Social psychologist Ellen Langer's unconventional studies have long suggested what brain science is now revealing: our experiences are formed by the words and ideas we attach to them. Naming something "play" rather than "work" can mean the difference between delight and drudgery. She is one of the early pioneers — along with figures like Jon Kabat-Zinn and Herbert Benson — in drawing a connection between mindlessness and unhappiness, between mindfulness and health. Dr. Langer describes mindfulness as achievable without meditation or yoga — as “the simple act of actively noticing things.”
On March 17, scientists announced new findings consistent with the Big Bang Theory. Gravitational waves dating back to instants after the universe came into being, 13.7 billion years ago, were detected by telescope.
Regardless of mounting empirical evidence calling into question the account of creation described in the Bible’s book of Genesis, those who are firmly in the Creationism camp are unlikely to be swayed.
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Happiness. A word that gets bandied about quite a bit lately, and for good reason. As the fields of neuroscience, biology, psychology, and so many others reveal the science behind our brains, we discover more about ourselves. Our moods, our emotions, our behaviors are driven by a mix of environmental factors and genetic predispositions.
The infographic above may not capture the details of the science, but it jogs a host of questions and insights. A few thoughts to chew on:
For their revolutionary prediction of the Higgs boson – the so-called God particle – physicists Peter Higgs and Francois Englert were recently awarded the Nobel Prize in physics. Although their discovery lays the groundwork for explaining the nature and essence of pretty much everything we see, there is at least one question that remains to be answered: Where did the thought of the Higgs boson come from?
But first, a little background.
The push and pull between religion and science has shaped advances in geology from the beginning. David Montgomery set out to debunk Noah’s Flood; instead he discovered this biblical story was the plate tectonics of its day. He tells us how the evolution of landscapes and geological processes shape ecology and humanity. And, how we should read rocks for the stories they tell about who we are and where we came from.
Human memory is a sensory experience says psychiatrist Bessel van der Kolk. Through his longtime research and innovation in trauma treatment, he shares what he's learning how bodywork like yoga or eye movement therapy can restore a sense of goodness and safety. And what he’s learning speaks to a resilience we can all cultivate in the face of the overwhelming events that after all make up the drama of culture, of news, of life.
When you believe strongly in an idea, how do you shepherd it into being? As senior editor Trent Gilliss explains, sometimes it takes years of perseverance and framing.
One of the values of science is to make us uncomfortable says Lawrence Krauss. The particle physicist explains why we should all care about dark energy and the Higgs Boson particle. Science literacy matters, and, more importantly, he suggests we should take joy in science — just as we cultivate enjoyment of arts we may not completely comprehend.