March 23, 2010

Religion Plays a Role in Likelihood to Wed
Among white men, 55 percent of those who said religion was “very important” were married, compared with 35 percent of those for whom it was “not important.” Black women were the only group for whom the importance of religion made no difference in marriage status. “Marriage is partly about values and it’s partly about economics and social opportunity,” said William Mosher, a co-author of the report, “and this may be a case where the economic and social opportunity is simply not there.” (Nicholas Bakalar, The New York Times)

Do Scientists Need Better Ethical Training?
Would doing a better job of providing a moral compass for scientists prevent some from going mad? Probably not. But it might lead to better and earlier identification and action toward stopping aberrant behavior. (Arri Eisen, Religion Dispatches)

Eboo Patel’s Interfaith Work
His message is clear: It’s not enough to be tolerant and accepting. Religious pluralism—which Eboo Patel sees as the key diversity issue of the 21st century, the equivalent of the racial questions that shaped the 20th century—demands that people push back against intolerance and stand up as leaders. That’s the philosophy of the Interfaith Youth Core, the group that Patel founded a decade ago. (Amanda Paulson, The Christian Science Monitor)

3-D Cloak of Invisibility!
Invisibility cloaks took a step from science fiction to science fact this past weekend. A team of German scientists announced the construction of the first material that renders objects invisible in three dimensions. (Alasdair Wilkins, io9)

Q&A
Lisa Miller

Ten questions for Lisa Miller on Heaven: Our Enduring Fascination with the Afterlife. (Religion Dispatches)

BOOKS
Decoding Reality

What is the universe made of? Matter or energy? Particles or strings? According to physicist Vlatko Vedral’s appealing new book, it is made, at bottom, of information. In other words, if you break the universe into smaller and smaller pieces, the smallest pieces are, in fact, bits. With this theme in mind, Vedral embarks on an exuberant romp through physics, biology, philosophy, religion, and even personal finance. (Seth Lloyd, CultureLab, New Scientist)

Category: Field Notes

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