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Edge: Third Culture

This stimulating online journal is the main publication of Edge Foundation, a nonprofit organization whose mandate is "to promote inquiry into and discussion of intellectual, philosophical, artistic, and literary issues, as well as to work for the intellectual and social achievement of society." To that end, the journal brings together speculative articles on contemporary issues by leading scholars and practitioners in the sciences and humanities as well as interviews with these same luminaries. The latest issue, published last week, includes, among other items, an open letter by Richard Dawkins to Prince Charles criticizing his recent call for science to be tempered with a sense of the spiritual, Freeman Dyson's thoughts on spirituality and physics entitled "Progress in Religion," and a medical doctor's argument that the large number of stock market players on psychoactive drugs like Prozac may be in part responsible for the current long-term economic boom. But the most interesting article is probably V.S. Ramachandran's "Mirror Neurons And Imitation Learning As The Driving Force Behind 'The Great Leap Forward' In Human Evolution," which argues that recent discoveries concerning the frontal lobes of monkeys are likely to lead to an unprecedented unified theory for human psychology. A searchable archive of past issues is available, reaching back to the first biweekly issue in December of 1996. An annual feature of Edge is its "What is the most important unreported story?" giving scientists and thinkers the chance to suggest where they believe the next revolution in knowledge will be coming from.
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