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Archive for the ‘Evolutionary Spirituality’ Category

Religion and Science in Pastoral Ministry – Washington …

Posted: March 31, 2015 at 1:46 am

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For an outstanding Resource in Religion and Science for teaching, see the study guide developed by WTC faculty members:Evolution and Original Sin.

Overview of Atom+Eve Project at Washington Theological Union 2011-2013

Welcome to friends of the atom + Eve Project! All of the materials associated with the 2011-13 set of conferences related to the exploration of using science in pastoral ministry have been relocated to this page. The Washington Theological Consortium is a strong proponent of dialogue between religion and science and, in cooperation with one of our founding members, the Washington Theological Union, we were pleased to be part of this important undertaking. Please continue to make use of the printed materials, audio files and videos from these presentations in your academic or ministry settings.

The Washingon Theological Union with the support of a grant from the John Templeton Foundation, initiated a program to encourage a lively conversation between scientists and theologians on big issues of common interest such as creation, evolution, and spirituality. Under the leadership of Rev. Joseph F. Wimmer, S.T.D. and Daryl P. Domning, Ph.D., four public conferences featuring scientists and theologians were held between fall 2011 and spring 2013 on various issues of the interaction between science and religion. The results are published here and available to all.

Conference 1: November 2011

Scientists Stephen M. Barr (Univ. of Delaware) andStenOdenwald(NASA), along with Catholic University theologians Robert D. Miller and James Wiseman, OSB, provided us with much food for thought and a sophisticated understanding of divine creation in their November 12, 2011 presentations on the Origin of the Universe.

Dr. Stephen M. Barr, PhD, University of Delaware

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Religion and Science in Pastoral Ministry - Washington ...

Written by grays

March 31st, 2015 at 1:46 am

Marty Kaplan: What matters to me & why

Posted: March 14, 2015 at 6:47 am

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I began making a list of what matters to me. Intellectual curiosity. Climate change. The First Amendment. My family. Giving back. One friend said to me, I know what Id say: Money. Another friend told me: Those talks can be surprisingly honest.

That got me thinking. Whats the most honest answer I could give?

Right then, I knew. I had to come out. I had to say a three-letter word, beginning with G.


For an academic, saying something good about God can be one of the last great taboos. So lets break it. Im talking about my relationship with God and no-God. You know that campaign, It Gets Better?

Well, my message is, It Gets Different. Sometimes you dont even see the difference coming. I sure didnt.

It was tooth-grinding that got me back to God.

I didnt know I was on a spiritual path at the time. I began meditating for the same secular reason that millions of others have taken it up: stress reduction. I couldnt face wearing a night guard to protect my teeth from stress, and the alternative I stumbled onto was meditation. I thought I was just learning a practical technique, picking up a little mind-body medicine. If meditation could help people facing terrible things, like cancer, why not me and my molars?

I got more from mind-body medicine than I bargained for. I got religion.

Stress, a defining disorder of our era, may yet turn out to be helpful to our species, serendipitously leading a ragtag band of agnostics and secular humanists, the nonbelievers and the lapsed, clench-jawed baby boomers and frazzled millennials, to reconsider their verdict on God.

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Marty Kaplan: What matters to me & why

Written by grays

March 14th, 2015 at 6:47 am

Quantum Consciousness: Reconciling Science and …

Posted: March 11, 2015 at 9:49 am

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It is vain to be always looking toward the future and never acting toward it. John Frederick Boyes, English essayist (1811 1879)

The human being has to become what he thinks himself to be. Rudolf Steiner

Human thinking is in need of a new model that constructs the human being and consciousness within an energetic universe that is compatible with both modern science and spiritual teachings. However, this need not demand of us that we throw away the knowledge that we have learned up to this point. On the contrary, we are required to not only work with our current knowledge-base but also to expand these resources to help us move forward into new paradigms of thought concerning human consciousness and the processes operating within the human being. In this time of our developing sciences and new technologies we have the assistance of ever-greater analysis and emerging discoveries that are evolving the parameters of our thinking. It is likely that the next stage in our human sciences will be centred on our understanding of consciousness; and how we are intimately connected to each another and our wider energetic environment.

We have discovered from recent science that each of us carries around with us a 100 billion-cell bioelectric computer that filters and ultimately interprets what we come to see as our reality. Almost all of its 100 billion neurons were established the day we were born, with around 250,000 neurons created every minute whilst our bodies were forming in the womb. Still, this phenomenal reality shaper has undergone monumental perceptual change over our evolutionary history. However, when compared to the skeletal remains of prehistoric human beings there appears to have been no observable change in human anatomy for at least 100,000 years. In comparison, our human mind has taken leaps from its earliest cave-art beginnings. This suggests that we have shifted from biological to cultural to a neuro evolutionary path and that further advance involves the development of the human nervous system and our consciousness. What is required, at this significant juncture, is again another catalyst of consciousness change. The next step that is required is likely to be a neuro-genetic evolutionary shift, and will be a necessary step in order to move beyond the limitations of our current developmental impasse. Civilizations in our historical past (and perhaps also in our unknown past) have collapsed as they evolved to the limits of their material resources without there being a parallel development in human consciousness. At such vital transition periods it is essential that a conscious energy force be introduced into the stream of human life in order to catalyze the next spurt in evolutionary growth. Without such conscious energy the material systems are in danger of either running out of control (as is the case now) and/or breaking down which may also be the case in the near future. Such a conscious energy force needs to serve as an impulse to help catalyze human civilization towards new modes of self-knowledge and understanding, often referred to under Maslow as self-directed actualization. Such a catalyst may appear, as this paper hopes to show, through discoveries in the field of quantum biology, quantum physics, and neuroscience.

It is my contention that emerging research in the quantum sciences throws new light upon the workings of the human mind/brain and consciousness, as well as the human nervous system and our genetic blueprint DNA. This research, as this paper discusses, creates a bigger picture whereby emerges a coherency between our biology, our human physiology, and an energetic field of consciousness. Because of this, we could say that we are at the edge of a possible quantum evolution of the human species. It may also be reasonable to say that there are already new generations of people who, as evolutionary agents of change, are manifesting symptoms of such transformational changes. As in any evolutionary shift there appear amongst the species the initial beginnings of such transformation before the change becomes more widespread. These speculations will be returned to later in the paper.

It is fair to say that our global civilization now finds itself at a critical crossroads of development, both in terms of physical resources as well as modes of thinking. It thus becomes imperative that we orientate our perceptive faculties in favour of the potential evolutionary transformation of human consciousness. In recent years our western societies, at least, have developed in detriment to conscious evolution. This is one of the major reasons behind the cultural failings of our critical times. There has been little preparation, discussion, and research into how humanity, both physically and mentally, can deal with great change when it disrupts both scientific and religious belief systems. In our material age there is a tendency to dismiss spiritual concerns as realms of fantasy; likewise, those people of spiritual leaning often dismiss science as being inadequate to guide us into the future. Thus, a great amount of our energies have been channelled into creating an unstable and radically polarised world. What is required, however, is a reconciliation of the scientists with the humanists (C.P. Snows Two Cultures) and a combination of research and energy into stimulating a progressive understanding of the evolutionary trajectory of our species. In the worst case scenario we could face a process of devolution; it is my contention, however, that this will not be the case. Part of our dilemma though rests in our blindness over how our mental and perceptual faculties operate.

The human brain as a collection of nerve cells operates as a multi-layered frequency receptor. Due to initial conditionings early on in life each receptor becomes wired to perceive a particular wave frequency. As the brains receptors tune-in to a particular pattern of frequency waves a pattern recognition response is received by the brain and interpreted according to the perceptions allotted to the frequency. In other words, the act of tuning in involves picking-up familiar frequency patterns out of the ocean of frequencies that surround us constantly. By tuning into the same patterns again and again we are reinforcing a particular reality-set. We are thus tuning into a consensus reality pattern unconsciously and forming our perceptions continually from this. Unfamiliar patterns often get ignored since they do not fall within our receptor remit. Perception is thus dynamically created moment by moment as the brain constantly scans the bands of frequencies that surround us. However, if this pattern-recognition behaviour does not evolve over time our perceptual development is in danger of becoming stalled. The result is that we become fixed or trapped within a particular reality. This is why human development requires that we move through various paradigm shifts[1] in order to evolve our collective thinking/perceptual patterns. In other words, our development rests upon simultaneous biological processes as well as psychical. According to noted consciousness researcher Gopi Krishna, the maturing of the nervous system and the brain is a biological process, depending on a host of psychic and material factors (Krishna 1999: 56).

The vulnerability of this process is that we become too accustomed to particular perceptual patterns and ignore other sensory inputs or influences. Also, as a species we have been collectively un-informed about methods obtainable to shift among various frequency bands and patterns. This knowledge has been available within various wisdom traditions (such as shamanism and occult and mystery schools) yet kept out of the public domain. The end result is that we become fixed and dogmatic in our sensory beliefs and cling desperately to the small section of reality we perceive as the whole. Yet the human brain, and nervous system, is flexible enough to shift between frequency patterns and to interpret realities beyond the consensual pattern. In past generations many mystery schools considered humankind too immature to undertake such training hence the need for rigorous and strict initiation rituals and testing. This embargo on such knowledge and techniques has helped foster the domination of materialistic science to the point whereby we are taught to dismiss subjective and intuitive impulses and experiences. However, it has now become an evolutionary necessity that our dominant reliance upon material pursuits be balanced with an increase in consciousness research that supports the significant role of a shared mind. The next stage of human development, I posit, will be of a neuro-genetic nature which using present terminology aligns with a form of quantum consciousness.

Quantum Coherence, Quantum Consciousness

The human body is a constant flux of thousands of chemical/biological inter-reactions and processes connecting molecules, cells, organs, fluids, throughout the brain, body and nervous system. Up until recently it was thought that all these countless interactions operated in a linear sequence, passing on information much like a runner passing the baton to the next runner. However, the latest findings in quantum biology and biophysics have discovered that there is in fact a tremendous degree of coherence within all living systems. It has been found through extensive scientific investigation that a form of quantum coherence operates within living biological systems through what is known as biological excitations and biophoton emission. What this means is that metabolic energy is stored as a form of electromechanical and electromagnetic excitations. It is these coherent excitations that are considered responsible for generating and maintaining long-range order via the transformation of energy and very weak electromagnetic signals. After nearly twenty years of experimental research, Fritz-Albert Popp put forward the hypothesis that biophotons are emitted from a coherent electrodynamical field within the living system (Popp, et al 1988). What this effectively means is that each living cell is giving off, or resonating, a biophoton field of coherent energy. If each cell is emitting this field then the whole living system is, in effect, a resonating field a ubiquitous non-local field. And since it is by the means of biophotons that the living system communicates, then there is near instantaneous intercommunication throughout. And this, claims Popp, is the basis for coherent biological organization referred to as quantum coherence. This discovery led Popp to state that the capacity for evolution rests not on aggressive struggle and rivalry but on the capacity for communication and cooperation. In this sense the in-built capacity for species evolution is not based on the individual but rather living systems that are interlinked within a coherent whole:

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Quantum Consciousness: Reconciling Science and ...

Written by grays

March 11th, 2015 at 9:49 am

Teilhard ‘s Evolutionary Spirituality – Teilhard for Beginners

Posted: February 19, 2015 at 7:55 pm

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Teilhardian spirituality and his path to God are fresh and new in many ways. Here are a few that will be discussed in greater detail later on:

1. A New Starting Point

Teilhards spirituality takes a different starting point from most classic approaches to God. Unlike those approaches which require that you spurn the world in order to love God, Teilhard wrote The Divine Milieu for those who love passionately both God AND the world.

2. Picturing God

In addition to the two classical ways of picturing Godeither far away in heaven (transcendent) or living within your heart (immanent)Teilhards spirituality presents a third, much more comprehensive way to view our relationship with God. God is the One in whom we live and move and have our being. This is a way that was recognized in ancient times but never emphasized by formal religions.

3. Evolution and Science

Teilhards spirituality embraces and accepts the findings of modern science, especially the laws of evolution, which are at the roots of his thought. His approach does not distance itself from science, progress, complexity, modern life, information technology, or the media, as traditional spiritualities tend to do.

4. A Shared Destiny

Teilhard takes traditional individual spiritualitymy personal relationship to God and my personal enlightenment or salvationand expands it to become part of the grand project envisioned by God for humanitya shared planetary destiny.

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Teilhard 's Evolutionary Spirituality - Teilhard for Beginners

Written by grays

February 19th, 2015 at 7:55 pm

Evolutionary Landscapes | Consciousness, Culture, and the …

Posted: February 16, 2015 at 12:45 pm

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The Noosphere and Cosmic Christ: Happy Birthday Teilhard de Chardin

Happy birthday, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin (May 1, 1885 April 10, 1955). Give a listen to this excellent biographical podcast with Ursula King, Andrew Revkin, and David Sloak Wilson.

King: The human is not finished yet!

Tippet: He sees evolution both on a physical and spiritual that evolution proceeds towards spirit. Even as he looks towards Peking Man, and see himself as a 21st century human, he imagines future man looking back and seeing a primitive spirituality. He imagines this flowering of consciousness; this evolutionary consciousness.

King: Its mind blowing! The whole region of cyberspace They say Teilhard is the patron saint of the world wide web. He used to say that we will intensify our communication: but what are we doing with it? Thats the big question. We have to create it.

Though banned from publication in his lifetime, Teilhards posthumous writings went on to influence brilliant thinkers in their own right like media theoristMarshall McLuhan, scifi [1] writerPhilip K. Dick, and more recently,Rev. Matthew Fox,Thomas Berry,Brian Swimme, and theologianElizabeth Johnsonsecological thoughtand growing forward tradition.

Read the Mass on the World here.

The Phenomenon of Man.

[1] In Dan SimmonsEndymion, a future Catholic popetakes the name Teilhard 1st.

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Evolutionary Landscapes | Consciousness, Culture, and the ...

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February 16th, 2015 at 12:45 pm

How To Talk About God, And Your Wedding, With Your Future In-Laws

Posted: February 6, 2015 at 2:48 pm

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This past June, I got married. It was one of the best days of my life, and I hope to never have to experience it again. As anyone who has been through one knows, weddings are a deeply magical experience festooned with deeply unmagical questions: inside or outside? Who pays for what? Is beet salad an "appropriate" main dish? Should we rent these ponies? Behind which bush do I need to crouch to smoke my cigarettes, and do I need to wait to play "Big Pimpin'" until after dark?

But never were the conversations with my fianc more tendernever was the pink belly of Us more exposedthan when discussing the ceremony. As it should be, I thinkthe ceremony being the formalized articulation of the union, the part that should ideally express your private identity as a couple and yet serve as something that your friends and family can feel included in, too. Having been to a handful of priestless, DIY-type occasions before (and having officiated one myself), I was inclined to script the ceremony ourselves, in collaboration with an officiant picked from our friends or family. After some good, long conversations, my now-wife and I settled on our target: her dad.

Some background: Both my wife and I are Jewish. For those who don't know, Jewishness, the identityas opposed to Judaism the religionis one of those unavoidable technicalities of birth: You either are or you aren't. (There's a good David Cross bit in which he tries to tell a rabbi that he doesn't feel Jewish, to which the rabbi keeps askingin his placid, rabbinical wayif Cross' mother's vagina is Jewish, a fact he can't talk his way out of.) As a kid, I went to Hebrew school and got Bar Mitzvah'ed; in college, I came home for the high holidays and led my family's Passover Seder. Jewishness was never something I enjoyed or felt close to, but I performed it the way I mowed the lawn or cleaned the house: Dutifully, with a tinge of grudge that always dissipated into mild boredom. Setting aside the specifics of my own beliefs for a minute, I can say that Rabbi Silverman would probably be disappointed, and yet as someone fully indoctrinated to Jewish guilt, I feel compelled to tell Rabbi Silverman publicly that I'm sorry.

My wife had a better experience, and still maintains a kind of abstract commitment to the idea of it"it" meaning "being Jewish." Her parents are more formal in their practice. You can see the conflict taking shape here, regarding the wedding: We wanted to be true to ourselves, fair to each other, and respectful to her parents, especially considering that it was her father who would be doing the spiritual and legal business of putting us together.

I concede that this situation could have been infinitely worse: Her parents didn't consider me a heathen or think I was going to burn in hell for what I did or didn't believe. (My wife's sister had the very sad experience of having her childhood rabbi decline to marry her and her husband because his family was vaguely Christian, despite the fact that her husband personally wasn't religious one way or the other and made his peace with raising his children Jewish cleara miserable, disillusioning situation.) Still, the friction was there. Would we say prayers? Would they be in English or Hebrew? Would we invoke God, and if so, would we invoke God as such?

At first, I tried to register my feelings in the most general terms possible: I didn't want to have a religious ceremony. It turns out that what constitutes a religious ceremony is up for some seriously passive-aggressive debate. Then I tried to register my feelings with bureaucratic specificity, as though programming a microwave: I'd prefer if there wasn't Hebrew, I'd prefer if we didn't use the word "god," etc. Mostly this served to escalate things to their inevitable head: a conversation with my almost in-laws about god. Humbly, some tips.

1. Know what you believe.

If this seems like an insultingly easy step, congratulations: You're probably already living on top of a mountain, breathing deeply of the aspens and firs, spending your mornings riding a bicycle and your afternoons embedded in haiku, with a few minutes of checking up on investments before dinner, which you will take amongst the elk. For most people, though, I sense that this is a process that takes one's entire young life to work out, with plenty of paralyzing moments of questioning afterward. (I can't say for sure, because I don't think I'm old enough just yet.) It wasn't until I considered dissenting from my wife's parents' beliefs that I realized I wasn't entirely sure of my owna realization that I probably should've made on behalf of my own parents, but I've already apologized to Rabbi Silverman, and I risk dignity if I get too loose with my regrets.

What I'm trying to say here is that maybe you need to take yourself into a dim corner and ask yourself what it is you really want out of this religion-and-spirituality thing. Maybe it's nothing, maybe it's everything; in any case, when entering a space in which such topics could be of interpersonal consequenceplanning a wedding, for exampleit would serve you well to have been seriously honest with yourself, outside the shadow of your parents, outside the shadow of your community, etc. I joke with my wife that if she wants our children to be Bar or Bat Mitzvah'ed, I'm fine with it, as long as I can drive them deep into the desert with a gun and a huge sack of marijuana after the ceremony, because in god's eyes, that's the day they become an adult, and in turn should be given the adult privilege of making adult decisions. (They could shoot the gun or bury it in the ground; they could smoke the marijuana or feed it to a horse. This is one of the many ways I undermine my rearing.) Point being that if you're getting married, there's a good chance you're already an adult whether you realize it or not, so do yourself a favor and treat yourself like one. Ask yourself: How do you feel about the metaphysical world?

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How To Talk About God, And Your Wedding, With Your Future In-Laws

Written by grays

February 6th, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Evolutionary Christianity || Richard Rohr: Falling …

Posted: January 17, 2015 at 12:47 pm

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My conversation with Richard Rohr was one of the most popular in The Advent of Evolutionary Christianity series. In that December 2010 interview, Richard mentioned his forthcoming book, Falling Upward: A Spirituality for the Two Halves of Life, which is now available. Heres the publishers description

InFalling Upward, Fr. Richard Rohr seeks to help readers understand the tasks of the two halves of life and to show them that those who have fallen, failed, or gone down are the only ones who understand up. Most of us tend to think of the second half of life as largely about getting old, dealing with health issues, and letting go of life, but the whole thesis of this book is exactly the opposite. What looks like falling down can largely be experienced as falling upward. In fact, it is not a loss but somehow actually a gain, as we have all seen with elders whohave come to their fullness.

Explains why the second half of life can and should be full of spiritual richness

Offers a new view of how spiritual growth happens loss is gain

Richard. Rohr is a regular contributing writer for Sojourners and Tikkun magazines

This important book explores the counterintuitive message that we grow spiritually much more by doing wrong than by doing right.

The following is a Q&A with Richard on the subject of his new book

What do you mean by the two halves of life?

The phrase two halves of life was first popularized by Carl Jung, the Swiss psychologist. He says that there are two major tasks. In the first half [of life] youve got to find your identity, your significance; you create your ego boundaries, your ego structure, what I call the creating of the container. But thats just to get you started. In the second half of life, once youve created your ego structure, you finally have the courage to ask: What is this all for? What am I supposed to do with this? Is it just to protect it, to promote it, to defend it, or is there some deeper purpose? The search for meaning is the task of the second half of life. (This is not always a chronological matter Ive met 11 year-old children in cancer wards who are in the second half of life, and I have met 68 year-old men like me who are still in the first half of life.)

Why is the further journey of the second half of life especially important for people of faith who are seeking a deeper relationship with God?

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Evolutionary Christianity || Richard Rohr: Falling ...

Written by grays

January 17th, 2015 at 12:47 pm

Evolutionary Christianity || Speaker Bios and Topics

Posted: January 11, 2015 at 3:46 am

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Thank you for your interest in this teleseries. Below you will find the biographical sketches of the amazing (and diverse!) guests who participated in this historic series of conversationsa veritable Whos Who of evolutionary Christian thought and practice. (Click HERE to see them categorized by affiliation.

UPDATE: The entire set of 38 downloadable audios, transcripts, study guides, leaders manual, topical index, and guidelines for reflection and journaling can be found HERE.

Ian Barbour is an American scholar on the relationship between science and religion. He has been credited with creating the contemporary field of science and religion.

He received his B.Sc. in physics from Swarthmore College, his M.Sc. in physics from Duke University in 1946, and a Ph.D. in physics from the University of Chicago in 1950. He earned a B.Div. in 1956 from Yale Universitys Divinity School. Barbour taught for many years at Carleton College, with appointments as professor of religion and as Winifred and Atherton Bean Professor Emeritus of Science, Technology and Society. He has held emeritus honors there since 1986.

In his 1966 groundbreaking book, Issues in Science and Religion, Barbour laid out a series of well-crafted arguments involving issues in epistemology, language, and methodology. Together, these arguments provided a bridge between science and religion. He has explored these arguments in detail since then.

From the outset, Barbour used the term critical realism to stand for the specific set of arguments he first developed in 1966. Most scholars in the field have adopted the term.

Barbour gave the Gifford lectures from 1989 1991 at the University of Aberdeen. These lectures led to the book,Religion in an Age of Science. In 1999 he was awarded the Templeton Prize for Progress in Religion, in recognition of his efforts to create a dialogue between the worlds of science and religion.

For videos of interviews with Ian Barbour conducted by Robert Kuhn for PBS, go to: and in the Search box on the top right, type Ian Barbour.

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Evolutionary Christianity || Speaker Bios and Topics

Written by grays

January 11th, 2015 at 3:46 am

Capsule reviews of midseason shows

Posted: January 4, 2015 at 12:46 pm

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Scarcely have the holidays departed, the last bite of figgy pudding or sip of egg nog cycled through our system, the last present sorted for use or reuse, than the winter television season comes crashing down upon us, laden with gifts of its own. Yes, friends, there are more television shows to watch, and quite a few are shows you will want to watch or feel as a citizen of the culture that you really should watch. Damn you, New Golden Age of Television! Do you think we are made of time?

Here is a look at not even all of it.

Jan. 4


ABC, 8 p.m. Sundays

Medieval-modern musical comedy will recall "Spamalot"/"Monty Python and the Holy Grail," "Robin Hood: Men in Tights," "The Princess Bride" to anyone who was alive to see them, but songs by Alan Menken and Glenn Slater, who have Disney features under their belt (and are working for Disney here) are catchy and some jokes do make it through the briers. Not G-rated, it seems worth pointing out.

Jan. 6

"Child Genius"

Lifetime, 10 p.m. Tuesdays

Like "MasterChef Junior," for knowing math and history and stuff.

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Capsule reviews of midseason shows

Written by grays

January 4th, 2015 at 12:46 pm

A History of the Kiss

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MUSIC/No I dont think I will kiss you, although you need kissing badly. Thats whats wrong with you. You should be kissed, and often, and by someone who knows how. (Gone With The Wind)

Amanda Smith: A smoochy-smoochy, osculating edition of The Body Sphere here on RN. I'm Amanda Smith, bringing you the science and history of kissing. Why do we kiss? Is it instinct? Is it culture? What clues about yourself are you giving, and getting, when you kiss someone?

Okay so let's start with physiology, because human lips are special. Sheril Kirshenbaum is the author of The Science of Kissing: What Our Lips Are Telling Us.

Sheril Kirshenbaum: Well, human lips are unique in that they're everted, so they purse outwardly in a way that's different from all the other members of the animal kingdom. And so when we connect through kissing it means something different, and it affects us differently than in any other species.

Amanda Smith: Well, we're going to focus here mostly on lip-to-lip kissing, but there are, of course, lots of other kinds of kisses. In many ancient texts, from Vedic Sanskrit writings to Homer to the Old Testament, a kiss is a greeting. What information is being exchanged, in a way, why have we greeted each other with a kiss going back for who knows how far?

Sheril Kirshenbaum: Well, we always hear about this confrontation between nature and nurtureyou know, is there instinct behind some behaviour or is it culturaland kissing is a wonderful example of both, nature and nurture, complementing each other. So we kiss people for different reasons. We kiss them because it's what we're familiar with, what we see on the street, what we see today in movies and billboards and things. But we also seem to have this instinctive drive to do this. And a kiss can tell us about the health of another person because you're up close and personal, you're getting a sample of their scent, you're getting clues about whetherif it's a romantic kissthey might be someone you're compatible with. And the odds are pretty good that people have been kissing for as long as humans have been around.

Amanda Smith: So does kissingyou know, using your lips to gather a sense or information about another persontheir smell, their feel, their tasteis it understood to derive in any way from breastfeeding?

Sheril Kirshenbaum: So we think that kissing probably arose and disappeared all around the world for a variety of reasons. One of the leading theories about why we do the practice, why it's carried from infancy into adulthood does indeed deal with breastfeeding. A newborn's first experiences with love and comfort and security involve lip stimulation through nursing, if they're nursed, or even through bottle feeding. We're tilting our head in a similar way that we would tilt our head if we were kissing.

In fact more women more frequently breastfeed to the left, causing us to tilt our head to the right, and when it comes to kissing itself more of us are actually turning to the right and tilting our head to the right to kiss. So we do think that might actually be kind of a carryover. We're associating these very positive emotions laid down early in our lives and then carried over into adulthood, so when we want to express ourselves in a similar way or a more romantic way, we give them a kiss.

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A History of the Kiss

Written by grays

January 4th, 2015 at 12:46 pm

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