May 25, 2010

The Allen Human Brain Atlas
The result, scientists hope, will provide the most detailed look yet at which genes are active in which parts of the human brain. (Greg Miller, ScienceInsider)

Charles Darwin, Experimental Psychologist?
Darwin conducted one of the first studies on how people recognize emotion in faces, according to new archival research by Peter Snyder, a neuroscientist at Brown University. (Ferris Jabr, Scientific American)

Mutual Understanding
Dalai Lama: When I was a boy in Tibet, I felt that my own Buddhist religion must be the best—and that other faiths were somehow inferior. Now I see how naïve I was, and how dangerous the extremes of religious intolerance can be today. (The New York Times)

Habitable vs. Inhospitable
The ability of life to thrive on alien worlds may be impacted by the wild and weird orbits of giant neighboring planets, new studies suggest. (Denise Chow,

Will Atheism Replace Religion in America?
Jonathan Merritt: Why are modern societies fertile ground for blossoming unbelief? With a flair you would expect from a psychologist, Nigel Barber gives four reasons. (The Huffington Post)

“A Boorish Bunch of Intellectual Bullies”
Karl Giberson: What sort of atheist complains that a fellow citizen doing world-class science must abandon his or her religion to be a good scientist? (USA Today)

Paul Hoffman

Paul Hoffman’s The Left Hand of God follows the story of Thomas Cale, a teenager imprisoned in The Sanctuary, a brutal institution that trains boys to become warriors in an imminent holy war. This isn’t entirely a fantasy world—much of it is based on Hoffman’s own experiences growing up in an extremist Catholic boarding school. (Catherine Garcia, Shelf Life, Entertainment Weekly)

Absence of Mind

Absence of Mind is a gush of fresh air in the controversy over science and religion, a book that anyone who wants to see beyond the stale platitudes of current debate has a duty to read. Yet Marilynne Robinson seems to me to fall short in her central thrust, which is to put the human mind back at the center of things. (John Gray, The Globe and Mail)


Agora is a big-budget two-hour Roman epic that features Rachel Weisz as Hypatia, the Neo-Platonist philosopher and astronomer-mathematician sometimes credited with inventing the hydrometer and the plane astrolabe. (Larry Rohter, The New York Times)

Category: Field Notes


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