Campus Watch

Origins of Life

REUTERS, Aug. 16 — Harvard University is planning a scientific study of how life emerged on Earth that will consider intelligent design, the idea that nature is so complex it could not have occurred by random natural selection.

Opponents of evolution theory said that Harvard's research project is proof that science has yet to disprove alternative theories to Darwinism, including intelligent design.

Others are skeptical of Harvard's intention.

Even if that is the case, the need by a major university to debunk intelligent design proves that it has emerged as an important possibility.

Cursing Okayed

THE DAILY MAIL>, Aug. 29 — A secondary school in England now permits pupils to swear at teachers — as long as they don't do so more than five times in a lesson, reported the British daily.

A running tally of how many times the one particular four-letter-word has been used will be kept on the board. If a class goes over the limit, they will be “spoken to” at the end of the lesson.

The policy was described by the newspaper as “astonishing,” and one that was “condemned by parents’ groups and members of Parliament.”

“This appears to be a misguided attempt to speak to kids on their own level,” said the father of one pupil at the Weavers School in Wellingborough.

There She Goes Again

CATHOLIC.ORG, Aug 25 — History seems to be repeating itself, as St. Ignatius College Prep in Chicago will have pro-abortion Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan as its featured speaker at its annual Women's Council dinner.

Last year, another Jesuit institution in Chicago, Loyola University School of Law, honored Madigan with an honorary degree despite the public objections of many Catholics, including Cardinal Francis George.

Madigan once pledged to close down Illinois crisis-pregnancy centers, which she deemed “phony” because they do not offer abortions.

Shrinking Number

ASSOCIATED PRESS, Aug. 30 — Immaculata University near Philadelphia has this fall admitted its first male undergraduate students as the school, founded in 1920 by the Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary, turned coeducational.

“Out of 190 women's Catholic colleges in United States in the 1960s, fewer than 20 exist today” for women only, reported the Associated Press.

The school made the choice as its research showed that only 4% of female high-school students considered single-sex schools.

Faith Formation

THE UNIVERSITY OF DAYTON, Aug. 24 — In an effort to minister to the growing Hispanic population of Los Angeles, the Ohio university and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles have developed four Spanish-language Catholic faith formation classes on the Internet.

The Marianist-run university plans to expand the program, which began in Los Angeles in August. It is already in use in 100 American dioceses and in seven countries.The Internet classes in Spanish are valuable because teachers of the faith are in need of updating and because of difficulties with English materials.

The classes can also be taken at times that are convenient for the catechist.

The Earth is Not Our Mother

“The main point of Christianity was this: that Nature is not our mother: Nature is our sister. We can be proud of her beauty, since we have the same father; but she has no authority over us; we have to admire, but not to imitate.”—G.K. Chesterton, Orthodoxy