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Monthly Archives: March 2008

CTDL 100: Is this why religious people are happy?

Bear with me here. In CTDL 095 I linked to a story where studies showed that religious people were, on average, happier than the non-religious. Now we’ve got a story telling us that giving to charity makes people happy as well. So it would seem to make sense then that part of what makes religious [...]

CTDL 099: Space, let’s make pasta

Two articles from the BBC on space today. Saturn’s moon Titan appears to have liquid (as opposed to frozen) water.

Radar images from the Cassini-Huygens mission reinforce predictions that a reservoir of liquid water exists beneath the thick crust of ice.
If confirmed, it would mean that Titan has two of the key components for life – [...]

CTDL 097: Methane in space

A) I’m curious how this is determined (how do we know it’s methane from this distance?).
B) I think the presumption that “it’s too hot for life” sounds a bit presumptuous. As the common belief until recently was that life couldn’t exist in some of the deepest parts of the ocean and yet we’ve found that [...]

CTDL 098: The truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth so help me Buzz Lightyear

Interesting bit of research into which is a more reliable witness, adult or child.

The U.S. legal system has long assumed that all testimony is not equally credible, that some witnesses are more reliable than others. In tough cases with child witnesses, it assumes adult witnesses to be more reliable. But what if the legal system [...]

CTDL 096: Stumbling on the evolutionary event horizon

In Daniel Gilbert’s 2006 book Stumbling on Happiness (page 104-105 in the hardback version) he has this to say about distance.

About fifty years ago a Pygmy named Kenge took his first trip out of the dense, tropical forests of Africa and onto the open plains in the company of an anthropologist. Buffalo appeared in the [...]

CTDL 095: Autism, Krill, Fish, and Happy Religion

I’ve heard other mentions of “gut” related theories regarding autism spectrum disorders, but not specifically this one. It sounds as if more study should be done. I’m not sure there is a scientific basis for this, but perchance Autism spectrum disorders will have to be treated as HIV and AIDS are, with “cocktail” of treatments [...]

CTDL 094: Very tiny medicine

To me, this seems like such a huge step in medical research. With a new way to turn off genes that are causing problems I can imagine this being one of those completely revolutionary discoveries like penicillin.

A more efficient way to shut down rogue genes raises hopes of new therapies for conditions like diabetes and [...]

CTDL 093: Chad evacuation

The use of satellite technology to track people fleeing from violence is interesting, but not nearly as important as the fact the violence is happening in the first place.

Using satellites orbiting over Africa, human rights groups published UNOSAT satellite imagery to show, in very simple terms, the human cost of violence in the Chadian capital [...]

CTDL 092: Prelude to an evolutionary understanding

I’ll start off with the link, and the excerpt from somebody who’s probably going to do a much better job than I at explaining anything.

Sacred texts such as the Bible say so many things that almost any position can be supported by selecting the right passages. So it is with scientific hypotheses. In [previous article], [...]

CTDL 091: Exercise? What?

Another departure from our “usual” link here. I’m debating putting this together for my house. We’ve got a treadmill in the garage (and it doesn’t get used much). If I can put together a simple desk prop gadget to hold my laptop it might not be a bad way to start the morning. Get up [...]