I don't believe in God—at least, not any version I've encountered so far—but I do believe in free will. Free will, which I define as our capacity to recognize and act on choices, is what makes life meaningful.
In a previous post, "Grassroots spying will make world peace possible," I argued that the spread of technologies that allow us to spy on each other might also make us safer.
In a post on Asperger's syndrome, my fellow blogger Karen Schrock manages to knock both religious believers and nonreligious rationalists in just a few paragraphs.
Craig Venter is the Lady Gaga of science. Like her, he is a drama queen, an over-the-top performance artist with a genius for self-promotion. Hype is what Craig Venter does, and he does it extremely well, whether touting the decoding of his own genome several years ago or his construction of a hybrid bacterium this year.
In Isaac Asimov's science fiction series Foundation, the mathematician Hari Seldon invents a method, called psychohistory, that predicts social behavior as accurately as statistical mechanics predicts the behavior of gases.
Scientists are on the verge of building an artificial brain! How do I know? Terry Sejnowski of the Salk Institute said so right here on ScientificAmerican.com .
Even before the colossal oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico highlighted the downsides of fossil fuels (as if we needed reminding), nuclear energy was looking better to me.
Except for a smattering of neo-Social Darwinists, religious nuts and arms merchants, everyone wants world peace, right? In a truly peaceful world, nations would not just stop fighting wars; they would cut back their armies and arsenals to levels sufficient for self-defense and internal policing.
Do some soldiers enjoy killing? If so, why? This question is thrust upon us by the recently released video of U.S. Apache helicopter pilots shooting a Reuters cameraman and his driver in Baghdad in 2007.
You know that psychedelics are making a comeback when the New York Times says so on page 1. In “Hallucinogens Have Doctors Tuning In,” John Tierney reports on how doctors at schools like Harvard, Johns Hopkins, UCLA and NYU are testing the potential of psilocybin and other hallucinogens for treating depression, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder, alcoholism—and for inducing spiritual experiences. Tierney’s brisk overview neglects to mention the most mind-bending of all psychedelics: dimethyltryptamine, or DMT.
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