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Science


God of Progress, Slow Us Down

In his essay “After the Storm,” author Ben Ehrenreich investigates the concept of progress. It’s in the air, he argues, so elemental we don’t always know we’re breathing it. “We are in thrall,” he writes, “to the fetish of progress: the belief that history has a direction and a purpose, the faith that humankind is […]

Very Superstitious: The Human Propensity for Faith in the Unseen

“We make trifles of terrors, ensconcing ourselves into seeming knowledge, when we should submit ourselves to an unknown fear.” – William Shakespeare A couple of months ago, Julie Jargon wrote a piece in the Wall Street Journal called “My Baby Monitor Is Haunted,” about a number of parents who have witnessed paranormal activity from the […]

Text Message for the Otherworld

When I was in school, Facebook was young. One evening, I saw a dead classmate’s profile, his picture featured on the sidebar, a recommended friend. I spent the next hours perusing the status updates he had posted when he did not realize his days were numbered. For anyone wondering, now Facebook has an answer for […]

Summer in Omelas: What Are We to Do With All This (Climate) Grief? Part 2

If we do not transform our pain, we will most assuredly transmit it … Scapegoating, exporting our unresolved hurt, is the most common storyline of human history. The Jesus Story is about radically transforming history and individuals so that we don’t just keep handing on the pain to the next generation. Richard Rohr, “Transforming Pain” […]

Summer in Omelas: What Are We to Do With All This (Climate) Grief? Part 1

Our present ecological crisis, the biggest single practical threat to our human existence … has, religious people would say, a great deal to do with our failure to think of the world as existing in relation to the mystery of God — not just as a huge warehouse of stuff to be used for our […]

Are Friends Electric? And Is Grace Digital?

This one’s especially for Andy, Anna, Blake, Caleb, Chris, Jeff, Kristin, Nathan, Reed, and Trevor. It seems like a hilariously ironic turn of Providence that I who have been so deeply suspicious of connectivity through electronic media and its pernicious (albeit often unintended) consequences should find the friends I am most in touch with, most […]

I Deleted My Social Media and Didn’t Tell Anyone (Except You)

I deleted all of my social media accounts a month ago and I didn’t tell anyone.  Well, two qualifications. First, I deleted LinkedIn (honestly, I don’t remember ever signing up for LinkedIn) and Twitter, but I only deactivated Facebook and Instagram because the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak and I haven’t downloaded […]

The Human Is Very Important Right Now

At the soup kitchen where I accidentally volunteered for a couple of years, the following exchange happened more than once. Observing the guests at plastic fold-up tables, a volunteer would whisper what we’d all at some point wondered. “How do they afford it? Who pays for these phones?” Ostensibly low-income, possibly homeless, the guests were […]

The Science of Miracles

This one comes to us from Tim Burbery. Passover is upon us, providing a superb opportunity for reflecting on the original event as well as the miracle of the Exodus. A number of scientific theories have attempted to explain how the plagues and the Red Sea crossing could be accounted for by natural causes, and […]

Why Microsoft’s Super Bowl Ad Won’t Leave Me Alone

This one comes to us from Ed Uszynski. It will be pretty easy to forget Super Bowl LIII, its halftime show, and its commercials, as none of the three produced much inescapably memorable drama. But the Microsoft ad touting its XBox Adaptive Controller is proving surprisingly harder to shake simply because I moved from initially hating it […]

The Art of Subtlety in Faith (and Doubt): Our Interview with Meghan O’Gieblyn

Our first peek into the Faith & Doubt Issue is this interview with Meghan O’Gieblyn, author of the new book of essays, Interior States. We also were lucky enough to republish parts of her essay, originally published in The Point, “The Insane Idea.” Copies of Faith & Doubt can be gotten here, and here.  If […]

New Parties for the Age of Social Media

Who actually flies to Vegas for a bachelor party? I’m not being mean or judgmental here. I really want to know. Who has that kind of money to spend on a friend? I mean, if you’re living in LA and Vegas is only 4 car hours away, make like The Hangover and have a good (and […]