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The Sun Magazine

Culture and Society

Science and Technology

The Sun Interview

Every Reason To Stay

Eva Saulitis’s Life With Whales

I have to say, what kept me there was not the science but the place. I wanted to be there in a way that had purpose. I didn’t want to visit or go on long kayak trips. I wanted to spend my life in Prince William Sound. For five years I lived at a field camp for three or four months at a time. The work gave me a purpose for being there: a part to play in protecting the ecosystem.

Quotations

Sunbeams

Scientific principles and laws do not lie on the surface of nature. They are hidden, and must be wrested from nature by an active and elaborate technique of inquiry.

John Dewey

The Sun Interview

Two Ways Of Knowing

Robin Wall Kimmerer On Scientific And Native American Views Of The Natural World

I prefer to ask what gifts the land offers. Gifts require a giver, a being with agency. Gifts invite reciprocity. Gifts help form relationships. Scientists aren’t comfortable with the word gifts, so we get ecosystem services instead. These terms arise from different worldviews, but both recognize the way the land sustains life.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

Why Religion Endures

On a spectrum of postures toward religious faith that runs from organized hostility to muffled contempt to resigned forbearance to never-crosses-my-mind indifference to against-my-better-judgment curiosity to serious interest to fellow-traveling to heartfelt engagement to missionary fervor, where do you place yourself, and how does that dispose you to others’ positions?

The Sun Interview

Embracing Ignorance

Jack Miles On His Path From Belief To Disbelief And Back

We’re all stuck with ignorance as we move from quandary to quandary. What I want to do is make a case for religion as one of the means to cope with this irremediable human condition.

Essays, Memoirs, & True Stories

The R-Word

When he diagnosed my three-month-old, Fiona, with a chromosomal disorder, the redheaded, cherubic medical geneticist did not use the phrase “mentally retarded” — thank God, or the gods of rhetoric, or just the politically correct medical school the young doctor had attended.

Announcements

God In The Machine

Introducing The Sun’s Digital Edition

“We have taken the same care in building the online edition that we do in crafting each issue, and if we are unfashionably late to the digital party, I don’t think Sy minds very much.”

Quotations

Sunbeams

As soon as man does not take his existence for granted, but beholds it as something unfathomably mysterious, thought begins.

Albert Schweitzer

The Sun Interview

Wrong Turn

Biologist Rupert Sheldrake On How Science Lost Its Way

I suggest that morphogenetic fields work by imposing patterns on otherwise random or indeterminate activity. Morphogenetic fields are not fixed forever, but evolve. The fields of Afghan hounds and poodles have become different from those of their common ancestors, wolves. How are these fields inherited? I propose that they are transmitted from past members of the species through a kind of nonlocal resonance, which I call “morphic resonance.”