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Monday, June 29, 2009

Field Notes

Pope Will Release Statement on Markets and Morality Just Before G8 Summit
Pope Benedict XVI signed the document today but the text, which focuses on globalization, poverty, and the financial crisis and is one of the most important to come out of the Holy See in the past decade, will be published 48 hours before the meeting of world leaders at L'Aquila in Italy—a week-long delay. Caritas in veritate, Love or charity in truth, will outline the ethical values that the faithful must "tirelessly defend" to ensure "true freedom and solidarity," the pope said recently. (Richard Owen and Ruth Gledhill, Times Online)

Richard Dawkins Funds Atheist Summer Camp for Kids
Camp-goers will be given lessons in rational skepticism, as well as sessions in moral philosophy and evolutionary biology. There will be more familiar camp activities such as trekking, tug-of-war, canoeing and swimming but children will also be taught to disprove phenomena such as crop circles and telepathy. (Ben Leach, Telegraph)

The Science and Spirit of Alfred Russel Wallace
In the 200th anniversary of Darwin's birth, a growing number of academics and amateur historians are rediscovering Wallace. Their efforts are raising debate over exactly what Wallace contributed to the theory of evolution, and what role, if any, the spiritual world plays in certain aspects of natural selection. (Michael Casey, Associated Press)

The Baloney Detection Kit

With a sea of information coming at us from all directions, how do we sift out the misinformation and bogus claims, and get to the truth? Michael Shermer of Skeptic Magazine lays out a "Baloney Detection Kit," 10 questions we should ask when encountering a claim. (RDF TV)

Mind Reading
Neuroscience has learned so much about how we think and the brain activity linked to certain thoughts that it is now possible—on a very basic scale—to read a person's mind. (Lesley Stahl, 60 Minutes)