of dispensation at their disposal, which allow them to grant permission for persons to squat.Among key areas, reference was made to the Linden-Soesdyke Highway, an area where unlawful occupation of land continues to rise.“I think part of the challenges we face is that too many agencies, who by virtue of their own statute, give them some responsibility for land and, in some cases, people have misused that authority. Another problem we face in terms of squatting is happening at the Soesdyke-Linden Highway…Today, we have widespread squatting on the Soesdyke-Linden Highway,” Benn declared.At that time, he also mentioned the Commission continues its efforts to repossess lands under non-performing leases.In some cases, persons were granted a lease, but failed to execute their plans of improving that space. The repossession comes at a cost and as such, the Commissioner signalled that stakeholders should be well-prepared before applying.“Over 60 per cent of our leases are non-performing and we mean leases that do not meet the conditions of the lease. We have been left with no choice, but to repossess some of those lands. It is costing us a lot of money to do the process of repossession, but also it’s very tedious and time-consuming,” the Commissioner stated.He added, “We caution you, unless you ready for the land, please don’t come at this time. We’re under pressure to deliver on the demands that we have and we would prefer only to give to those people who are really ready.”AuditsHowever, in regards to the agency’s accomplishments for this year, it hasGL&SC Commissioner Trevor Bennmanaged to complete pending audits up to the year 2012. Next year will see the completion of the years up to 2015, with all reports expected to be finished by January 2020.“The last completed audit is 2011. We have just recently completed the 2012 … and about to have it signed off and it’s our expectations that we will complete 2013, 2014 and 2015 by mid-2019 due to some efforts we’ve made this year to revisit the way we’ve done audits at the Commission.”While annual reports have been “lagging”, the 2017 and 2018 reports are in the process of being completed. The 2016 report was recently completed.It was mentioned that after consultations, the Lands and Surveys Act will be placed before Cabinet during the first quarter of 2019.“After extensive countrywide consultation and reviews by international experts, the revision of our Lands and Surveys Act is almost completed. It is expected that the process will be fully in place to have this bill sent to Parliament in the first quarter of 2019.”LandFrom increased demand for land in Region Four (Demerara-Mahaica), there is a potential opening of 6000 acres of public land for development for residential, commercial, industrial and agricultural purposes, which will be announced in the near future.“We have observed recently that land in particular areas is of greater interest to people and there’s an overwhelming amount of interest being shown and expressions of interest submitted for land in this area (Region Four).”At present, a new “system” is being undertaken which encourages individuals to bid for lands at a higher price, so as to guarantee assurance that they will acquire the land they desire.“We have introduced a system where those who can afford to pay, we encourage them to pay more for the land on a competitive basis and so for land in the Georgetown and the Region Four area, we have seen a number of people offering us substantially more for the land.”BudgetA “limited budget” is the “biggest constraint” being faced by the Commission, which has been allocated $313 million in the 2019 Budget with estimated expenditure surpassing $1.5 billion.“We are a semiautonomous agency and we’re supposed to be able to find our own resources, but we’ve not been able to fully do that because of the rates which we charge at the moment. This year, in the National Budget, Lands and Survey Commission was allocated $163 million for capital works and $150 million for as supplement for our salaries, so the Commission has to find all of the rest of the $1.5 billion to cover the cost associated with the work of the Commission,” the Commissioner added.last_img read more

August home sales take a dive

first_imgVAN NUYS – Home sales plunged across the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys during August as lending sector turmoil continued to roil the markets, a trade association said Monday. Sales in the San Fernando Valley fell an annual 33.1 percent to 552 transactions, the lowest total for an August since record keeping began in 1984, said the Van Nuys-based Southland Regional Association of Realtors. That’s the third lowest sales total this year. However, the median price increased an annual 5.7 percent, or $35,000, to $645,000. The increase in the median price, the point at which half the homes sold for more and half for less, reflects more sales at the higher-priced end of the market, said Jim Link, the association’s executive vice president. In the smaller condominium market sales plunged 40.7 percent to 188 transactions and the median price slipped 2.8 percent to $389,000. During August the inventory built to a 10.4-month supply, the first time it broke into double digits since September 1995. The record is a 23-month supply in February 1993. That’s the amount of time it takes to deplete the inventory at the current sales pace. In the Santa Clarita Valley, sales fell an annual 25.6 percent in August to 186 transactions, traditionally a busy month. The median price of a single-family home, which peaked in April 2006 at $643,000, fell an annual 8.9 percent to $560,000 in August. Santa Clarita condominium sales also plummeted, down 40.6 percent from a year ago. The median price dipped an annual 2.2 percent to $362,000 and is off from the $397,000 peak in January 2006. During the boom that has tapered over the past 18 months, real estate agents complained the market was frantic as buyers paid top dollar for the low inventory of homes available. However, that inventory has climbed from less than a one-month supply then to a 10.2-month supply, well above the five to six months deemed optimal160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! “I think the sales slide is definitely attributed to the uncertainty in the lending market,” he said. “Until this lending thing shakes out we’re in for some tough times.” That’s because subprime loans have all but disappeared and the Valley median price is so high that potential buyers don’t have access to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac backed loans capped at $417,000, or the conforming limit. And credit standards have been tightened. “It’s killing sales in the lower end of the market,” said Daniel Blake, director of the San Fernando Valley Economic Research Center at California State University, Northridge. Blake said that asking prices in some areas of the Valley are now 10 percent under what homes sold for a year ago. last_img read more

Speed urged on complaints against police

first_img Lillo said that after years of spikes and drops as the LAPD enforced the new rules, the range of 5,000 to 6,000 complaints seems “more normal.” In recent years, about two-thirds of the complaints have come from the public and one-third from within the department. LAPD officials tried to put the numbers into perspective, noting that officers make hundreds of thousands of arrests and citations each year while interacting with people in countless scenarios. The commissioners continued to press for more information, though, particularly about how officers are disciplined when complaints are found to be valid. Of 1,288 sustained complaints in 2005, 134 resulted in no penalty to the employee. The rules are intentionally subjective to allow supervisors to avoid imposing a penalty if the misconduct is very minor, Lillo said. Commission President John Mack pushed for more objective guidelines. “What may be minor in the mind of one person may be major in the mind of someone else,” he said. The number of employees disciplined last year, 421, was down from 784 in 2004 and 645 in 2003. Lillo said the numbers for previous years were artificially high because the LAPD was clearing out a backlog of complaints. Two City Council members, including Bernard Parks, who was LAPD chief when the complaint system was strengthened, sent a letter to the commission late last week encouraging a thorough review. Dan Laidman, (213) 978-0390 dan.laidman@dailynews.com 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Los Angeles Police Department officials defended their system for handling complaints against LAPD personnel after members of a city commission, meeting Tuesday, called for speedier action. In response to police commissioners’ concerns about a recent report showing an increasing number of complaints, Cmdr. Eric Lillo, who heads the LAPD’s Internal Affairs Group, presented data showing the annual number of complaints has fluctuated over the years and now appears to be at a level he considers normal. The department, meeting its requirement a the federal court consent decree overseeing the agency, probes each complaint within several months, Lillo said. Commissioner Shelley Freeman said the goal should be for even speedier action. “Four or five months seems like a long time.” AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant The LAPD is still investigating 57 complaints from 2004 and nine from 2003, according to data released Tuesday. Lillo said most of the older complaints concern “complicated criminal investigations, perhaps involving the FBI or undercover investigative teams.” The LAPD changed its rules in the late 1990s to make it easier for members of the public to lodge complaints against officers and other police employees. As the department adjusted to the new system, the number of complaints investigated boomed from 1,166 in 2000 to 9,053 in 2002. There were 6,520 complaints initiated against police and other department staff last year, up from 6,471 in 2004 and 5,276 in 2003. last_img read more

GAA NEWS: URRIS HOSTING BIG BREAKFAST THIS SATURDAY

first_imgBIG BREAKFAST: Big Breakfast time again. Our annual Big Breakfast takes place on Saturday(August 9th) in St. Mary’s Hall, Clonmany from 9am to 1pm. Donations of home baking and food will be greatly appreciated on the day. If anyone can contribute please let John Friel or any committee member know. LOTTO WINNER: Congratulations to Eddie Doherty (Ranty), Urrismana who won our Match “N” Win lotto jackpot of €1,900 on Thursday night. Winning numbers 5, 14, 19 & 21. Jackpot next week €500.CLUB IORRAS JULY WINNERS: €50-John J Friel, Dunaff, €30-Jimmy Donaghey, Dunaff and €20-Donal Kelly, Tullagh. Thanks to all who support our monthly Club Iorras draw. Junior A Championship: Seniors home to Na Rossa on Sunday (August 10th), support most welcome.CHALLENGE MATCH: The senior men play Glack GAA Club (Derry) in Straid on Wednesday in a challenge match at 7.30pm.LADIES FOOTBALL: The ladies beat Malin in the Championship last week, final score Urris 4-05 Malin 2-05. Return leg down for August 11th in Straid.U21: U21 team away to Carndonagh on Tuesday August 12th. NIGHT AT THE RACES: A massive Thanks to all who came along and supported our ” Night at the Races” on Friday night especially our sponsors without whom the event could not go ahead, all who bought and sold horses, the Square Bar and to all who helped in any way that made the night the success it was.DATE FOR THE DIARY: Quiz Night in the Strand Hotel on Wednesday August 13th. Our ladies team are organising this quiz night so support on the night will be greatly appreciated.Facebook-Find us on CLG Iorras/Urris GAA and keep up to date on all club news and fixtures.Any items of news for the club notes should be forwarded to Rose on 0877770639 or email rosiekelly28@eircom.net no later than 9pm on Sunday night. GAA NEWS: URRIS HOSTING BIG BREAKFAST THIS SATURDAY was last modified: August 4th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:Urris GAA Club newslast_img read more

LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL PRAISED FOR REACHING PATIENT TARGETS

first_imgLETTERKENNY General Hospital is one of just a handful in the state that is reaching and surpassing Government targets on seeing patients.A report from the HSE said staff at Co Donegal’s main hospital are amongst the best in the country.More than 80% of patients are admitted or discharged within six hours of arrival with well over 90% seen within nine hours of admittance. The official Government target is 95%, but many hospitals come nowhere near that.Worse performers including University Hospital Galway (25%), the Mater in Dublin at 15% and Tallaght at 16%.However there was a sting in the tail of the HSE report which warned that hospitals like Letterkenny face having funds slashed if they continue to overspend.“We know that some hospitals came into 2012 with levels of expenditure which were too high relative to their available resource. These hospitals have suffered further budget cuts in 2012 and it is a major challenge for them to implement plans to bring their expenditure back into line with their allocation,” said the HSE.  LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL PRAISED FOR REACHING PATIENT TARGETS was last modified: April 10th, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:LETTERKENNY HOSPITAL PRAISED FOR REACHING PATIENT TARGETSlast_img read more

Orange Line Busway draws crowd

first_imgStanding-room-only crowds packed Orange Line buses early today as commuters turned in car keys for tickets on the first day of the busway’s regular service. “I hate driving,” said Jeff Prupis, of Westlake Village, who was commuting to his job downtown as a mortgage banker. “I just wanted to try it.” Bruce Mitchell, 58, traveling from Sun Valley to Warner Center, said he’s going to see if the busway can be an alternative to his commute on the Ventura (101) Freeway. “I was getting tired the stop-and-go drive on the 101. I figured I’d give it a try and see if it works out. I get a chance to read the newspaper instead of staring at the car in front of me. I’ll definitely keep doing it for the month and see how it works out.” 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREWalnut’s Malik Khouzam voted Southern California Boys Athlete of the Week Monday was the first day of regular service for the $350 million Orange Line, a buses-only lane on a 14-mile route between North Hollywood and Warner Center. Metropolitan Transportation Authority officials said 83,000 riders came out for a free test-ride over the weekend. The MTA expected 5,000 to 7,000 riders once the $1.25 one-way fare started Monday, though experts had called that a low-ball estimate. “I think we’re going to exceed our estimate,” said MTA spokesman Dave Sotero. — Lisa Mascaro, (818) 713-3761 lisa.mascaro@dailynews.comlast_img read more

ELECTION 2014: GALBRAITH – “MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A STRONG AND TACTFUL VOICE”

first_imgFine Gael election candidate Bert Galbraith has urged voters in the Stranorlar Electoral Area not to throw out the baby with the bathwater in their effort to get a message to the government on Friday. Bert Galbraith taking the opportunity to raise matters of concern in the Stranorlar Electoral Area with An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, when he visited Donegal last week.The local candidate who is contesting his first election for Fine Gael, says he has heard the concerns and the voices of frustration on the doorsteps, and maintained he will work diligently to address those issues if people vote for him.Galbraith told Donegal Daily, “An awful lot of the issues raised on the doorsteps are national issues – matters than the local council has no control of – but that’s not to say a local councillor cannot make representations to Dáil Deputies and Ministers and make them aware of the concerns of the people. “Indeed that’s something I have already done, having met Ministers and An Taoiseach in recent weeks and raising issues including sewerage, broadband, roads, agricultural prices, health, local facilities and jobs with them.Mr Galbraith said he is urging people to vote for him as a person who will work on local matters with energy, enthusiasm and commitment but who would also raise national issues when necessary and do it with tenacity and determination – but also with diplomacy.Galbraith continued, “It is always easy to take the populist stance in an election, to play the blame game in an effort to get banner headlines and soundbytes.“But at the end of the day if everyone is shouting and roaring at the government, who will be left to speak to them calmly and raise your issues and concerns in a way that they will listen?” The local businessman and farmer says he understands the need for diplomacy and tact in politics, and he maintained his strong work ethic is what the people of the Stranorlar Electoral Area require to help the region.Galbraith added, “Local elections shouldn’t be about finding someone a job for the sake of finding someone a job, it should be about finding people who will best serve their community.”Mr Galbraith said that by voting for him on Friday, people can be certain of a hard-worker who will put the needs of his constituents first.Galbraith concluded, “The people of this area know that if they want anybody at national level to listen, they need strong voices at local level to speak up for them and I can be that voice.“But I would be much more than that – I would be strong voice at local level too making sure the Stranorlar Electoral Area gets its fair share of any and all council services. ELECTION 2014: GALBRAITH – “MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A STRONG AND TACTFUL VOICE” was last modified: May 19th, 2014 by John2Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Tags:Bert GalbraithElection 2014:newsPoliticslast_img read more

World Cup: Narrow defeat to Egypt leaves Cranes needing calculator

first_img Tags: top Goal hero Emmanuel Okwi (left) regains his starting slot for tonight’s clashFOOTBALL–Uganda Cranes defence was finally breached after four competitive World Cup qualifying games and the team will rue the defence lapse that gifted Egypt that early strike.Until the sixth minute of the match in Port Alexandria Uganda were the only footballing nation in the world yet to concede a goal this campaign and arrived in Egypt on the back of a strong showing that saw them shock the record African champions in Kampala.Interim coach Moses Basena set his team out with the same starting XI that smothered Egypt in Kampala six days ago and the design appeared to be that for frustrating the Pharaohs with their pacy attacking football and striking when opportunities knocked.But all this changed in the sixth minute and Uganda had to keep the Egyptians more active than raindrops all through the game as the hosts defended with every leg and muscle in their body to keep their lone goal lead.Liverpool forward Muhamed Salah, who was kept at bay in Kampala, was the man to haunt Ugandans, lashing onto Abdallah Al-Said’s lobbed pass to find the back of the net on the rebound after his initial shot was saved by reigning African-based player of the year Dennis Onyango.Egypt took the initiative straight after the goal, creating the better chances one of which required a triple save from Onyango to deny both Al-Said and Ramadan Sobhi.Uganda’s only chance in the first half was wasted by KCCA FC striker Derrick Nsibambi when he failed to direct a free header goalwards from a Nicholas Wadada cross.Basena had kept faith in the same team despite some ineffective showing by some in Kampala, particularly Nsibambi who has struggled to find the right tonic for a Number 9.Nsibambi was in the team that played CHAN qualifiers against Rwanda, including ‘that’ match in Kigali that gave Cranes some goosebumps.Basena made a substitution at the start of the second half with Romanian-based William Kizito Luwaga replacing the ineffective Joseph Ochaya and it proved to be worthwhile as Luwaga consistently troubled the Egyptian defence.Despite the immense pressure and ample possession, Uganda couldn’t create enough goal scoring chances with the only notable one being Derrick Nsibambi’s header that bounced off Ahmed Hegazi before Egyptian legendary goalkeeper Essam El-Hadary gathered the rest.Egypt missed several chances to pull clear and in the second half with Cranes right back clearing off the line from Muhmoud Hassan’s effort and Onyango diving low to save Salah’s curling shot.But the Egyptians will be contented with maximum points going into the last two rounds in October and November. The victory saw Egypt leapfrog Uganda on the log with nine points, two ahead the Cranes.Earlier, perennial African representatives at the world cup Ghana thrashed Congo Brazzaville 5-1 to maintain third spot in the group with Atletico Madrid midfielder Thomas Party grabbing a hat trick.There will be calculators handy in Group E where giants Egypt and Ghana, as well as Uganda, all have the single World Cup spot to play for.Uganda still has to host Ghana and travel to Brazzaville while Egypt travels to Ghana and hosts Congo. The fixtures mean Ghana, who hours earlier thumped Congo 5-1 away in Brazzaville, are back in the loop.Uganda’s next game is at home to Ghana on October 7, while Egypt host Congo Brazzavile the following day. The final round of games in group E will see Uganda travailing to Brazzaville on November 6 as Ghana entertain the Pharaohs in Kumasi on the same day.Uganda’s Starting line up.1. Denis Onyango 2. Nicholas Wadada 3. Godfrey Walusimbi 4. Isaac Isinde 5, Murushid Juuko 6. Aucho Khalid 7. Farouk Miya 8. Hassan Wasswa 9. Derrick Nsibambi 10. Emma Okwi 11. Joseph OchayaUgandas substitutions.William Kizito Luwaga for Joseph Benson Ochaya Geofry Sserunkuma for Emmanuel Okwi Milton Karisa for Derrick Nsibambi.Yellow Crads.Khalid Aucho on 75 minutesMurushid Jjuko on 89 minutesComments last_img read more

Cosmology, Mythology, and Heaven

first_imgStephen Hawking’s recent comment that heaven is a fairy tale (see The Guardian) started blogger keystrokes clicking.  But one might ask, what does he know about it?  Are the opinions of a cosmologist any better than those of a theologian?    Hawking told The Guardian that he considers the brain like a computer that stops working when its components fail.  It was timely that PhysOrg just reported that Jian-Jun Shu, an engineer Nanyang Technical University in Singapore, thinks that the next stage of computing should imitate genetics.  “For some problems, DNA-based computing could replace silicon-based computing, offering many advantages.”  Its potential for parallel processing and fuzzy logic are attractive.  Shu is wondering, though, how to plug a monitor into DNA.    Returning to the topic of heaven, the science blogs are focusing not on the evidence for it, but on whether or not belief in heaven is innate, or is useful to human beings.  PhysOrg told about 40 studies in 20 countries that indicated belief in an afterlife is “hardwired” into the human brain.  “The studies (both analytical and empirical) conclude that humans are predisposed to believe in gods and an afterlife, and that both theology and atheism are reasoned responses to what is a basic impulse of the human mind.”    The 57 researchers were not out to establish the validity of beliefs but to determine whether they are innate or learned.  One researcher commented, “Just because we find it easier to think in a particular way does not mean that it is true in fact.”  Even so, why would an unguided evolutionary process produce belief in god or heaven that do not exist?  Echoes of Anselm’s old Ontological Argument for the existence of God may come to mind.  The article did not discuss how evolution would produce belief in heaven, but a lively debate arose in the reader comments.    Stephanie Pappas at Live Science weighed in with her take on Hawking’s statement, saying that his opinion doesn’t matter, because belief in heaven offers benefits.  Pappas invited responses from Daniel Kruger, an evolutionary psychologist at the University of Michigan, and Nathan Heflick, a psychology doctoral student at the University of Florida, who has investigated beliefs in the afterlife.  Kruger noted that belief in heaven provides hope, staves off fear of death, and promotes a sense of fairness that stimulates society to produce just laws.  Heflick pointed out that heaven enables people to think of themselves as more than their bodies.  “If you think of your body as a machine, it’s kind of hard to believe in life after death,” Heflick said.  “You’re not going to be able to think of yourself as a spirit.”  Nevertheless, such thinking might well raise questions about the Inventor of the Machine, based on our common experience that machines come via intelligent design.    Thus far, we have watched scientists trying to analyze a theological question.  But how firm a grip does science have in its own domain? – on reality, even so-called observable reality, or nature?  New Scientist posted an intriguing article on the many ways our eyes fool us.  Our brain is filling in information and predicting the future for us, reporter Graham Lawton pointed out, producing in us a “grand delusion” that we see what is really there.  Speaking of cosmology (Hawking’s specialty), Live Science reminded us that cosmologists are still looking for 96% of an assumed universe about which they are clueless.  It would seem premature for Hawking to rule out heaven when the reality he believes in is mostly hidden – even if he could trust his senses.  There might be much more in heaven and earth than is dreamt of in his philosophy (naturalism).    Scientists do best when they stick with the observations.  PhysOrg, echoing a press release from Cardiff University, provided a mix of news and history in an article about the Herschel Space Observatory, describing not only the latest observations, but giving a history of the Herschel family – William, the father of stellar astronomy, who discovered Uranus and infrared light and catalogued thousands of objects in space (and many comets) along with his faithful sister Caroline, and John, his son, who extended the observations into the southern hemisphere.  Professor Matt Griffin said, “Two centuries on, I think William and Caroline would be intrigued and certainly quite pleased to see how what they started has developed.”    Hawking might take note of the fact that excellent scientific work, both observational and theoretical, was done by the Herschels who were strong believers in heaven.Immature Christian to scientist: “if you will just keep your nose out of our heaven, we’ll keep our hell out of your labs.”  That emotional response should be discarded for a more charitable dialogue, in which we first invite the scientist to consider his own limitations, such as flawed eyes, logical fallacies, and tendencies to believe in his own fairy tales (like 96% of a reality that cannot be seen).  Then we turn to his attention to his undeniable sense of justice and truth, and ask how that could evolve.    Once we get him to admit that justice and truth make reference to universals that are necessary and timeless, we help him to discover that his own reasoning depends on the assumptions of theology.  Having lifted the hapless soul out of his naturalistic slumbers, we can begin asking the right questions about eternity, taking advantage of innate knowledge of such things that had been buried under the academic dusts of unreasoned assumptions.  The response might be heavenly.(Visited 34 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more