Polish author Stanislaw Lem passed away yesterday at the age of 84 after a long bout with heart disease. I’ve only read his novel Solaris, but it was an extremely poignant reflection on loss and humanity. Guess I better hit the library and see if they have any of his other books I can check out.
Humpback whales can talk! Or at least ramble on for hours and hours singing distinct phrases in their plaintive subsurface crooning. That’s pretty cool.
Just a set of links on atheism and religion, the merry-go-round:
- Religious Belief Itself Is An Adaptation – An interview with Edward O. Wilson on biology and religion.
- Defenders Of The Faith – A reprinted NY Times editorial about how the ones most likely to defend religious freedom are atheists.
- Atheists Are America’s Most Distrusted Minority – Along the same lines, people distrust atheists more than any other minority in this country. Somehow I feel this and the editorial are related, probably through the ideas mentioned in the first link (how we are wired for belief in tribal religions to form cohesive groups – us vs. them)
- The Good Old Days – What was America like in the late 19th century, the high water mark of Christianity in the States?
- Anatomy Of A Lynching – A crowd in Thailand beat a Buddhist monk to death when he took a hammer to a sacred statue of a Hindu god, proving it’s not just a Christian or Muslim thing, even Buddhists get caught up in religious frenzy.