NSW bill recognises Aboriginal people

NSW bill recognises Aboriginal peopleAboriginal people in New South Wales are set to gain constitutional recognition after a bill was introduced to Parliament.

INDIGENOUS COMMUNITY LEADERS GATHERED today at NSW Parliament House in Sydney to watch Premier Kristina Keneally introduce a bill that will amend the state's constitution to acknowledge Aboriginal people as the traditional custodians of the land.

The symbolic inclusion would amend the Constitution Act 1902 to acknowledge Aborigines as "the state's first people and nations."

Introduction of the bill followed a traditional smoking ceremony in the parliament's forecourt, attended by MPs from all parties as well as representatives of the indigenous community and NSW Lieutenant Governor James Spigelman.

Surviving by Disguising: Nature’s Game of Charades

Surviving by Disguising: Nature’s Game of CharadesOne bright October morning, Fabiano Calleia, a researcher with the Federal University of Amazonas, was out in the lowland rainforest of Manaus, Brazil, tracking his usual group of eight pied tamarins as the small, dark monkeys with their dapper white shrugs grazed on the fruits of a fig tree. Suddenly the breakfast calm was shattered by the distinctive sound of a baby tamarin’s cry — a series of short, sharp whistles, like a boiling teapot doing Morse code.

Sacred Traditions with Universal Appeal

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It's not often that you have the chance to turn a bone into a horn or hear an ancient tale that has been handed down through generations.

But at the Green Corn Festival, which occurs this Saturday through Monday at Philipsburg Manor, visitors can take in these activities and explore the history and culture of the region's Native Americans.

Metro Madness: Getting Rational During Ramadan

Metro Madness: Getting Rational During RamadanThis year’s Ramadan has been a surprisingly trouble-free affair, given the increasingly high profile of religious paramilitary urban guerrilla types in the country. I’ve been expecting to have my Prohibition era teacup dashed from my lips as I enjoy a little holy water in some of the city’s less salubrious establishments, but thankfully nothing has transpired.

Mystery and Evidence

Mystery and EvidenceThere is a story about Bertrand Russell giving a public lecture somewhere or other, defending his atheism. A furious woman stood up at the end of the lecture and asked: “And Lord Russell, what will you say when you stand in front of the throne of God on judgment day?” Russell replied: “I will say: ‘I’m terribly sorry, but you didn’t give us enough evidence.’ ”

This is a very natural way for atheists to react to religious claims: to ask for evidence, and reject these claims in the absence of it. Many of the several hundred comments that followed two earlier Stone posts “Philosophy and Faith” and “On Dawkins’s Atheism: A Response,” both by Gary Gutting, took this stance.