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Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Field Notes

Galaxy Gazing at the Vatican's Observatory
The idea is not to watch for omens or angels but to do workmanlike astronomy that fights the perception that science and Catholicism necessarily conflict. (George Johnson, The New York Times)

Support Group for "Recovering Religionists"
The idea for the group came from Darrel Ray, an organizational psychologist and author of The God Virus: How Religion Infects Our Lives and Culture. He was raised in a fundamentalist Christian church and attended seminary. But by the time he graduated, he had abandoned the notion of becoming a minister. (Helen T. Gray, McClatchy Newspapers)

Happiness Researchers Unite!
About 1,500 people who make their living thinking about what makes us happier and more emotionally successful have converged on Philadelphia for the First World Congress on Positive Psychology. (Stacey Burling, The Philadelphia Inquirer)

Is Free Will Real?
A psychologist, neuroscientist, and philosopher got together to debate the meaning of free will. They walked onto the auditorium stage, sat down before an eager audience, and all crossed their left legs over their right. The psychologist pointed out the similarity and asked if crossing their legs like so was a consequence of free will or a predetermined action. ( Sarah Arnquist, TierneyLab Blog, The New York Times)

Faith Leaders in United Kingdom Appeal for Organ Donors
The Church of England says organ donation is a Christian duty. The leader of the Roman Catholic Church in England and Wales—the Archbishop of Westminster, the Most Reverend Vincent Nichols—described it as a true act of generosity. The head of the UK Hindu Council, Anil Bhanot, said it was natural for Hindus to donate body parts, as well as goods, at the end of their lives. (BBC News)