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Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Sunspots 25

Things I have recently spotted that may be of interest to someone else:

Article in Orion arguing that exposing children to computers hurts their education. It may be hurting mine, too . . . Thought-provoking, to say the least. Sample (there's a lot more):

Substituting the excitement of virtual connections for the deep fulfillment of firsthand engagement is like mistaking a map of a country for the land itself, or as biological philosopher Gregory Bateson put it, "eat[ing] the menu instead of your meal." No one prays over a menu. And I've never witnessed a child developing a reverence for nature while using a computer.

National Public Radio has reported on biological exploration of the Arctic, here and here. The first report is in both text and audio form, and includes photos. There are photos of some of the scientists, and of a few of the remarkable creatures found by the expedition, some of which were previously unknown. The second report, in audio format only, describes some of these animals.

Hyperion is perhaps the oddest-looking moon in the Solar System. Here's an image, from the Jet Propulsion lab, from its Cassini satellite fly-by. Here's some information on Hyperion, from the same organization. Four versions of a movie of the fly-by are available here.

Frederica Mathewes-Green believes that earlier marriage might reduce the divorce rate. She's got some other interesting opinions in her editorial in First Things.

Speaking of First Things, the periodical is now offering an RSS feed, not of its magazine articles, which are available as regular HTML files, a month after publication, or earlier, but of tidbits and opinions which aren't going to make the periodical. The first three offerings look interesting.

"Donor Gametes for Assisted Reproduction in Contemporary Jewish Law and Ethics" considers assisted reproduction from a perspective that isn't often heard. The authors touch on Roman Catholic, and even Orthodox beliefs in their discussion.

William Saletan, of Slate, has previously defended Intelligent Design. He now concludes that it is not scientific.

Ken Schenck has wrapped up a series on homosexuality and Christianity. One recurring theme is that, although homosexual practice is sinful, it is not a sin worse than, say, deceit. Schenck sheds considerable light on the culture of Bible times. His posts, as always, are thorough and have obviously required considerable thought.

Joe Carter has re-done the Church Directory, a list of Christian blogs. He also furnishes code for adding a random sample of these to your blogroll.

Gina Burkart has a web page at the CBN site, entitled "Christian Lessons from the Half-Blood Prince." I found it both comprehensive (there were some I had missed) and brief.

Gorillas use tools in the wild (Chimpanzees have been known to do this for many years).

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to two Australians, for their discovery that a bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, lives in the harshly acidic environment of the stomach and causes ulcers. One of them proved this dramatically! The Physics Prize has also been awarded, but the work is a little harder to explain.

An introduction to Intelligent Design can be found here. It explains and covers the topic pretty well, although it is clear that the author(s) aren't fans of the movement. Thanks to Brandy!

Joan Wallace, missionary to Zambia, had about $780 in missions funds stolen from her house, and feels obligated to replace it herself.

This week's Christian Carnival is here.

Image source (public domain)

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