Unleash the Hounds! Science Edition

MIAMI (TWH)  –  There is a lot of science being reported that is of interest to modern Pagans and Heathens out there, more than our team can write about in depth in any given week. Therefore, the Wild Hunt must unleash the hounds in order to round them all up. Here are our favorite picks this month. A team of sociologists recently published an article titled “Mixed Blessing: The Beneficial and Detrimental Effects of Religion on Child Development among Third-Graders” in the journal Religions.  The team focused their attention on a longitudinal sample of children from their baseline in 1999 to outcomes in 2002.  The sample was constructed as being nationally representative for the US. Researchers explored whether frequent parental religious attendance, parental discussion of religion, and spousal conflict over religions would have any impacts of the academic performance on the children.  The study found that the third grader’s social competence and psychological adjustment were related to parental religiosity, a term used to describe interaction or adherence to religious institutional ideas.  However, student performance on math, reading and social science tests were adversely affected.

Column: It’s Poetry in Motion

I should begin by noting that I think everyone has the right to choose a spiritual path that’s meaningful to them. You’d think that wouldn’t be controversial but a couple of thousand years of history suggests otherwise. Second, let me say that I’m not a physicist, but I have taught statistical mechanics; that would also be the semester I last said “sure, I‘ll help.”

So now we can backtrack a bit. Picture it: grad school, 1992. There was this lowly PhD student who was brilliantly good at statistics sitting in class deeply focused on an advanced lecture on fixed vs.

Column: the Gifts, and Tricks, of the Crow

Walking through a high school campus just before lunchtime, I noticed four crows busily searching for scraps of food lying in the grass. One lucky bird had found a particularly large morsel and was enjoying its meal bonanza. Then, one by one, the other three lifted off and vacated the grounds to perch on the nearby building, staring down at their feasting friend. At that moment, the lunch bell rang, and the final crow abandoned his jackpot without hesitation and joined his companions on the roof, moments before the students came streaming into the area, hungrily searching out their own meals. It is easy to write this off as coincidence and anthropomorphization.