Monthly Archives: May 2011

The meaning of life

See:

http://www.abc.net.au/unleashed/2717914.html

Article reads: Understanding requires engagement with and experience of human life itself, particularly in relationship with the other. It means more than acquiring knowledge or information. It means going beyond a dispassionate kind of scientism to actually be involved in life and seeking to know what it means. To understand what something means involves experiencing it fully and placing it within a communal context of meaning based in language, which seeks to discern the nature of the thing experienced and form a response towards it.

Evolution law still on track

See:

http://www.2theadvocate.com/blogs/politicsblog/122679349.html

Article reads: The vote was one for the repeal and five opposed after nearly two hours of discussion. The repeal effort is aimed at the Louisiana Science Education Act, which backers said has paved the was for freewheeling classroom discussions on evolution and other topics.

Teachers are not pushing evolution

See:

http://www.themoralliberal.com/2011/05/26/most-teachers-dont-push-evolution/

Article reads: The survey found that some teachers tell students frankly that they must teach evolution because state examinations test it, but that students do not need to “believe” it. Others teach about adaptations within a species, but not that one species can give rise to other species. Many teachers consider both evolution and creationism to be belief systems that cannot be fully proven or discredited, and assure students they are free to choose, based on their own beliefs.

Geometric intuitions may be universal

See:

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/05/110525115902.htm

Article reads: The researchers thus suggest that all human beings have an ability to understand Euclidean geometry, whatever their culture or level of education. People who have received no, or little, training could thus grasp notions of geometry such as points and parallel lines. These intuitions could be innate (they may then emerge from a certain age, as it happens 6-7 years). If, on the other hand, these intuitions derive from learning (between birth and 6-7 years of age), they must be based on experiences common to all human beings.

Synthia Andrews’ “The Path of Energy”

See:

Click Here

Review reads: Blood responds to energy directed by the mind. We are the sum total of our choices. Meditation quiets the mind so that visualization can take place. Various meditations are described by the book.

Georg Simmel’s “The View of Life”

See:

http://www.bookslut.com/nonfiction/2011_04_017624.php

Review reads: For Simmel, though, these routines and boundaries are not completely deadening. True, we stake out boundaries in the “infinite fullness of life,” in order to act in the world; but to live in the world is nothing more than to overstep these boundaries at every moment. So, while I live in routine for much of my life, such routine never saturates my existence; for Simmel, there is always a kind of vital excess. This is the paradox of Simmel’s theory of life: we are enclosed; we leave our enclosure. Or: to know your limits is to transcend them. Life, for Simmel, is nothing more than this reaching out, this grasping for what one is not.

Looking for devolution

See:

Click Here

Opinion reads: Computers are probably the epitome of man-made intelligent design. They base everything they do on the pure logic of what they are programmed to do without emotion, making true and false decisions of data that are fed into them. Because evolution, creation science, intelligent design, etc., are also man-made concepts, I suggest the News Sentinel contact Oak Ridge National Laboratory and see if one of their supercomputers can spare a few teraflops and answer these questions that are just as important as man-made global warming.

Humphrey confuses consciouness with illusion

See:

Click Here

Opinion reads: Just as the moon illusion is an effect of size constancy, the illusions of ineffability and irreducibility, in Humphrey’s view, are effects of our human capacity for self-reflection, long-term planning and innovation. The brain knows the real secret of seduction, more effective than even music and martinis. Just keep whispering, “Gee, you are really special” to that sack of water and protein that is a body and you can get it to do practically anything. Humphrey’s ideas are appealing, but they aren’t always precise, and it will take a lot of empirical work to discover whether they are true. Evolutionary arguments have to go beyond just-so stories, and it’s not easy to see just how you could test Humphrey’s hypotheses.

But the fact remains that even a foolish mind is real, lest we confuse recognition with a mere representation and then there is no mind to be fooled.

Josef H. Reichholf’s “The Origin of Beauty”

See:

http://www.signandsight.com/features/2142.html

Review writes: For Reichholf the principle of sexual selection promotes altruism, justice and freedom. Darwin sometimes described nature as the great “slaughterhouse” but his theory of sexual selection put forth an image of productive wastefulness. Anyone who believes that Darwin’s second theory is too beautiful to be true will find themselves on shakier ground after reading this book.

The point is that sexual selection (the second theory) is the product of a vitalism that departs from natural selection. Darwin was right about sexual selection, and wrong about the importance of natural selection in grand scale of evolution.

A balanced education in science and creationism

See:

Click Here

Opinion reads:  To gain knowledge about a certain subject will never hurt anyone. The knowledge acquired from the religious classes will balance out the knowledge from the regular science classes. It will allow the students to think both scientifically, factually, but at the same time, give them the reasons from the Bible to think otherwise, and challenge the theories of evolution.