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David Goggins
Former Navy Seal
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Bryan Cranston
Actor
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Liv Boeree
International Poker Champion
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Amaryllis Fox
Former CIA Clandestine Operative
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Chris Hadfield
Retired Canadian Astronaut & Author
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Is Immortality an Ethical Issue?

Question: Describe an ethical dilemma you’ve faced in your life.

Aubrey de Grey: I’m not really a philosopher; I’m not really an ethicist, and it’s in particular I always get rather irritated when people suggest that there are ethical dilemmas associated with combating aging. I feel there are certainly plenty of psychological dilemmas – you know religious, economic and so on, but when it comes to the moral obligation or the moral issues plus or minus with regard to combating aging, I always feel that the issues are completely unequivocal, and really for me that’s been true throughout my life. I guess the best example I can use where it was a little bit of certainty was with regard to my views about whether God exists; you know whether I should be religious or not. On that really my decision was not to make a decision, so way back in my teens when this sort of thing is on people’s minds I guess I came to the conclusion that well okay what’s the difference; how would I run my life differently; how would I behave differently if I were religious versus if I were not religious, and I realized that there was no difference at all; that I already had decided that what I wanted to do with my life was to benefit humanity, to make a difference to the quality of life of people in general, and I realized that that’s fundamentally what scripture tells you to do in pretty much all religions. So I thought well okay why does it matter and therefore I have not in my view wasted my time trying to come to a decision on that.

Question: So you’re agnostic?

Aubrey de Grey: So I guess the best way to describe my own view is I’m agnostic.

Recorded on: October 2, 2009

There are plenty of psychological dilemmas when it comes to immortality, but the moral issues are unequivocal.

Remote learning vs. online instruction: How COVID-19 woke America up to the difference

Educators and administrators must build new supports for faculty and student success in a world where the classroom might become virtual in the blink of an eye.

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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation
  • If you or someone you know is attending school remotely, you are more than likely learning through emergency remote instruction, which is not the same as online learning, write Rich DeMillo and Steve Harmon.
  • Education institutions must properly define and understand the difference between a course that is designed from inception to be taught in an online format and a course that has been rapidly converted to be offered to remote students.
  • In a future involving more online instruction than any of us ever imagined, it will be crucial to meticulously design factors like learner navigation, interactive recordings, feedback loops, exams and office hours in order to maximize learning potential within the virtual environment.
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Has science made religion useless?

Placing science and religion at opposite ends of the belief spectrum is to ignore their unique purposes.

Videos
  • Science and religion (fact versus faith) are often seen as two incongruous groups. When you consider the purpose of each and the questions that they seek to answer, the comparison becomes less black and white.
  • This video features religious scholars, a primatologist, a neuroendocrinologist, a comedian, and other brilliant minds considering, among other things, the evolutionary function that religion serves, the power of symbols, and the human need to learn, explore, and know the world around us so that it becomes a less scary place.
  • "I think most people are actually kind of comfortable with the idea that science is a reliable way to learn about nature, but it's not the whole story and there's a place also for religion, for faith, for theology, for philosophy," says Francis Collins, American geneticist and director of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). "But that harmony perspective doesn't get as much attention. Nobody is as interested in harmony as they are in conflict."

Signs of Covid-19 may be hidden in speech signals

Studying voice recordings of infected but asymptomatic people reveals potential indicators of Covid-19.

Ezra Acayan/Getty Images
Coronavirus
It's often easy to tell when colleagues are struggling with a cold — they sound sick.
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Octopus-like creatures inhabit Jupiter’s moon, claims space scientist

A leading British space scientist thinks there is life under the ice sheets of Europa.

Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SETI Institute
Surprising Science
  • A British scientist named Professor Monica Grady recently came out in support of extraterrestrial life on Europa.
  • Europa, the sixth largest moon in the solar system, may have favorable conditions for life under its miles of ice.
  • The moon is one of Jupiter's 79.
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Supporting climate science increases skepticism of out-groups

A study finds people are more influenced by what the other party says than their own. What gives?

Photo by Chris J Ratcliffe/Getty Images
Politics & Current Affairs
  • A new study has found evidence suggesting that conservative climate skepticism is driven by reactions to liberal support for science.
  • This was determined both by comparing polling data to records of cues given by leaders, and through a survey.
  • The findings could lead to new methods of influencing public opinion.
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