bob white in new zealand

Cambridge Geophysicist, Professor Robert (Bob) White is coming to New Zealand to take part in 3 events.

The first and second are the same talk both in Wellington and Auckland – a Christian Response to Global Warming (I’m planning on attending the Auckland talk).  For the third event (which I am sad to miss, due to a wedding up north), Robert will take part (with others) in a Symposium entitled: Science and religion in the 21st century: faith in science, science in faith.

Saturday, 14 March 2009, 8.30am-6pm
Theatre 401-439, ‘Neon Foyer’, Engineering School, Symonds Street, The University of Auckland
Please register for the symposium by Wednesday 11 March, with p.medhora@auckland.ac.nz
Cost $20, non-waged people $10 (refreshments and lunch provided)
Parking under Owen G Glenn building, $5 flat rate

I’ve provided the PDF flyer for download by clicking here. Continue reading “bob white in new zealand”

sentience and consciousness

Consciousness is at least sentience, but not less.

We can imagine a spectrum of least sentient to most sentient.  The nearest animals to humans, in this case, would (obviously!) have the closest kind of sentience to humans.  But (however this ’emerged’ or came to be) humans are ultra-sentient.  We have more than sensation (sentience); we also have a perceiving, yearning kind of consciousness.  We are self aware of our own self awareness. Continue reading “sentience and consciousness”

neuroplasticity analogy

Neuroplasticity refers to the changeable-ness of the neurological structure (so-to-speak) of the brain – achieved (among other things) through focused mental activity/experience.

In terms of mind/body discussions – there is a key distinction between the idea of neuroplasticity being the mind changing the brain, or the brain changing itself.  The side question of how the human brain-and-or-mind developed is not the question here.  Rather it’s the question: does ‘mind‘ = brain?

A simple analogy comes to mind (err… comes to brain… or… comes to mind+brain)… Continue reading “neuroplasticity analogy”

wisdom for a divisive issue

Obama’s recent statements on the 36th anniversary of Roe v. Wade, remind us all (like it or not) of the immensely divisive issue of abortion.  The article says… Continue reading “wisdom for a divisive issue”

costs here and there

Want to have a baby in New Zealand?  That will cost you… nothing at all.  Diane and I have had various scans, midwife services, ante-natal classes, additional support and of course, the birth and subsequent more-than-normal care (heck, we’re even going to be reimbursed for the cost of petrol/gas to and from the hospital!) for our precious 7-week premature Thomas – all payed for by taxes payed by us and the rest of New Zealand.  So, yes, nothing is free, but these burdens are shared by the whole country here…

Want to have a baby in the United States?  You’ll probably want insurance.  I’m told a common cost for having a baby is around $10,000.  Who on earth would have ever thought that something so sublime as childbirth should ever have to be something you have to be insured for!!??

Then again, maybe New Zealand makes up for it in wireless internet charges?  In the US, you can go to nearly ANY cafe and enjoy free wireless internet – here, I’m paying $3 per hour ‘thanks’ to Tomizone… :)