Tim Keller on Secular New York

Question: How can living in New York inspire a turn toward faith?

Keller:    When you come to a place like New York City, first of all, you are bombarded with people who are like you, only better.  So, you maybe the best violinist in [Hot Coffee], Texas and you get off the train in Penn Station, and, to your horror, there is somebody out there begging, you know, playing the violin and she’s better than you, and so that makes you just dig down deep and just practice, practice, practice.  So, you see, all these people who are like you, the second thing in New York City, a place like New York gives you is tons of people who are so unlike you and they differ with you and they see things very differently and they bombard you with objections and arguments and questions and that makes you really either come up with a better rational for what you want to do than you ever would have gotten before, or it makes you incorporate new ideas.  And so the diversity, you have so many people like you and so many people unlike you that it creates better enterprises.  It’s a hot house for coming up with new models and new ideas and I think actually New York made me a far better minister.  I don’t think it has to make you secular.  I think it can make you more Orthodox, but you’ll be different.

Pastor Tim Keller on religion in New York.

Our bodies are chronically in "threat mode"—but being kind recalibrates our nervous system

Being kind to others positively impacts your physical and mental health, according to this groundbreaking research by Stanford professor Dr. James Doty.

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Mind & Brain
  • The default "rest mode" of our brains is often taken over by a "threat mode" setting because of our stressful, "on-the-go" lifestyles. When we are chronically in threat mode, this leaves us with less capacity for compassion.
  • Showing compassion or acting kind to others can actually change your physiology, taking you out of threat mode and putting you back into your natural "rest and digest" mode.
  • Research by a well-known Stanford professor Dr. James Doty has shown that acts of kindness or compassion that put us back into our "rest mode" can have lasting positive impacts on our physical and mental health.
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There is no dark matter. Instead, information has mass, physicist says

Is information the fifth form of matter?

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Surprising Science
  • Researchers have been trying for over 60 years to detect dark matter.
  • There are many theories about it, but none are supported by evidence.
  • The mass-energy-information equivalence principle combines several theories to offer an alternative to dark matter.
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Cultural accommodation: How to navigate societal diversity

Establishing cultural rights to protect diverse groups may not be the answer.

Videos
  • While it is good to recognize societal diversity, it is difficult to argue in favor of creating cultural accommodations to preserve and protect specific groups.
  • Creating protections for people who belong to certain traditions can result in the creation of cultures that did not previously exist. The challenge would be to find a way to provide protections that are not too explicit while also being careful not to advantage one internal group and disadvantage another.
  • The classical liberal response is a principle of hyper-tolerance. Groups are free to form, members are free to dissent, and there are no acknowledgements of special protections or of the right to force conformity within cultures.
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