Bits & Bobs
Stephen Baker, Manchester
Britain gets first atheist summer camp for children
An atheist alternative to Scout and Scripture Union camps is being subsidised by evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins. Twenty-four children took part in Camp Quest in Somerset in June. Samantha Stein, who led the camp, said the emphasis was on critical thinking. One activity was the Invisible Unicorn Challenge. Children were told it is believed that two unicorns inhabit the area but their task is to prove unicorns do not exist. ‘We are not trying to bash religion, but it does encourage people to believe a lot of things for which there is no evidence’, Ms. Stein explained. Since launching in the USA in 1996, Camp Quest’s growth has been modest. It now operates camps at six sites there.
Sources: Sunday Times (28/6); The Observer (28/6) http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/com ment/faith/article6591231.ece http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/200 9/jun/28/atheism-camp-uk-richarddawkins
World’s oldest Bible published online
Over 800 surviving pages of one of the world’s most ancient Bibles have been published online. The 1,600-yearold Codex Sinaticus has been digitally pieced together from scholarly libraries in the UK, Germany, Egypt and Russia. It is the first time the pages have been reunited in the 150 years since they were discovered in St. Catherine’s monastery, Egypt, and made available to experts. After four years’ work, the Codex – described as ‘one of the world’s greatest written treasures’ – will have a global audience online. A translation alongside the virtual pages makes it available to a global public, while its availability creates unprecedented opportunities for scholarly collaboration around the world. A British Library exhibition telling the story of the book ran until early September.
Sources: Daily Telegraph (6/7);
Church of England Newspaper (10/7)