February 10, 2011

Do Women Tend to Have a Stronger Predisposition to Help Others?
The research, based on an analysis of nearly 1,000 pairs of identical and nonidentical twins, found that about half of “prosocial” traits—the willingness to help others—identified in women could be linked with genes rather than environmental upbringing, whereas the figure was just 20 percent in men. Scientists believe the findings lend further support to the idea that prosocial behavior has a strong heritable component with some people displaying an innate tendency from childhood.(Steve Connor, The Independent)

Who Is Theresa Deisher?
She has reversed her views on embryos and become one of two plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed in 2009, seeking to stop the U.S. government from funding human embryonic stem cell research. (Meredith Wadman, Nature News)

Why Evolution Should Be Taught in Church
Paul Wallace: Beauty in nature begins at the surfaces but compounds rapidly beneath. All scientists know this. Keeping this beauty and wonder and mystery from those who come to church in search of God is simply unfair. By keeping the best of modern science out of the church, a disservice is done not only to those who come looking for God, but to society at large. (Religion Dispatches)

High School Clubs for Atheists
The Secular Student Alliance, which promotes atheism and humanism with chapters at more than 200 colleges, is sending in reinforcements for teen freethinkers—a push to launch 50 new high school clubs. (Cathy Lynn Grossman, USA Today)

“Confession: A Roman Catholic App” Is Now Available
The text-based app takes the user through the Ten Commandments, with a slew of questions attached to each, a process known as an examination of conscience, which penitents undergo before confession. (Associated Press)

But Vatican Says Catholics Cannot Confess by iPhone
Father Federico Lombardi, the Vatican spokesman, said technology was not a substitute for being present when admitting sins to a priest. “One cannot speak in any way of confessing via iPhone,” Lombardi said, adding that confession required the presence of the penitent and the priest. “This cannot be substituted by any IT application,” Lombardi added. (The Telegraph)

Category: Field Notes

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