Monthly Archives: July 2010

Protecting against GMO blunders

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Article reads: It’s the stuff science fiction movies are made of – scientists tinkering with biological material unwittingly creating a new kind of pathogen that escapes into the environment, annihilating entire ecosystems and threatening to wipe out all human life.

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Controversy with homeopathy funding

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Article reads: Homeopathy is a form of complementary medicine that aims to trigger the patient’s natural system of healing. Practitioners prescribe highly diluted pills made of substances which would usually trigger the ailment in a healthy person. It is typically used to treat recurring infections, skin conditions, chronic fatigue, migraines and stress-related symptoms.

Article reads: Andy Lewis, of Oxford Skeptics in the Pub, a group that promotes sceptical thought, also backed the PCT. He said the Government’s ruling to allow homeopathy to continue on the NHS was “indefensible” because it deprived people of “real healthcare”.

Spiritual research to be released

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http://www.send2press.com/newswire/2010-07-0730-003.shtml

Article reads: In addition to the contemporary examples of Tolle and Belzebuub, the article examines examples from Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, and other religions. “Examples of well-known figures such as Jesus Christ and Buddha indicate that spiritual teachings are divinely inspired, given for the sake of all humanity, rather than for just the wealthy or elite,” says Dr. Wood.

Dupré reviews “What Darwin Got Wrong”

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Review writes: Neo-Darwinism is, very roughly, the claim that natural selection is by far the most important explanation of biological form, the particular characteristics of particular kinds of organism. … Neo-Darwinism is, however, a perspective under ever-growing pressure, not (or not only) from the antiscientific assaults of the religious, but from the advancement of science. The decline of this intellectual monolith is generally to be welcomed, not least because it may be expected to bring down with it some of its less appetising academic fellow travellers, most notably Evolutionary Psychology. At the same time those contributing to the demise of neo-Darwinism must be aware of the risk, especially in the United States, that they will provide succour for fundamentalist Creationists and aficionados of so-called Intelligent Design.

My review of the same book is more optimistic, and I use Trinitarian vitalism as a perspective:

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Todorov’s “In Defence of the Enlightenment”

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Review writes: Or take the current fetishisation of The Science, or as Todorov calls it, ‘scientism’, ‘a distortion of the Enlightenment, its enemy not its avatar’. We experience this most often, although far from exclusively, through environmentalist discourse. Here, science supplants politics. Competing visions of the good are ruled out in favour of that which the science demands, be it reduced energy consumption or a massive wind-power project. This, as Todorov sees it, involves a conflation of two types of reasoning, the moral (or the promotion of the good) and the scientific (or the discovery of truth). In effect, the values by which one ought to live arise, as if by magic, from the existence of facts. In the hands of politicians this becomes authoritarian: ‘Values seem to proceed from knowledge and political choices are passed off as scientific deduction.’ There need be no debate, no reasoned argument, because the science tells us what to do.

Reptile footprints

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http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100729/national/reptile_discovery_1

Article reads: Scientists have discovered 318 million-year-old reptile footprints in rock slabs that have broken free of the sea cliffs, and say it shows reptiles were the first vertebrates — animals with a backbone — to move inland away from the swampy coasts.

Observing evolution

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Opinion reads: First, where did this so-called “single simple cell” come from? Second, would you please put forward the name of the individual who existed 4.5 billion years ago who observed this “single simple cell” (remember, true science, good science, is based on observeable evidence) morph into what we now have as the universe, and in particular our earth and all living things upon it?

I am doubtful that “observing” evolution in deep time would answers these questions. We can only see an apparent natural selection, or a purported natural selection. But would we see life-directed evolution that carries a teleological component? If we look into the brain, do we see ourselves there with the intent to smell a rose?

Cosmic rays coming from one part of sky

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Article reads: A puzzling pattern in the cosmic rays bombarding Earth from space has been discovered by an experiment buried deep under the ice of Antarctica. Cosmic rays are highly energetic particles streaming in from space that are thought to originate in the distant remnants of dead stars. But it turns out these particles are not arriving uniformly from all directions. The new study detected an overabundance of cosmic rays coming from one part of the sky, and a lack of cosmic rays coming from another.

Deepak Chopra talks with Stuart Hameroff

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Conscious being is said to be a moment represented by space-time curvatures found in microtubules located in the brain. Note that space-time is a proxy for fundamental reality.

Cavallo Point takes intergrative medicine serious

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Article reads: Cavallo Point Lodge announces the introduction of intergrative medicine at its Healing Arts Center & Spa. The program was designed and is directed by Bradly Jacobs, MD, MPH, founding medical director at the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of California San Francisco and former Senior Medical Director at Revolution Health. Known as Dr. Brad, his diagnostic and therapeutic plans are tailored to individual needs and meld the best of modern medicine and alternative practices for optimal health.