Sometimes the debate between atheism and religion can be enlightening, showing us how both of these different approaches dive deeply into the currents of human experience. Sometimes, however, it can be deeply depressing, devolving into hard lines and acrimony. As an atheist, I often find myself exasperated with what I call "strident atheism."
Dennis Roseman, left, and Jamie Manganello pull in a swordfish off the coast of Florida. The Day Boat Seafood company went through a complicated process to become certified as a sustainable fishery by the Marine Stewardship Council.
The long, clunky-looking fishing boat pulls up to Day Boat Seafood's dock near Fort Pierce, Fla., after 10 days out in the Atlantic. The crew lowers a thick rope into the hold, and begins hoisting 300-pound swordfish off their bed of ice and onto a slippery metal scale.
A sockeye salmon that was caught from the research vessel Miss Delta off the coast of Vancouver is examined. The MSC has certified the fish as "sustainable" even though there is concern from scientists and environmentalists.
Next time you walk up to the seafood counter, look for products labeled with a blue fish, a check mark, and the words "Certified Sustainable Seafood MSC." Then ask yourself, "What does this label mean?"
Originally published on Fri February 15, 2013 2:04 pm
In honor of Valentine's Day, we're going to spend this week on 13.7 publishing love letters (really, chaste appreciations) to some of our biggest intellectual crushes.
These are the people our bloggers think you should know about, people who have had a significant influence on their lives and their thinking. As they're published, I'll keep a running list of the posts right here:
You've probably never heard of Edward C. Tolman, unless you're an experimental psychologist. If you're a Berkeley alumnus, you might be familiar with Tolman Hall, home to my office and lab. It's an unappealing and outdated homage to a man who was neither.
In the pantheon of scientists I have known and most admired, I hold high Conrad H. Waddington. His intellectual courage changed the shape of biology.
Waddington fundamentally extended the neo-Darwinian synthesis. Post-Newton, Charles Darwin is, to my mind, the mind that most altered the Western world view. His explanation of evolution through heritable variation and natural selection shifted everything.
Pigs at a farm in Beijing peer out at visitors. Half of all the pigs in the world live in China.
Credit Ng Han Guan / AP
There's a global campaign to force meat producers to rein in their use of antibiotics on pigs, chickens and cattle. European countries, especially Denmark and the Netherlands, have taken the lead. The U.S. is moving, haltingly, toward similar restrictions.
Rebecca Weel pushes a baby stroller with her 18-month-old up to the seafood case at Whole Foods, near ground zero in New York. As she peers at shiny fillets of salmon, halibut and Chilean sea bass labeled "certified sustainable," Weel believes that if she purchases this seafood, she will help protect the world's oceans from overfishing.