Humanist Perspectives: issue 188, Spring 2014

Issue 188, Spring 2014

cover of issue 188
Humanist Perspectives is a refreshing, rational analysis of modern events and culture and is available at select magazine stores or by online subscription.


Actions Speak Louder Than Words by Richard Young
It’s a shameful part of North American history that once upon a time, not so very long ago, you could be denied a seat on a bus, or admission into a school, or a patch of sand on a public beach if you happened to have the “wrong” skin colour. The so-called Jim Crow Laws that tainted so much of the United States up until just a few decades ago still haunt America’s collective psyche.

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Our Economic Development Policies Are Environmentally Disastrous by William E. Rees
While no single hyper-storm can be positively attributed to human disruption of the global climate system, climate models predict that extreme weather events will increase in frequency and violence...
Franklin’s Unholy Lightning Rod by Al Seckel and John Edwards
It is well-known that the Catholic and Protestant churches opposed the scientific theories of Galileo and Copernicus, but did you know they also opposed Benjamin Franklin’s lightning rod?
Human Nature: Genetic Propensities and Symbolic Language by Arthur Jackson
Why are human beings so different from every other species on earth, in spite of all we have in common?
75 Years of Atom Splitting by Jeremy Whitlock
On Christmas day in 1938, Lise Meitner and Otto Frisch took a famous walk in the snow in Sweden and solved the mystery – the “strange results” were actually the smaller products of uranium splitting, a process that Frisch coined “fission”.

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Native Spirituality: The making of a new religion by Lloyd Hawkeye Robertson
Using historical data coupled with personal experience this article makes the case that native or aboriginal spirituality has been evolving into a religion similar to those of the Judeo-Christian tradition, with one surprising distinction: the concept of sin has been replaced by the concept of historical trauma.

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NOTEWORTHY , a compilation of news briefs from around the world
A selection of news briefs from around the world. A link to the original is provided at the end of each brief.

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Me and My Microbiome by John K. Nixon
Until recently I had always imagined that human beings, and other life forms, existed within well-defined limits as essentially self-contained operating physiological systems. We have our own built-in immune systems that help to protect us from hostile microbes ...
Christoslovakia: A Thought Experiment by Michael Paulkovich
Can you imagine a nation founded on the Ten Commandments? Michael Paulkovich gives it a shot.

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Unlikely Friendship by Nancy P. Swartz
Yesterday Jerry and I flew to Orlando, Florida, changing planes in Salt Lake City. Aboard the new flight we hoped for the privacy of all three seats, but a woman was assigned to our row...

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TV SERIES REVIEW by Louise Martin
Louise Martin reviews Call the Midwife.


Glen Harper reviews Clearing the Plains: Disease, Politics of Starvation, and the Loss of Aboriginal Life by James Daschuk
In addition, Humanist Perspectives offers a lively Letters-to-the-Editor section as well as Book Reviews, books available for review and snippets of international news of interest to humanists.