October 20, 2009

smileHow Your Face Might Influence Your Feelings
A spate of recent studies of botox recipients and others suggests that our emotions are reinforced—perhaps even driven—by their corresponding facial expressions. (Melinda Wenner, Scientific American Mind)

Schism in Atheism?
“It’s really a national debate among people with a secular orientation about how far do we want to go in promoting a secular society through emphasizing the ‘new atheism,'” Stuart Jordan, an atheist who advises the evidence-based group Center for Inquiry on policy issues, says. “And some are very much for it, and some are opposed to it on the grounds that they feel this is largely a religious country, and if it’s pushed the wrong way, this is going to insult many of the religious people who should be shown respect even if we don’t agree with them on all issues.” (Barbara Bradley Hagerty, NPR)

New Atheist Ad Campaign Comes to Manhattan Subway
A coalition of local groups will run a monthlong advertising campaign in a dozen Manhattan subway stations with the slogan “A Million New Yorkers Are Good Without God. Are You?” The posters also advertise the Web site BigAppleCoR.org, which provides a listing of local groups affiliated with the Coalition of Reason, the umbrella organization that coordinated the campaign. (Jennifer 8. Lee, City Room Blog, The New York Times)

What’s Fact in Dan Brown’s Science Fiction?
Lynne McTaggart: The “big idea” in Dan Brown’s book The Lost Symbol is that science is only now providing evidence of what ancient traditions have traditionally espoused: that thought has a tangible power, enabling human beings to be creators of their own world. I’m in a unique position to comment on this as I have extensively studied all the science Brown includes in his book, written two best-selling books on the subject, and I facilitate these kinds of experiments all over the world. (The Huffington Post)

Inherit the Wind

This current production, playing at the Old Vic in London, is important, because it is the first since the Pennsylvania trial four years ago, dubbed “Scopes 2,” in which 11 parents from the town of Dover (population 1,900) sued their school board for introducing intelligent design—a faith-based alternative to Darwinian evolution—into biology classes. So how similar was Dover to the monkey trial? (Celeste Biever, New Scientist)

Category: Field Notes


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