There are moments in memory where, when looking back, you see these little pushpins of moments that changed life. Sometimes they’re good moments, and sometimes they’re bad. One of the first of these pushpins in my academic life was a class I took my first quarter at the University of Washington, called Buffy as Archtype: […]
Archive for the 'University of Washington' Category
Today started out with a lot of dread. I went to campus to talk to people in my department, both professors and colleagues, and I didn’t know what to expect. I’ve been a lot more withdrawn these last six weeks than normal for me, avoiding being online, and people in general. It was going to […]
I’ve set aside the papers I was grading, and am watching the coffee shop again. Watching people read their papers, seeing their screens flash by various news sites. I can’t help but think of another of Latour’s comments about modern man. He says that if reading the daily paper is modern man’s form of prayer, […]
I am asked one of two questions quite frequently. Those who come over ask about the art on my walls. Those who create the art, ask if I really hang it up. So, here are some examples of the art in my house – these are all student projects, bits and pieces that I fell […]
Originally written in Spring of 2005 for a class on biotechnological communication.
In The God Gene, Hamer builds on the work of several scientists who have been studying spirituality, religion and the brain, including (and leaning heavily on) Michael Persinger, who studies the construction of the temporal lobe and how its construction affects one’s God experience. Hamer takes the idea of God in the brain a step further, looking for and finding a single gene he believes controls how spiritual we are. This, the aforementioned VMAT2 gene, and is involved in how the brain uses monoamines, a class of neurotransmitters including dopamine, serotonin, and norepinephrine. In simple terms, VMAT2 makes a protein that packages all of the different monoamines into secretory vehicles – the biological packages that the brain uses to store its signal molecules.