Category: Popular culture

The most destructive man to ever live

(Photo by © CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images)

I recently learnt about the life of American chemical engineer Thomas Midgley, a mild-mannered inventor, who only lived 55 years and whom I had never heard of before, but whose impact was one of world-wide destruction and death. He has been dubbed the most destructive single organism on Earth!¹

Midgley was instrumental in the invention both of leaded gasoline and CFCs, two of the worst inventions ever, which continue to have untold human and environmental impacts.Continue reading

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The least of these

Recently I saw online the heartwarming story of a Walmart employee in the States who stepped in and gave a woman with cerebral palsy a manicure, after the nail salon refused her business.

This sort of story brings a smile to the face and restores our belief in the kindness and goodness of humanity.

However, like those stories about people making wheels for disabled dogs or rescuing stranded whales, it is not a very Darwinian story though – it is not about survival of the fittest, or weeding out the weak.Continue reading

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The power of apology (Sorry Day 26 May)

National Sorry Day is an annual event that has been held in Australia on 26 May, since 1998, to remember and commemorate the mistreatment of the country’s Aboriginal population. I imagine many Australians might feel the whole idea is just a hollow attempt by “the white fella” to soothe his conscience about the past, and that an apology is just empty words.Continue reading

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Details about the devil

In the cult movie “The Usual Suspects” Kevin Spacey’s character Verbal Kint famously says “The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he didn’t exist”.

The Devil seems to be doing a good job, in a 2009 poll conducted by Nielsen, 68% of Australians said they believe in God, while only 37% say they believe in the Devil.

Belief in the Devil has been made ridiculous by portrayals of him as a cloven-hoofed, pointy-tailed, red, goat-like creature, carrying a pitchfork.

What does the Bible actually say about the Devil and does one have to believe in him to be a Christian?Continue reading

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The sin-eater

Written March 2019

In season three of Netflix’s “The Blacklist” FBI agent Elizabeth Keen remembers something horrific she did in her past and finally understands why the mysterious Raymond Reddington (Red) was trying to keep it from her.

“I was trying to be your sin-eater,” he tells her.

Continue reading
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Robots and Eternity

Written in 2016

In the world of artificial intelligence, things that our grandparents would have found hard to even imagine have already become a reality and the pace of progress in the field “is close to exponential”, according to billionaire CEO of SpaceX and Tesla, entrepreneur Elon Musk.Continue reading

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Pro which life?

Published in 2017

A woman in my church was recently diagnosed with breast cancer around the time she was told she was pregnant with twins. She was advised to abort the babies and get immediate surgery and chemotherapy.

What a ghastly choice to face! Either kill your unborn babies and try to save your life for the sake of your husband and seven small children, or continue with the pregnancy and potentially end up dying and leaving your young family to fend for themselves.Continue reading

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Bandersnatch: choices, choices

Published in 2019

Netflix’s recent production Black Mirror: Bandersnatch is unique in that it that is the first interactive movie – allowing the viewer to make a choice at several intervals as to what the lead character will do next and how the story ends.

It cleverly questions how much control we really have over our lives and highlights how even the most banal of decisions may have unforeseen consequences. It could also be construed to be subtly underplaying our responsibility on how our lives turn out: implying that our choices are so constrained by outside forces that we are all just victims of our culture, genetics and upbringing.Continue reading

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