Friday, March 02, 2007

A Few Words from Denyse

I am having a rerally hard time keeping up with blogging now that I am proofreading The Spiritual Brain.

Funny, you don't think you write much until you have to proofread it.

Anyway, I put up some stories of interest to people of faith over at the Mindful Hack.

1. Health: Hospitals now factor lifestyle beliefs and practices into wellness

Some hospitals have come a long way toward realizing how important it is to adapt to the life beliefs of patients, especially the older ones, according to a recent article in Jewish World Review:

"The hospital perks of yesteryear - designer gowns, valet parking, Internet access - stressed luxury and convenience. Today, hospitals have found G-d.

Hospitals are now touting "Shabbat elevators" for observant Jews, "bloodless surgery" for Jehovah's Witnesses and Muslim prayer rooms.

The new services show that hospitals have begun adapting to the religious mosaic of patients - and are increasingly marketing to patients not by disease or age, but by belief."

2. Evolutionary psychology watch: Natural selection, not consciousness, accounts for sexual jealousy?

What, you may ask, is the connection between the idea that consciousness is an illusion and the idea that sexual jealousy is simply the outworking of natural selection? Well, if you believe that consciousness is not an illusion and that it can initiate action, you can readily account for the hostility that a person (or dog or cat, for that matter) perceives toward a new favorite. An intelligent life form perceives benefits lost and reacts accordingly. No further explanation in the form of a mechanism is needed because the perception itself drives the process.

(But the evolutionary psychologist is compelled to seek for a mechanism that drives the process, hence the obsession with the search for an illusory driver in the form of natural selection.)

3. On Sam Harris's Letters to a Christian Nation

"The thing is, you can be anti-God in the US, and your books will sell. Try being anti-God in the Middle East and your head may be rolling and bouncing along the cobblestones. The real tragedy of modern-day materialist atheism is that it's quite easy in places where no one takes you seriously and quite impossible in places where everyone does."

And at the Post-Darwinist, I introduce my 13-part series on the recent, widely publicized anti-God crusade. Atheists are very, very worried, and with good reason.

Denyse O'Leary

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