Why We Do What We Do

It’s TED Talk Tuesday, and today’s video is Rev. Michael Dowd’s 2012 TEDx Talk which reexamines faith traditions and what science is now revealing about human nature and instincts:

The world’s faith traditions offer conflicting beliefs about our inner and outer nature, and our challenges. Fortunately, a knowledge-based view of reality is emerging, which is inspiring and uniting people across the globe. Rev. Michael Dowd sees scientific, historic, and cross-cultural evidence as modern-day scripture. He celebrates how a meaningful and fully evidential understanding of human nature is motivating people of all backgrounds and beliefs to live in integrity and to cooperate in service of a just and thriving future for all.



Rev. Michael Dowd: Why We Struggle.

Climate Crisis: Humanity At Its Finest?

Humans are such complicated creatures. We are wreaking havoc on a global scale because of a big-is-better, greed-is-good mentality that dominates most nations and corporations (combined with an “it’s too hard to change” attitude on the part of much of the populace). Yet we are also capable of great compassion, and heroic deeds of service to fellow creatures, human and other. At this point in our history, the choice we make between those two will lead us, our children and all future generations down the path either to unimaginable destruction or to equally unimaginable – and unprecedented – abundant life on this planet.

Firefighters are courageously fighting wildfires around the world. This photo is an example of humanity at its finest. This picture, out of Australia, has been making the rounds on Facebook:

source: Facebook



For those of you interested in science and climate, specifically climate change, mega-fauna, and plants, PhD student and blogger Jacquelyn Gill from the University of Wisconsin-Madison is taking the unusual step of streaming her thesis defence live on the internet. Entitled “The Biogeography of Biotic Upheaval: Novel ecosystems and the end-Pleistocene megafaunal extinctions”. According to the Why Evolution Is True blog:

In other words, what happened as all those giant mammals and birds disappeared at about the time humans popped up in their environments?  This is a big question, with implication not only for our understanding of the past, but also for trying to see into the future, and to understand what will happen in the coming decades through climate change and direct human activity. Jacquelyn’s research looks particularly at the role of plants in disturbed ecosystems, as indicated on this neat poster for her talk, made by Jeremy Parker.

The defense will begin at 1:00 pm CST today (Thursday July 7). Click here to view it. Jacquelyn blogs over at The Contemplative Mammoth.