New Blogroll Entry

I've found a great new blog to add to the blogroll, 13.7 from NPR. Before you go there, guess what 13.7 references. I'll post the answer at the end.

The Faster We Live, The Shorter We Seem To Be On Time isn't at all about what you think. In fact, it's the best concise statement of time and evolution, including cultural evolution, I've read. It starts:
Our understanding of the natural world has undergone astonishing transformations in recent times. We now understand ... our planet to have undergone a 4.5-billion-year evolutionary process and life on our planet to have undergone a ~3.5-billion-year evolutionary process. We now understand that we humans share a common ancestor with all the other creatures on the planet -- that we are all genetically related -- with more complex traits emergent from less complex traits. We understand that humans appeared on the planet a mere 150,000 years ago. And we understand that the planet -- as a whole -- is an ecosystem composed of countless sub-ecosystems. Each sub-ecosystem is emergent from the relationships between its parts, where the parts -- the organisms and their environmental contexts -- are continuously in flux, continuously engaged in the evolutionary process of variation and natural selection.
And actually gets better as it approaches current time, in only 6 more paragraphs! A great example of the blog's subtitle (and hint to what 13.7 references), Cosmos and Culture.

The post is authored by a member of the blog, Ursula Goodenough (what a name!) and a guest, Michael Kalton, whose attribution is "a world-renowned expert on Korean Neo-Confucianism who teaches at the University of Washington Tacoma. He holds a joint Ph.D. in comparative religion and East Asian languages and civilizations from Harvard University." And he's writing on evolution, wow!

Replace the ... in the quote above with "the cosmos to have undergone a 13.7-billion-year evolutionary process,".

UPDATE: I saw this in the Random Post widget and realized I have to update it. I have no idea if it was intentional or not, but after posting some really good science items, the blog has become heavy with culture, by which they mean a natural spirituality. Especially infuriating, it promotes accommodationism, or the tactic of never angering religious believers by pointing out the wrongness of their supernatural beliefs. Science and religion are two different, but equally valid, "ways of knowing." I commented on a few posts listed below and the answers were weak tea to say the least. I soon took it off the blogroll and haven't checked it since.

The Hidden Dimension of Science vs. Religion

Beyond the Science-Religion Debate: A Spiritual Ecology?

I checked it to get those links, and there is still nonsense there: Can Science Explain Creation? (notice a pattern of ? marks in the titles. If you can guess the answer, then the question, and the post, fails.) Here's an example:
If, as Einstein’s general relativity has shown, space-time is plastic, and if, as quantum mechanics has shown, there is a fundamental limitation as observers try to extract information about the material world, it follows that, as we attempt to combine quantum mechanics with relativity, the very structure of space and time must be reinterpreted. In particular, within the framework of the big bang theory, as we travel backwards in time, we must understand how quantum gravity will confront the existence of a classical singularity: the problem of the first cause enters the quantum realm.
(August 16, 2010)