Saheli*: Musings and Observations
Friday, December 30, 2005
 
Science: Still Not Getting Any Respect

Listening to NPR's Science Friday and I heard a story I meant to blog because I know Saheli loves science, too.

Did you know that an exhibit on Charles Darwin at the American Museum of Natural History hasn't been able find a corporate sponsor? London's Daily Telegraph suggests its “because American companies are anxious not to take sides in the heated debate between scientists and fundamentalist Christians over the theory of evolution.” Come on Microsoft, step up to the plate here! Without sponsorship, the museum will have to depend on the sale of Darwin-related paraphernalia, including, I kid you not, Darwin finger puppets (too late for my Christmas wish list!).

You might want to check out the podcast (not a direct link unfortunately). They also interviewed one of my personal heroes this afternoon: Oliver Sacks.

Speaking of NPR and science, I'm looking forward to this coming Monday's installment of "This I Believe," which I always find engaging. This time round we'll here from Alan Lightman, author of Einstein's Dreams and Good Benito. If you'll indulge me a moment, I'll share a story about why the former book is so special to me.

In May of 1995, I graduated with a Master's degree from Bob Jones University (yes, that BJU), a school known for its fundamentalist Christian bent. Evolution was not taught in the science classes there, except briefly to dismiss it and to endorse the Biblical seven-day creation. However, by the time I graduated, I had effectively parted ways with the university intellectually (how that happened and why I stayed there is a story best told over a few beers), and I have little in common with the institution any more. Well, on the day of graduation, I slipped a copy of Lightman's Einstein's Dreams up the sleeve of my gown and took it through the entire ceremony with me. I believe I even had it in my hand when I went up the stage in front of several thousand people, took my diploma and shook Dr. Bob Jones III's hand. I took the book for a couple of reasons: one, to entertain myself should the proceedings grow a little dull, and two, as a metaphor (known only to myself) for the new intellectual path I'd be taking upon leaving the institution (something by Bertrand Russell would've been, um, harsh).

So I look forward to hearing what Lightman has to say on Monday morning. It'll be a welcome reminder of a conscious path I took just over a decade ago.

A couple of meaningful related quotes:
There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and most wonderful have been, and are being, evolved. - Charles Darwin

I maintain there is much more wonder in science than in pseudoscience. And in addition, to whatever measure this term has any meaning, science has the additional virtue, and it is not an inconsiderable one, of being true. - Carl Sagan
Happy adventuring Saheli!
 


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Saheli Datta started this when she was a journalism student at Columbia in New York. Now she lives in the Bay Area. *Old people call me R. New people, call me Saheli. Thanks! My homepage. Specifically, my links. Email me: Saheli [AT] Gmail [dot] Com

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Blogs I Read (Or Try To)
113th Street
american footprints(Nadezhda & Praktike)
ANNA's Diary
Apartment Therapy
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Dave Barry
The Bellman
Mine's On The 45 (Brimful)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
ChennaiCentral
ClimateBoy
Combing the Sphere
Crooked Timber
Daily Dose of Imagery
The Daily Rhino (Bong Breaker)
Dark Days Ahead
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Atanu Dey on India's Development (Deeshaa)
Daniel Drezner
Ennis
Ephemera
Cyrus Farivar
Finding My Voice
Forsv
Neil Gaiman
Ganesh Blog
Geeky Chic 2.0 (Echan)
Geomblog
Green Ink!
Heliolith
Alexandra Huddleston
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Indeterminacy
India Uncut
InSpiteOfEverything
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter et al
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Jesus Politics
John and Belle Have a Blog
Mark A. R. Kleiman
KnowProse (Taran Rampersad)
1Locana
Maenad (Nori Heikkinen)
Scott McCloud
Mind Without Borders
Electrolite: Patrick & Teresa Nielsen Hayden
Corey Pein
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Kevin G. Powell
QuakeHelp (South Asian Quake)
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
Reneebop
Rhinocrisy
Scott Rosenberg(Salon.com)
Rox Populi
Felix(&Rhian)Salmon
samVaad
Nick Schager
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Sepia Mutiny
Amardeep Singh
Snarkmarket (Robin Sloan & Matt Thompson)
South-East Asian Earthquake and Tsunami Blog
SreeTips: New To Sree
Steprous (Bear)
Robert Stribley
Subjunctive.net:klog
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
Tech Policy
TiffinBox
A Tiny Revolution
To The Teeth
TreeHugger
Unfogged
VatulBlog
Venk@
Manish Vij
Vinod's Blog
War and Piece
Nollind Whachell
Wonkette
WorldChanging
Matthew Yglesias:Old
Yglesias:Tpmcafe
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham
Ethan Zuckerman
Zwichenzug



Some Categories

Blogs focusing on policy, politics, and national security:
Armchair Generalist
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
The Decembrist
Brad DeLong
Daniel Drezner
Eschaton(Atrios)
Green Ink!
Iddybud (Jude Nagurney Camwell)
Idea Spout: Daniel Sanchez
Informed Comment: Juan Cole
Intel Dump: Phillip Carter
The Intersection (Chris Mooney)
Irregular Analyses
Jesus Politics
Mark A. R. Kleiman
Liberals Against Terrorism(Nadezhda & Praktike)
Political Animal(Kevin Drum, formerly Calpundit)
Talking Points Memo: Joshua Micah Marshall
War and Piece
Wonkette
Yglesias:Tpmcafe

Photo Blogs
Daily Dose of Imagery
Ephemera
Alexandra Huddleston
Radiation Persuasion (Nick)
TiffinBox

Columbia Journalism Folks
Apartment Therapy
Back To Iraq 3.0 (Chris Albritton)
Campaign Desk (CJR)
Ranajit Dam
Cyrus Farivar
Alexandra Huddleston
InSpiteOfEverything
Corey Pein
Nick Schager
Zoo Station:Reuben Abraham

Literature, Fiction and Entertainment
Dave Barry
Neil Gaiman
Electrolite: Patrick Nielsen Hayden
Scott McCloud


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