Category Archives: Science

Dacher Keltner, AWE: The New Science of Everyday Wonder and How It Can Transform Your Life

This is a book about the subjective experience of awe, and how being aware of everyday examples of awe can make your life more meaningful and fulfilling; yet how (in my take) it’s about the emotion, triggered by both the … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Psychology, Science, science fiction | Leave a comment

What We Learned from This Morning’s Newspaper

Items today concern the US military budget, the Chinese balloon, flooding in Houston, Richard Powers on a real battle for trees, and the passing of the 747. All items from today’s paper (the New York Times).

Posted in Culture, Politics, Science | Leave a comment

Real News; Demagogues; Spirituality

Three themes for today: How science is the only news, per Stuart Brand; Demagogues and ideologues on the right; and Ross Douthat’s warning about spiritual experiences that don’t align with his own. Glancing through that John Brockman book The Third … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Religion, Science | Leave a comment

A Crisp, Sunny January Day

Topics for today: Why China’s decline in population is a good thing; Yuval Noah Harari on identity; Moral panic and the right-wing mind; How climate change has been covered in textbooks since the 1970s.

Posted in Conservative Resistance, Culture, Psychology, Religion, Science | Comments Off on A Crisp, Sunny January Day

Recent Science Matters

What fetal tissue actually looks like; how humans inbreed dogs to the point of their inability to survive in the wild; the discovery of the enormous universe and who did and didn’t get credit.

Posted in Cosmology, Science | Comments Off on Recent Science Matters

Feelings vs. Data, Political Items, and Awe

Today Paul Krugman counters feelings with facts, this time about the economy; also, items about DeSantis, red state murders, Truth Social ads. And a new book about awe.

Posted in Economics, Science, science fiction | Comments Off on Feelings vs. Data, Political Items, and Awe

More About the Evolution of a Political Party

Today’s items follow up from yesterday’s, about the growing extremism and commitment to things that aren’t true by one particular American political party. As I still wonder, how did we get here? Specific items are about changes in the Republican … Continue reading

Posted in Politics, Science | Comments Off on More About the Evolution of a Political Party

Things That Are Not True, and Immorality

Catching up on interesting items from the past few days, about the Christian right’s embrace of a “lying libertine,” how faith healers who kill their children get away with it in some states, how Republicans who lose elections react to … Continue reading

Posted in Conservative Resistance, Morality, Science | Comments Off on Things That Are Not True, and Immorality

Michael Shermer: THE MORAL ARC

Subtitled: How Science and Reason Lead Humanity toward Truth, Justice, and Freedom (Henry Holt, January 2015, 541pp, including 55pp of notes, 30pp of bibliography, and 15pp of acknowledgments and index) This is Michael Shermer’s magnus opus, perhaps, culminating a running … Continue reading

Posted in Book Notes, Morality, Science | Comments Off on Michael Shermer: THE MORAL ARC

A Fundamental Theological Question, via Jerry Coyne

Only time for a quick post today, again, ironically about a fundamental theological issue. What is the essential difference between science and religion, between a way of thinking and a way of not thinking but merely conforming to community traditions, … Continue reading

Posted in Religion, Science | Comments Off on A Fundamental Theological Question, via Jerry Coyne