human nature

2014 November

25 years after The Wall fell

2014-12-15T07:22:00-04:00November 19th, 2014|Categories: Hamilton Spectator, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , |1 Comment

(The Hamilton Spectator - Saturday, November 15, 2014) KAMPALA, UGANDA -- It was still morning in Berlin on this Sunday when candles at the Church of Reconciliation were lit to honour yesteryear’s dead, the brave souls who ran from the uniforms and helmets and strong-armed authorities, who ran for freedom that was torn away, even as their flesh would be torn by barbed-wire and vicious dogs and bullets at that wall.

2000 October

Illuminating the dark world of biotechnology

2013-05-27T20:56:38-04:00October 28th, 2000|Categories: London Free Press, Newspaper columns|Tags: , , , , , , , |0 Comments

(The London Free Press – Oct. 28, 2000) ST. THOMAS, CANADA – Is the human soul just a vast bundle of nerve cells? Francis Crick, the Nobel laureate who set modern biotechnology in motion when he discovered DNA a generation ago, says yes. In The Astonishing Hypothesis: The Scientific Search For The Soul, he suggests our joys and sorrows, memories and ambitions, personal identities and even our cherished notions of free will are nothing more than the biochemical reactions of a neural machine. Brilliant as Crick is, the idea is more hollow than astonishing. It was the poet William Blake who said scientists, in trying to decipher that which should remain indecipherable, would "turn that which is soul and life into a mill or machine."