November Monthly Roundup

November Monthly Roundup November 29, 2018

Here are four things you should read. They have challenged, informed, and fascinated me lately.

1. Tapping Into the Brain’s Star Power, from Nature (here).

Astrocytes are a type of glial cell, brain cells that are not neurons. They comprise 20-40% of your brain, and yet their function, origin, and structure remain incredibly mysterious. But more and more studies are coming out implicating astrocytes in almost every developmental process, and almost every disease. This feature article is a great overview of research on this “star power” of the nervous system.

2. How Traumatized Children See the World, According to Their Drawings, from Time Magazine (here).

Children express the violence of trauma in very similar ways, across generations and cultures. This article reviews the science of toxic stress and presents (very moving) images of their drawings.

Drawing made by a former child soldier in Uganda. International Rescue Committee.

3. The Beauty of Belonging, from Plough (here).

Beauty has an essential place in the “ordinary.” Wherever people build, decorate, or create with a view toward their belonging, a kind  of order emerges. This order, rooted in community, guides our judgment about our experience. Roger Scruton calls our attention, in this article, to the implications of the “uglification” of our world.

4. Science is Not as Important as We Believe, from the Church Life Journal (here).

In response to the meteoric rise of the “Nones” in the United States, we as Catholics strive to show the compatibility of science and religion, the adequacy of our faith before science. However, this article argues that such endeavors are missing the point. Young people are not primarily atheistic scientists, and stand in need of narrative and meaning in a world of rationalization and empty reduction.

Let me know what you think in the comments if you get a chance to read them!

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