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Friday, July 17, 2009

Field Notes

Why We No Longer Need Religion
Daniel Dennett: I am confident that those who believe in belief are wrong. That is, we no more need to preserve the myth of God in order to preserve a just and stable society than we needed to cling to the Gold Standard to keep our currency sound. It was a useful crutch, but we've outgrown it. (guardian.co.uk)

God of the Philosophers
H.E. Baber: Claims about the existence and nature of God are, rather, controversial to philosophers, including Christian philosophers. That is to say, we recognize them as propositions about which reasonable, informed people may disagree. (guardian.co.uk)

Will Aliens Look Like Humans?
Is there reason to think that actual aliens, from a star system a thousand light-years away, would be similar in appearance to the evolved apes that we now call Homo sapiens? Some scientists, such as Cambridge University paleontologist Simon Conway Morris, think there is. After all, there's a phenomenon in nature known as convergent evolution. It's the tendency of evolutionary processes to find similar solutions to any given environmental challenge. (Seth Shostak, Space.com)

What Does it Take to Sustain a Happy and Successful Relationship or Marriage?”
Gwyneth Paltrow: A long-term relationship between two people is an ever evolving organism. Some stay the course, some fall, all stumble. Here I’ve asked a few very wise women, most of whom are in varying forms of longtime partnerships, for their insights. (GOOP)

Eugenie Scott

“‘If man evolved from monkeys, then why are there still monkeys?’... That’s probably the second most common question I get on talk radio.” Watch your language! It's a common message from Eugenie Scott, a physical anthropologist and director of the National Center for Science Education. (Susan Milius, Science News)