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An elegant chaos

Universal theories are few and far between in ecology, but that is what makes it fascinating.

To some scientists in other fields, ecology must seem relatively straightforward. Many of the organisms live at a very human scale and are easy to access, especially in community ecology. Ecologists do not need special equipment to see and count elk. There are no electron microscopes, space telescopes or drilling rigs that can go wrong. Easy.

A Note on the Passing of Alison Lyons

ISCAST notes with sadness the passing this month of Alison Lyons the widow of Professor Lawrie Lyons the founder of ISCAST.

No one operates on their own and Alison must be recognised for her contribution for at least some of Lawrie's significant achievements as well as for her own.

The neuromyths of the classrooms

Philip Ball for Prospect Magazine writes "It’s not just that the science itself might be poorly interpreted or over-extrapolated. The problem is deeper: whether there exists, or can exist, a firm and reliable link between the objective functioning of neural circuits and the subjective experience of people. Psychology is as much about providing a framework for thinking and talking about the latter as it is about pursuing a reductive explanation in terms of another obscurely named part of the brain anatomy such as the “superior frontal gyrus”."

Minority view should not frame false dichotomy

The relationship between faith and reason — particularly between faith and science — goes to the credibility of being a Christian in the modern world. It is important that a minority view within Christianity is not allowed to frame a false dichotomy between religion and science, writes Fr Chris Middleton SJ, Principal of St Aloysius College in Sydney.

Religious Communities, Science, Scientists and Perceptions: A Comprehensive Survey

A paper prepared for presentation at the Annual Meetings of the American Association for the Advancement of Science by Elaine Howard Ecklund, Rice University, PI.

MH370, mystery and tracking down truth

The tragic disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 has captured the attention of the world and generated a mystery unprecedented in modern aviation. My aeronautical friends and I have watched the story unfold with a mixture of shock and perplexity: how could this have happened?

At the time of writing, the aircraft has still not been found, and a potential search area the size of Australia is currently being scoured for any sign of airliner debris, ten days after the Boeing 777 went missing en route from Kuala Lumpur to Beijing.

 

Reflections on Tyson’s Cosmos, Episode 1

"Reflections on Tyson’s Cosmos, Episode 1" by distinguished astronomer Owen Gingerich

From The BioLogos Forum: "Harvard Professor Emeritus Owen Gingerich has written a brief critique of a historical story featured prominently in the first episode of the new series [of Cosmos]. His post is part of a longer discussion taking place on the American Scientific Affiliation’s webpage about the new Cosmos series in general."

Space Ripples Reveal Big Bang’s Smoking Gun

...he discovered what might have made the universe bang to begin with. A potential hitch in the presumed course of cosmic evolution could have infused space itself with a special energy that exerted a repulsive force, causing the universe to swell faster than the speed of light for a prodigiously violent instant.

 

Interview with our new Executive Project Officer: Chris Mulherin

Thankyou to all who have contributed to ISCAST hiring an Executive Project Officer. We have announced that Chris Mulherin will fill the role, and so we provide an interview so that you can find out a little more about him and the job he is going to do.

Templeton Prize Announcement

Tomáš Halík, a Czech priest and philosopher who risked imprisonment for illegally advancing religious and cultural freedoms after the Soviet invasion of his country, and has since become a leading international advocate for dialogue among different faiths and non-believers, has won the 2014 Templeton Prize.

 

 

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