November 23, 2009

IslamCan Islam Be Reconciled With Science?
At the evolution conference, I heard Muslim scientists and academics say that, for their part, there was no contradiction between their religious identity and their day job. One did not exclude the other because the two were kept separate. It got a little depressing, not to mention wearing, to hear over and over how the two were not incompatible only to hear in a later session that Egyptian and Lebanese high school students did not accept the evidence for evolution because of their religious beliefs. (Riazat Butt, guardian.co.uk)

The Science of Generosity
Paul Zak: My lab has been investigating the biological basis for generosity, focusing on the neuroactive hormone oxytocin. We were specifically interested in generosity, or “liberality in giving,” rather than people simply giving small gifts to others. Many people have an urge to give just a bit, but we wanted to know why someone would ever give more than they had to. (The Moral Molecule, Psychology Today)

Nonbelief on Campus
Campus affiliates of the Secular Student Alliance, a sort of Godless Campus Crusade for Christ, have multiplied from 80 in 2007 to 100 in 2008 and 174 this fall, providing the atheist movement new training grounds for future leaders. In another sign of growing acceptance, at least three universities, including Harvard, now have humanist chaplains meeting the needs of the not-so-spiritual. (Associated Press)

Scientists Successfully Restart the Large Hadron Collider
“It’s great to see beam circulating in the LHC again,” said CERN Director General Rolf Heuer. “We’ve still got some way to go before physics can begin, but with this milestone, we’re well on the way.” (CNN)

Q&A
Charles Darwin

Death is no barrier. One hundred and fifty years after the publication of On the Origin of Species, we have obtained an interview with its author. (Rowan Hooper, New Scientist)

Category: Field Notes

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