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Submission + - What Scientists Really Think About Religion 4

Hugh Pickens writes: "The Washington Post has a book review of "Science and Religion: What Scientists Really Think" by Rice University sociologist Elaine Ecklund who did a detailed survey of 1,646 scientists at elite American research universities that reveals that scientists often practice a closeted faith worrying about how their peers would react to learning about their religious views. "After four years of research, at least one thing became clear: Much of what we believe about the faith lives of elite scientists is wrong. The 'insurmountable hostility' between science and religion is a caricature, a thought-cliche, perhaps useful as a satire on groupthink, but hardly representative of reality," writes Ecklund. Unsurprisingly, Ecklund found that 64 percent of scientists are either atheists (34%) or agnostic (30%) but only five of the 275 in-depth interviewees actively oppose religion and even among the third who are atheists, many consider themselves "spiritual" with one describing his spiritual atheism as being rooted in "wonder about the complexity and the majesty of existence," a sentiment many nonscientists — religious or not — would recognize. "According to the scientists I interviewed, the academy seems to have a “strong culture” that suppresses discussion about religion in many areas," says Ecklund. "Yet so few scientists talk openly about issues related to religion that we do not know the true consequences of having such discussions. To remove the perceived stigma, we would need to have more scientists talking openly about issues of religion, where such issues are particularly relevant to their discipline.""

Submission + - podcast interview with Donald Knuth (

LarryFeltonJ writes: This past Wednesday I conducted a podcast interview with Donald Knuth, the author of the series Art of Computer Programming, the developer of the TeX computer typesetting language and the Metafont font rendering system, and the creator of the system known as Literate Programming. The focus of the interview was Literate Programming, but he also touched on Linux, TeX, Metafont, and the upcoming release of Volume 4 of the Art of Computer Programming

Submission + - STIX Fonts Beta Released ( 1

Chris Chiasson writes: "After more than 10 years in the making, the STIX fonts beta from the STI Pub companies has been released today. After the release of the final version of these fonts, MathML authors will no longer have to rely on users downloading non-free fonts. From the website:

The STI Pub Group is delighted to announce the beta test release of the STIX Fonts in OpenType format. This release includes every glyph that is planned for the final, production release which we hope will follow before the end of the year. The beta test period will run from 1 November through 15 December. Regrettably, this beta test will not include TeX support. We expect the TeX package to be ready for beta test near the end of this year.

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