What a week, y’all, what a week. On top of the earache I mentioned last week, I was later diagnosed with shingles (rash showed up a day after my ER visit) on the right side of my face. In addition to that, my 2 year old has a major diaper rash and my 2 month old seems to be teething. Couple that with me being quarantined to my bedroom (contagious, contagious) and my wife went from getting little sleep to getting very little sleep. She’s an amazing woman, my wife. All of the time, but in a circumstance like this she rises to the occasion and makes it clear that she is a saint amongst mere mortals. Not that she would accept that label, but too bad, it fits!
One of those songs just happens to be the one we chose for our first dance. Another song is by Grits. Yes this science and religion blogger just linked to Grits. I like to think John Polkinghorne would too.
News I see fit to print (er, link) to:
- Faking ADHD gets you into Harvard. Oh dear… (via @scotmcknight).
- Apple’s insane earnings last quarter: $13 Billion. I say that’s crazy “monopoly” money.
- Interesting study on how you can get more clicks on Twitter (via @mdichristina).
- 5 Things You Should Know Before the Facebook Timeline Switch Happens. So ready to delete. So ready to delete.
- Heh. Sustainable is unsustainable.
- Richard Beck of Experimental Theology with a well thought out review of The Bible Made Impossible. He likes many things about the book but has one major issue, which I’m sharing here. Make sure to read the entire review though so you don’t take this out of context! I’m sharing it because overwhelmingly, the reviews of the book have been positive and this can gloss over any weaknesses that may be present… “In short, I find The Bible Made Impossible to be psychologically naive. That sounds harsh, so let me clarify. I’m not speaking to Smith’s scholarship, which is awesome (plus, he’s a great writer). I’m speaking to the anthropological and psychological assumptions that need to be in place to pull his vision off. And to clarify some more, I can guarantee you that Smith is aware of these challenges. He’s a sociologist after all. The problem I’m pointing out is that these challenges, where I think the rubber meets the road, aren’t discussed in any great detail in the book. That’s my point. You read the book and say, “Great idea, but golly, the majority of people aren’t going to be able to pull this off. Not without something else being said or done.””
- An atheist temple? For real? I guess they’ll save money on hymnbooks (via @bwithrow).
- This is such a good and real idea. Pastoring the Cross or the Epic Fail Pastor’s Conference. With this post, you can see that others agree.
- What a story about sin, repentance, and Mars Hill Church. The story (via @JesusNeedsNewPR). And a startling interpretation (via @drantbradley). Links do not mean I agree on this one…
- Human nature and the neurobiology of conflict. “Given these and other findings, wrote Dodd’s team, “those on the political right and those on the political left may simply experience the world differently.”” Correlation and causation, once again, but…
- Certain brain cells become toxic in Lou Gehrig’s Disease. And I ask what are the astrocytes secreting?
- The always excellent Ed Yong of Not Exactly Rocket Science with Bonobos: the self-domesticated ape?
- Marcelo Gleiser asks on the NPR blog 13.7 Cosmos And Culture: Why should you care about science?
- Digital textbooks go straight from scientists to students. Make this happen, please. I’m in if you need help.
- The open-access science discussion is getting louder and louder every day. Here, 1116+ scientists pledged to not publish in, review and/or do editorial work for Elsevier journals (via @noahWG).
- ‘Mad Cow’ and other prion diseases hide out in spleen. They don’t cause damage there but there is potential risk of disease transmission to a healthy host. This is a very important study.
- A weak alcohol solution doubles the lifespan in worms? I’m sure it won’t be hard to find volunteers for those clinical trials…
- Massimo Pigliucci responds to his readers’ comments on his recent free will post and I am reminded of how good a writer and thinker he is. I wouldn’t want to debate him. And, thankfully, on this topic, we’re in agreement. Unfortunately, I would imagine, not on all others.
- What do you think of when you think of the word spirituality?
- The story of creation through the eyes of God (i.e. Mr. g)? Interesting… From the author in a Q & A: “I do not think that questions of ethics, morality, and beauty can be logically dissected in the same way as the conservation of energy or the second law of thermodynamics. Logic and rationality might contribute a bit to these questions but cannot answer them. For one thing, in science all questions have definite answers, whereas in the arts and humanities many interesting and important questions to do not have definite answers. For example, there is no single answer to the question: “What is love?” or “Is it ethical to kill another human being in war?” or “Why is Beethoven’s Second Symphony beautiful and powerful?” We need both questions with answers and questions without answers. Both kinds of questions are part of being human.”
- The “ethics” of brain boosting. You know, when it’s shown to be safe and all, I think I would do it. But that’s not my final answer. Of course, once there’s a new technology or therapy we have an even greater separation of the haves from the have-nots. And we already have enough of that. Just thinking of it here reminds me that this world is a difficult one to navigate sometimes…
- I really enjoyed this post on Undeception about religious experience and neuroscience.
- Pete Enns got a little fiery with this one at the Huffington Post: Once More, With Feeling: Adam, Evolution and Evangelicals. Jerry Coyne responds in his usual way… demanding more than one post can offer, lumping everyone into the same Evangelical basket, assuring us that theology can never change and mature, assuming motives when they’re not there, etc. But I’m used to that.
- RJS posted on Polkinghorne on the Jesus Creed: Why Would a Scientist Believe the Virgin Birth?
- I’m usually not a fan of the a-word, but Scot McKnight briefly summarizes a book on it by Alister McGrath that might be a good one.
See you next week!