EVOLUTION VS FUNDAMENTALIST PROTESTANTISM IN THE USA
Culture, including religion, is shaped by Darwinian pressures. Eg Dawkins, The Selfish Gene. Discipline worked for our hunter-gatherer ancestors. Religion was adaptive because a God demanding discipline was more compelling than just habit. The Christian vision of eternal paradise or hell-fire propelled this ethos all over the West for 1,500 years, until it started to lose strength as the State got better at enforcing discipline, and with the rise of science. \nHow can we account for the beliefs of almost half of Americans, that the Bible is the inerrant word of God, the earth and the universe are about 7,000 years old, species weren’t created by evolutionary processes… If elements of culture like this are subject to Darwinian "survival of the fittest" pressures, what accounts for their widespread propagation in one of the best-educated populations in existence – in a society that is a world leader in science? How can such an ethos be adaptive? Why does it not disappear?\n
The way that you think about stress can actually transform the effect that it has on you – and others.
- Stress is contagious, and the higher up in an organization you are the more your stress will be noticed and felt by others.
- Kelly McGonigal teaches "Reset your mindset to reduce stress" for Big Think Edge.
- Subscribe to Big Think Edge before we launch on March 30 to get 20% off monthly and annual memberships.
Three scientists publish paper proving that not Venus but Mercury is the closest planet to Earth
- Earth is the third planet from the Sun, so our closest neighbour must be planet two of four, right?
- Wrong! Neither Venus nor Mars is the right answer.
- Three scientists ran the numbers. In this YouTube video, one of them explains why our nearest neighbour is... Mercury!
The blood of horseshoe crabs is harvested on a massive scale in order to retrieve a cell critical to medical research. However, recent innovations might make this practice obsolete.
- Horseshoe crabs' blue blood is so valuable that a quart of it can be sold for $15,000.
- This is because it contains a molecule that is crucial to the medical research community.
- Today, however, new innovations have resulted in a synthetic substitute that may end the practice of farming horseshoe crabs for their blood.
The distance between the American dream and reality is expressed best through literature.
- Literature expands our ability to feel empathy and inspires compassion.
- These ten novels tackle some facet of the American experience.
- The list includes a fictional retelling of the first Native American to graduate from Harvard and hiding out in inner city Newark.
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