Thursday, February 12, 2009

WHAT ARE THE ODDS things are going to get worse in future rather than better? According to a New York Times article, two satellites have collided and the debris is spewing higher and lower through space:

"For decades, space experts have warned of orbits around the planet growing so crowded that two satellites might one day slam into one another, producing swarms of treacherous debris.

"It happened Tuesday. And the whirling fragments could pose a threat to the International Space Station, orbiting 215 miles up with three astronauts on board, though officials said the risk was now small."


New research shows—according to an article on CBS news—that love acts like addiction in the brains of those who suffer under the lash of love. I could have told them that. Painful withdrawal symptoms can create craving, but it's wonderful when love works out. Like 20% of the couples in one study, my wife and I still bill and coo, and our VTAs must light up like the Fourth of July:

"In humans, there are four tiny areas of the brain that some researchers say form a circuit of love. Acevedo, who works at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York, is part of a team that has isolated those regions with the unromantic names of ventral tegmental area (VTA), the nucleus accumbens, the ventral pallidum and raphe nucleus.

"The hot spot is the teardrop-shaped VTA. When people newly in love were put in a functional magnetic resonance imaging machine and shown pictures of their beloved, the VTA lit up. Same for people still madly in love after 20 years.

"The VTA is part of a key reward system in the brain."

What more should we expect, since emotions are adaptations for the regulation of our animal behavior? Robotics, anyone? Again we can see that feeling love toward an imaginary god in one's head would self-reward the believer for his faith with chemical enhancement. Pity the poor atheist who can only love life which and people who do not always reward him with as much feeling in return. Of course, people of faith, who are truly honest about the reality which their god has given them, must feel terrible most of the time because living is not always a friendly process. Taking that a step further—couldn't we say that Christians and Muslims and Jews are in very destructive (even sadomasochistic relationships) with their gods?

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