February 28, 2014

© 2014 Microsoft CorporationReligion, Atheism, and Productivity
Using state-level data, newly published research finds an inverse relationship between the practice of religion and what the researchers call “productive entrepreneurship”—that is, entrepreneurial activity that genuinely leads to economic growth. And in a surprise kicker, two economists report this desirable type of entrepreneurship is associated with a greater percentage of atheists and agnostics in a state’s population. (Tom Jacobs, Pacific Standard)

How We Categorize People
Our race radar isn’t fixed. People subconsciously identify others more strongly by how they work together than by their skin color. (Alyssa Botelho, New Scientist)

Fallout From Bill Nye’s Debate With Ken Ham
Creation Museum founder Ken Ham announced Thursday that a municipal bond offering has raised enough money to begin construction on the Ark Encounter project, estimated to cost about 73 million dollars. Groundbreaking is planned for May and the ark is expected to be finished by the summer of 2016. Ham said a high-profile evolution debate he had with “Science Guy” Bill Nye on February 4 helped boost support for the project. Nye said he was “heartbroken and sickened for the Commonwealth of Kentucky” after learning that the project would move forward. (Dylan Lovan, Associated Press)

More on Three-Person In Vitro Fertilization
The United Kingdom inched closer to legalizing a controversial method of reproduction, known as mitochondrial replacement, or “three-parent IVF.” The Department of Health announced a public consultation of draft legislation that would allow the procedures, which are intended to prevent children from inheriting diseases caused by faulty mitochondria. The consultation, which runs until May 21, is an early step toward amending the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Act, which would allow the mitochondrial replacement procedures. The UK government must then decide whether to put such legislation to Parliament for approval. (Ewen Callaway, Nature News Blog)

Christianity, Science, and the Search for Truth

Rabbi Geoffrey Mitelman: Many Christians find that science helps them search for truth and understanding, and believe that reason, thoughtfulness, and critical inquiry are gifts from God. Two devout Christians who have truly embraced that idea are John ZuHone, an astrophysicist at NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center, and Zach Fleming, Pastor of Student Ministries at McPherson Free Methodist Church in Kansas and teacher at Central Christian College of Kansas. As part of Sinai and Synapses’ series “More Light, Less Heat,” they share their views on the relationship between science and their Christian faith. (Sinai and Synapses)

Category: Field Notes


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