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Showing posts from June, 2006

Slating the thirst for knowledge... an addiction...?

'Thirst for knowledge' may simulate opium craving
General Science : June 20, 2006

http://www.physorg.com/news70030587.html

Neuroscientists have proposed a simple explanation for the pleasure of grasping a new concept: The brain is getting its fix. The "click" of comprehension triggers a biochemical cascade that rewards the brain with a shot of natural opium-like substances, said Irving Biederman of the University of Southern California. He presents his theory in an invited article in the latest issue of American Scientist.

"While you're trying to understand a difficult theorem, it's not fun," said Biederman, professor of neuroscience in the USC College of Letters, Arts and Sciences.

"But once you get it, you just feel fabulous."

The brain's craving for a fix motivates humans to maximize the rate at which they absorb knowledge, he said.

"I think we're exquisitely tuned to this as if we're junkies, second by second."

Bie…

"The better part of valor is discretion"

Wall Street Journal. (Eastern edition).
June 16, 2006. pg. A.1

Scientist's Study Of Brain Genes Sparks a Backlash

Antonio Regalado


[Dr. Bruce Lahn of the Univeristy of Chicago] says he is moving away from the research. "It's getting too controversial," he says....

Dr. Lahn had touched a raw nerve in science: race and intelligence.

Dr. Lahn has drawn sharp fire from other leading genetics researchers. They say the genetic differences he found may not signify any recent evolution -- and even if they do, it is too big a leap to suggest any link to intelligence. "This is not the place you want to report a weak association that might or might not stand up," says Francis Collins, director of the genome program at the National Institutes of Health....

Pilar Ossorio, a professor of law and medical ethics at the University of Wisconsin, criticizes Dr. Lahn for implying a conclusion similar to "The Bell Curve," a controversial 1994 bestseller by Richard J. Herrnst…

The role of dominance (power tripping) in the Islamic Threat

The week following the Muslim protests in London against the Danish cartoons—with marchers carrying signs calling for the beheading of infidels—other Muslims demonstrated to claim that Islam really meant peace and tolerance. While their implicit recognition that peace and tolerance are preferable to strife and bigotry, the claim regarding Islam was both historically and intellectually preposterous. Only someone ignorant of the most elementary facts could believe such a thing, or... they are suffering from serious delusions.

From the first, Islam was a religion of pillage, violence, and compulsion, which it justified and glorified. And it is certainly not "the evident truth of the doctrine itself," to quote Gibbon with regard for what, with characteristic irony, he called the primary reason for the rapid spread of Christianity throughout the civilized world, that explains the exponential growth of the Dar-al-Islam in its early history.

It is important, of course, to distinguis…