Friday, August 28, 2009

Weekly Wrap-Up

Lawrence Auster, What is Faith?: "If faith has a good definition, it can't just be 'belief in the absence of evidence.' There has to have been something real there that made us believe in the first place. The problem is that spiritual things are not simply 'there,' like a physical object. We apprehend things about them, each moment we apprehend something different, or we stop apprehending anything. But the point is that there is or has been an apprehension of a reality, and we don't see it all, yet we've seen enough of it that we believe in its truth and we stay loyal to that truth. Faith is a committed relationship with something we partly see, but don't completely see. Having seen enough of it to believe that it is true, we maintain that relationship, the orientation of our selves toward that thing." Read the whole post.

Restating the Case for Human Uniqueness: "Despite the dedication of a number of primatologists, the cognitive and linguistic abilities of the great apes have never surpassed those of a two-year-old child. This is because they clearly lack the precondition for becoming human: a human genetic make-up."

Denyse O'Leary is Having an "Origin of Life" Essay Contest: "Here is the problem I have always had with accidental origin of life: It amounts to spontaneous generation. However, banishing the doctrine of spontaneous generation played a key role in modern medicine’s success. If we assume that life forms (for medical purposes, we focus on pathogens) cannot start spontaneously, then they must have been introduced...If life can be spontaneously generated, why isn’t it happening now?"

Doctor Believes Artificial Life is Just Months Away: “Assuming we don’t make any errors, I think it should work and we should have the first synthetic species by the end of the year,' said Dr Venter." I'm always skeptical of these claims.

Last week, I linked to this article, and asked, "Is this evidence for Intelligent Design?" Apparently, the answer is "yes."

In October, a new Ayn Rand book will come out: "Almost 30 years after her death, Ayn Rand remains one of the most polarizing icons to tumble out of one of history’s most polarizing centuries. Heller’s biography promises what might well be a first: an impartial portrait—not of a revolutionary supergenius or a cultish fraud, but of a complex woman, born in Russia, who went on to create a dubiously powerful American mythology."

Ayn Rand Self-Help: "Seligman divided his psychology students so some engaged in pleasurable activities (going to the movies, eating yummy ice cream) and the others did philanthropic activities (volunteering at a soup kitchen, reading to the blind). Guess what? The happiness afterglow of the fun was nada compared to the lasting happiness of doing altruistic acts. Meaning? Doing good for others will also make you feel good -- and, according to Seligman, your highest level of feel-good...I'm betting that even if Ayn Rand and I started off a conversation disagreeing on this topic of altruism, Ayn would nonetheless be open to hearing about these modern day research studies and theories."

Terry Goodkind: He's Got the Write Stuff: "Goodkind came relatively late to the writing game, having started as an artist. But, from the moment the first words he ever wrote ('It was an odd-looking vine.') were published, his Sword of Truth series was a smashing success -- more than 10 million books sold, repeatedly hitting the top spot on the New York Times' bestseller lists....Goodkind's books are infused with the philosophy in which he deeply believes -- the objectivism of Ayn Rand that holds individual rights as key to a society that works and that encourages individuals to pursue what makes them happy."

Could There be Proof to the Theory That We're All Psychic?: "'Up to 85 per cent of people may be clairvoyant' says a researcher."

Back to Health: A beautiful reflection on relationships by Hope.

Also I've added the following blogs to my Blog List...

A Journey of Hope

In Mala Fide

View From the Right

Plus I've updated my article, Sex, Love, and Marriage in Modern Society

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