On the basis of his acquaintance with theoretical elementary particle physics, and following the lead of Thomas Torrance, John Polkinghorne maintains that the data upon which a science is based, and the method by which it treats those data, must respect the idiosyncratic nature of the object with which the science is concerned. Polkinghorne calls this the "accommodation" (or "conformity") of a discipline to its object. The question then arises: What should we expect religious experience and theological method to (...) be like if they are accommodated to the idiosyncratic nature of God? Polkinghorne's methodological program is typical of postcritical positions in the theology-science dialogue in holding that the fiduciary element in theological method is simply a species of the fiduciary element that is a de facto part of all knowing—in other words, theological method does not differ in fundamental kind from the methods of the natural sciences. But this program may contain the seeds of an alienation of theological method from the transcendence of God similar to the double self-alienation of theology described by Michael Buckley in At the Origins of Modern Atheism. I contend that something like Bernard Lonergan's position on how the method of faith seeking understanding is related to the methods of the natural sciences is exactly the sort of thing that one should expect on the supposition of Polkinghorne's principle of accommodation, at least if the God who is the object of theological science is transcendent. The way in which the divine differs from all other objects ought to be disclosed or reflected in religious experience and theological method. Polkinghorne charts the course for an accommodated theology, but it seems to be Lonergan who is more intent on following it. (shrink)
We examine the problem of deducing the geodesic motion of test particles from Einstein's vacuum field equations and its extension to include gravitational radiation reaction. In the latter case we obtain an equation of motion for a particle which incorporates radiation reaction of the electrodynamical type, but due to shearing radiation, together with a mass-loss formula of the Bondi-Sachs type.
This paper documents the types and amounts of aid exchanged between adults and their non-coresidential parents. Data for the study are drawn from a representative national sample survey of Americans age 19 and older conducted in 1987–1988. Exchanges of monetary and material resources, childcare, household assistance, and companionship and advice are considered.Patterns of intergenerational exchange are found to differ by gender, family structure, age, ethnicity, and socioeconomic situation. Differences in exchange between males and females and between whites and Mexican-Americans are (...) related to other life-course characteristics, and to the availability and proximity of kin. Blacks and persons living in poverty are shown to be less involved than other groups in intergenerational exchanges. Finally, patterns of prior assistance and the available needs and resources of the respondents and their parents are found to influence current patterns of exchange. (shrink)
Although thermoelectric (TE) materials are often fabricated as cast ingots, there has been recent interest in the powder processing of these materials. Cast TE materials typically have grain sizes as large as several hundred microns, but powder processing (grinding, milling and then sintering) can produce dense specimens with a reduced grain size, an improved mechanical integrity and enhanced TE properties. In the TE literature when powder processing is employed, little or no description is provided of the powder processing techniques and (...) the powder processing parameters are either not characterized or only a mean particle size is given. In this study, powders milled from solid cast ingots of the TE compound LAST (lead?antimony?silver?tellurium) were characterized via Coulter Counter, to measure the mean powder particle size and the size distribution, scanning electron microscopy (SEM), to examine the powder particle morphology, and X-ray diffraction (XRD), to detect possible phase changes or amorphization. The impurity levels in the milled powders were examined by wear rate measurements on the milling media, as well as by energy dispersive X-ray analysis and inductively coupled plasma measurements. (shrink)
Must religious voices keep quiet in public places? Does fairness in a plural society require it? Must the expression of religious belief be so authoritarian as to threaten civil peace? Do we need translation into 'secular' language, or should we try to manage polyglot conversation? How neutral is 'secular' language? Is a religious argument necessarily unreasonable? What issues are specific to Islam within this exchange? -/- These are just some of the pressing questions addressed by Religious Voices in Public Places. (...) Drawn from Australia, Canada, France, Ireland and England-as well as the United States-thirteen contributors take the long-running discussion about religion in the public square beyond its usual American confines. -/- Religious Voices in Public Places comprehends both political philosophy and theology, and moves adeptly between political theory and practice. Whether offering critical analyses of key theorists such as John Rawls, Jeffrey Stout and Jürgen Habermas, or pursuing the issue of the public expression of religion into the debate about religious education in the USA, the legalisation of euthanasia in the UK, and human rights worldwide, this incisive volume speaks directly into crucial areas of religious and political complexity. (shrink)
Retrieval of relevant unstructured information from the ever-increasing textual communications of individuals and businesses has become a major barrier to effective litigation/defense, mergers/acquisitions, and regulatory compliance. Such e-discovery requires simultaneously high precision with high recall (high-P/R) and is therefore a prototype for many legal reasoning tasks. The requisite exhaustive information retrieval (IR) system must employ very different techniques than those applicable in the hyper-precise, consumer search task where insignificant recall is the accepted norm. We apply Russell, et al.’s cognitive task (...) analysis of sensemaking by intelligence analysts to develop a semi-autonomous system that achieves high IR accuracy of F1 ≥ 0.8 compared to F1 < 0.4 typical of computer-assisted human-assessment (CAHA) or alternative approaches such as Roitblat, et al.’s. By understanding the ‘Learning Loop Complexes’ of lawyers engaged in successful small-scale document review, we have used socio-technical design principles to create roles, processes, and technologies for scalable human-assisted computer-assessment (HACA). Results from the NIST-TREC Legal Track’s interactive task from both 2008 and 2009 validate the efficacy of this sensemaking approach to the high-P/R IR task. (shrink)
Impairments in the social use of language, or pragmatics, constitute a core characteristic of autism. Problems with pragmatic language have also been documented in fragile X syndrome, a monogenic condition that is the most common known genetic cause of autism. Evidence suggests that social cognitive ability, or theory of mind, may also be impaired in both conditions, and in autism, may importantly relate to pragmatic language ability. Given the substantial overlap observed in autism and FXS, this study aimed to better (...) define those social-communicative phenotypes that overlap in these two conditions by comparing pragmatic language ability and theory of mind in children with idiopathic autism and children with FXS, with and without autism, as well as children with Down syndrome and typically developing controls. We further examined correlations between these cognitive-behavioral phenotypes and molecular genetic variation related to FMR1 in the FXS group. Results indicated that children with idiopathic autism and those with FXS and autism performed comparably on direct-assessment measures of pragmatic language and theory of mind, whereas those with FXS only did not differ from controls. Theory of mind was related to pragmatic language ability in all groups. Pragmatic language and theory of mind also correlated with genetic variation at the FMR1 locus (CGG repeats and percent methylation). These results point towards substantial overlap in the social and language phenotypes in autism and FXS and suggest a molecular genetic basis to these phenotypic profiles. (shrink)
The "four-wave mixer", a laser technique for reversing the motion direction of light waves so that they can be turned around and returned to their point of origin was the subject of my last Alternate View column (ANALOG, June-1985). In this AV column I want to go one step further by examining a hypothetical kind of time-reversed light wave which should actually go backward in time. As we shall see, such backward waves could be used to send information from the (...) present to the past, resulting in a sort of "poor man's" time travel. Recent science fiction novels like Jim Hogan's Thrice in Time and Greg Benford's Timescape have been based on backwards-in-time communication and the situations that might arise from it. In both books a world disaster is averted by sending a message to the past. In Timescape a side-effect of the signalling prevents Lee Harvey Oswald from assassinating President Kennedy, irreversibly altering the course of events after 1963. (shrink)