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Links With Your Coffee - Monday

  • Science is just one gene away from defeating religion | Comment is free | The Observer
    Science has rampaged over the landscape of divine explanation, provoking denial or surrender from the church. Christian leaders, even the Catholic church, have reluctantly accommodated the discoveries of scientists, with the odd burning at the stake and excommunication along the way.

    But I was astounded to discover how topical the issue of Galileo's trial still is in the Vatican and how resistant many Christians are to scientific ideas that challenge scriptural accounts. More than half of Americans, even a third of Brits, still believe that God created humans in their present form.

    The process of Christian accommodation is a bit like the fate of fieldmice confronted by a combine harvester, continuously retreating into the shrinking patch of uncut wheat.


  • Fifty-Two Stories » 1. The Missing Statues
    The best short fiction is only small in terms of word count. The form's true practitioners place a premium on concision even as they allow their imaginations free rein. That tension between control and freedom is where the short story lives.
    —Richard Russo

  • The novelist in wartime | Salon Books
    I have come to Jerusalem today as a novelist, which is to say as a professional spinner of lies.

    Of course, novelists are not the only ones who tell lies. Politicians do it, too, as we all know. Diplomats and military men tell their own kinds of lies on occasion, as do used car salesmen, butchers and builders. The lies of novelists differ from others, however, in that no one criticizes the novelist as immoral for telling lies. Indeed, the bigger and better his lies and the more ingeniously he creates them, the more he is likely to be praised by the public and the critics. Why should that be?

    My answer would be this: Namely, that by telling skillful lies -- which is to say, by making up fictions that appear to be true -- the novelist can bring a truth out to a new location and shine a new light on it. In most cases, it is virtually impossible to grasp a truth in its original form and depict it accurately. This is why we try to grab its tail by luring the truth from its hiding place, transferring it to a fictional location, and replacing it with a fictional form. In order to accomplish this, however, we first have to clarify where the truth lies within us. This is an important qualification for making up good lies.


  • identity theory | interviews | richard ford
    Pulitzer Prize-winning author talks with Robert Birnbaum about his latest (and last) Frank Bascombe novel, The Lay of the Land

  • Respectful Insolence: Best pro-vaccine commercial ever?

  • Stranger Fruit: Creationist credentialing redux

  • Bible put on top shelf in move to appease Muslims - Telegraph
    Muslims have complained that the Koran is often displayed on the lower shelves, which is deemed offensive as many believe the holy book should be placed above "commonplace things".
  • Forget your photo-ID for your EasyJet flight? Just go print one up! - Boing Boing


 

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