Two more for the new year

Two new year studies addressed revealing controversies in the US culture wars. The New York Times (NYT) reports of two economists' conference paper (pdf, 63pp) to this year's annual meeting of the American Economic Association. According to NYT, Professor Gordon Dahl of the University of California, San Diego, and Stefano DellaVigna, an economist at the University of California, Berkeley, find
that violent films prevent violent crime by attracting would-be assailants and keeping them cloistered in darkened, alcohol-free environs.
Their paper suggests killing time at a movie is not spent in more violent behavior or tendencies.
"Economics is about choice," Professor Dahl said. "What would these people have done if they had not chosen to go and see a movie?...on days with a high audience for violent movies, violent crime is lower."
NYT quotes Melissa Henson, senior director of programs at the Parents Television Council, "The study's premise strikes me as somewhat goofy."

In 1999 the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) published a report (OpenBook, 48pp) which, according to the NAS website,
states unequivocally that creationism has no place in any science curriculum at any grade level.
However nine years later, NYT reported earlier this week that the NAS Committee on Revising Science and Creationism new book is meant to further defend and explain
the fundamental methods of science, document the overwhelming evidence in support of biological evolution, and evaluate the alternative perspectives offered by advocates of various kinds of creationism, including "intelligent design."
Including statements from biologists and members of the clergy, the report is intended for students, school boards, legislators, policy makers, and leaders of the community.
...science and religion should be viewed as different ways of understanding the world rather than as frameworks that are in conflict with each other and that the evidence for evolution can be fully compatible with religious faith.
Science, Evolution, and Creationism
(2008, OpenBook, 88pp)

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Blogger Eric Bryant said...

It annoys me that creationists and scientists keep rekindling this debate.

I agree with the statement that science and religion should not be placed in an adversarial relationship to one another. At some point, the scientific community at large will realize that spiritual intuition is a viable path to knowledge; and religionists will realize that the scientific method is also a way in which the heavens give us knowledge.

Eric Bryant
NJ Piano Teacher &
Music Educator

Anonymous Bead talk said...

Science and religion is a very dangerous mix where tensions explode into violence all too often.


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