April 13, 2010

Battle for Haitian Souls
In the three months after the earthquake, the relationship among faiths has evolved from one of rare unity to a fight for the Haitian soul. All hope to increase followers even as they assign blame for the quake. In the makeshift camps, along rubble-filled streets, Protestant preachers are battling Catholics as well as followers of Voodoo, hoping to lure more congregants. (Jacqueline Charles and Trenton Daniel, Miami Herald)

New Evidence That Water Can Exist (for Seconds) as a Liquid on Mars
Can there still be liquid water flowing on Mars, even if only for a very, very short time? Maybe. Just maybe. (Phil Plait, Bad Astronomy, Discover)

Milky Way May Be Teeming With Earth-Like Planets
Observations of formerly sunlike stars called white dwarfs suggest that the overwhelming majority of them once harbored at least one rocky world. And because sunlike stars could account for up to half of the Milky Way’s population of several hundred billion suns, that means hundreds or even thousands of civilizations might inhabit our galaxy. (Phil Berardelli, ScienceNOW)

Kids With Williams Syndrome Don’t Show Racial Bias
Williams syndrome is marked by heart defects, mental retardation, and a lack of social anxiety that produces exceedingly friendly human beings. And a new study published in the journal Current Biology finds that children with Williams syndrome don’t make racial stereotypes. (Adam Hinterthuer, 60-Second Science, Scientific American)

BOOKS
An Awareness of What Is Missing

How exactly is the cooperation between secular reason and faith to be managed? German philosopher Jürgen Habermas attempted to answer that question in the course of a dialogue with four Jesuit academics who met with him in Munich in 2007. The proceedings have now been published in Ciaran Cronin’s English translation. (Stanley Fish, Opinionator, The New York Times)

Category: Field Notes

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