Manuel Mueller-Frank (Oxford): The Role of Religion in the Creation of Economic Societies. Christian Brown and Anthon Eff (MTSU): The State and the Supernatural: Support for Prosocial Behavior. Maximiliano E. Korstanje (Palermo): Ideology and Prejudices: Exploring the Roots of Religion. Edward Dutton on implicit religion. Do all religions share a common thread? A clear-eyed understanding of our religious differences may be the best hope for promoting cooperation among different religions. Holy places should unite humanity; too often, they have the opposite effect. A review of American Grace: How Religion Divides and Unites Us by Robert Putnam and David Campbell. Religion in a centerless society: An excerpt from Damon Linker's The Religious Test: Why We Must Question the Beliefs of Our Leaders (and more). An interview with Gabe Lyons, author of The Next Christians: The Good News About the End of Christian America (and more). From Paranormal America, here is a table linking paranormal beliefs to various religions in America. A review of The Evangelicals: What They Believe, Where They Are, and Their Politics by Christopher Catherwood. The Reformer: How Al Mohler transformed a seminary, helped change a denomination, and challenges a secular culture. Walking away from church: Organized religion's increasing identification with conservative politics is a turnoff to more and more young adults — Evangelical Protestantism has been hit hard. A review of Christians Are Hate-Filled Hypocrites and Other Lies You've Been Told: A Sociologist Shatters Myths from the Secular and Christian Media by Bradley Wright. Preface to anatomy of deception: Mark Jarmuth on how liberals lie about Christianity. How best to respond to the New Atheists: A review of Against All Gods: What's Right and Wrong About the New Atheism by Phillip E. Johnson. A review of Huston Smith’s Why Religion Matters: The Fate of the Human Spirit in an Age of Disbelief. What is wrong with fundamentalism, anyway, and is there such a thing as a fundamentalist atheist?
From the latest issue of Human Affairs, Silvia Galikova (SAS): The Feeling Brain — The Thinking Soul; Simone Belli (UAM), Rom Harre (Georgetown) and Lupicinio Iniguez (UAB): What is Love? Discourse about Emotions in Social Sciences; Tatiana Buzekova (SAS) and Monika Isova (Comenius): Disgust and Intimacy; and a review of Emotions in Social Science: A Reader. Let us now celebrate the losers: We owe a debt to failures, to those creative ideas that flamed out or gloriously flopped. You are what you click: Marshall McLuhan once told us that “the medium is the message” — now the medium is rewiring the human brain. From NYRB, what to do about Guantanamo? A review essay. A review of Kosher Nation: Why More and More of America’s Food Answers to a Higher Authority by Sue Fishkoff. A look at 6 iconic jobs that are going away forever. Playing air guitar is every frat boy’s favorite party trick but, the fact is, air guitar has roots that extend back prior to the heyday of heavy metal. Happy 200th, Snow White: Fairy tales do one thing, but they can do it in several different ways. When historian Jill Lepore stumbled on a letter from John Adams about the lies of American history, it brought to mind her own youthful brush with the Revolutionary spirit (and more). Corn and country: Julie Greene on Nebraska, Mexico, and the global economy. It is often asked: what is the difference between imaginative literature and other sorts of intellectual endeavor? The introduction to Lawyers and Fidelity to Law by W. Bradley Wendel. Era Klein on infrastructure, the best deal in the economy. When Machines Kill: What does it mean for a machine to "decide" to kill someone? They’re hiding the sex scenes: Somebody had been messing with Judy’s book. In the tank, on the clock: Can we kill time before it kills us?
The origins of life: Mineralogist Bob Hazen believes he's discovered how life's early building blocks connected four billion years ago. A review of The Art of Plant Evolution by W. John Kress and Shirley Sherwood, and Flora Mirabilis: How Plants Have Shaped World Knowledge, Health, Wealth, and Beauty by Catherine Herbert Howell. A look at how plants drove first animals onto land. Research suggests monkeys have cognitive abilities once thought unique to humans. Do new discoveries ever “rewrite evolutionary history”? Research confirms the mother of all humans, a "mitochondrial Eve", lived 200,000 years ago. Are humans continuing to evolve — and, if so, is our basic biological nature changing, or has modern culture stopped evolution? A review of Biology Is Technology: The Promise, Peril, and New Business of Engineering Life by Robert Carlson. A review of Designer Genes: A New Era in the Evolution of Man by Steven Potter. A review of Drawing the Map of Life: Inside the Human Genome Project by Victor McElheny (and more). Craig Venter thinks he can change the world, but he already has — from mapping the human genome to creating the world's first man-made bacterial cell, Venter achieved a lifetime of innovations in just ten years. An interview with Craig Venter: "We have learned nothing from the genome". Genome as commodity: In a few years, millions will have purchased their own genome. Which population is most genetically distant from Africans? Amerindians. Black men can swim: Advances in genetics are finally allowing us to get to the bottom of long-held racial myths. As scientists explore the genetic links between Jewish populations, rabbis and thinkers wrestle with the question of what this means for Jewish identity. A look at how human diversity not that great. When the key to good genetics research isn't in the genes: It's hard to link a gene to a condition if you're not exactly sure how to define that condition in the first place. It has long been suggested that a mother’s and father’s genes do not play exactly equal roles, and new research points to asymmetry that could be far more substantial than thought. A review of Choosing Tomorrow's Children: The Ethics of Selective Reproduction by Stephen Wilkinson.
A new issue of Homeland Security Affairs is out. From The Washington Monthly, a cover story on The Next Real Estate Boom: How housing (yes, housing) can turn the economy around; want to really fix the economy? Stop spending $300 billion a year on foreign oil, and invest it instead in ethanol and other homegrown fuels; and President Obama wants us to support ethanol — how about we do something better for the American farmer? A prince on politics: A review of The State in the Third Millennium by Prince Hans-Adam II. Rob Horning on the authenticity crisis and the dream of escaping irony. Don't want the government, big industry, and some 15 year old to know your secrets? You're shit out of luck. On blowing my load: Thoughts from inside the MFA ponzi scheme. Although the bank bailout program TARP officially ended on Sunday, it's likely that we'll see something like it again one day. Here's a multi-part series by Fran Markowitz, author of Sarajevo: A Bosnian Kaleidoscope, on her recent trip to Sarajevo and Banja Luka, Bosnia-Herzegovina. From Swans, a special issue on immigration. What Columbus Day really means: If you think the holiday pits Native Americans against Italian Americans, consider the history behind its origin. James Ley deems Terry Eagleton’s serpentine arguments for a "materialist" interpretation of morality as "borderline delusional". Friends of Noah: Jon M. Sweeney on the Judaic roots of the blessing of animals. Flamboyant and controversial, Arthur Demarest is one of the world’s foremost authorities, who is reshaping ideas about this ancient, advanced but long-lost Maya society. Who really rescued General Motors? Malcolm Gladwell reviews Steven Rattner's Overhaul. With the decline of the wristwatch, will time become just another app?
From World Policy Journal, a special issue on the global art canon, including an introduction, the Big Question: Is there a global canon? A panel of experts weigh in; David Palumbo-Liu and Dr. Paulo Lemos Horta on teaching the canon; Joel Whitney on a mongrel canon; and the editors select artists, composers, filmmakers and photographers to showcase the vast scope and creativity of the Global Canon. Arti$ts and the Market: Many in the art world cling to the myth that financial gain does not motivate artists — this is not only bad economics, but bad art history. Pop goes the art market: A $40 million Lichtenstein? James Franco, Lady Gaga, and the rise of celebrity art: Why are so many artists using celebrities in their paintings, sculptures, and installations? Meet the world’s 10 most powerful artists. Britain's cultural community warns spending cuts will mean a "blitzkrieg" for the arts — but isn't austerity supposed to deliver punk rock and poetry? A review of Trespass: A History of Uncommisioned Urban Art. Art vs. the World: How does one relate to the other? An epidemic of easy-to-manipulate "arty" images infesting our blogs and our Facebook pages is way out of control. The first chapter from Create Dangerously: The Immigrant Artist at Work by Edwidge Danticat. Special forces: Is specialization killing art today? Minimalism has been the defining style of our era, but now it’s in retreat (and more). A look at 7 priceless works of art ruined by staggering acts of idiocy. Has Ricardo Dominguez, a cyberscholar and artist-provocateur, courted controversy once too often? An article on the beastliness of modern art. Four books mark the increased interest in the 17th-century painter Caravaggio. Let them eat paint: It’s time for a separation of art and state. Art and politics: How young revolutionary David Alfaro Siqueiros fooled the city elder.