NPR culture

NPR Culture
10:06 am
Mon October 29, 2012

Is it silly to seek purpose in the natural world?

Does it have a purpose? Does it need a purpose?
Sean Gallup Getty Images

Originally published on Mon April 8, 2013 8:45 am

Science and religion alike grapple with some of our deepest questions: What is the purpose of life? Why is the natural world just so? Why does the biological world strike us as so exquisitely designed?

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Good reads
12:12 pm
Tue August 21, 2012

The city as engine: Energy, entropy and the triumph of disorder

Adam Frank stands atop of the Wilder Building in Rochester, N.Y.
Carlet Cleare WXXI

Originally published on Tue August 21, 2012 4:36 pm

Cities may be the defining element of human civilization.

The path from hunter-gatherers in the Paleolithic era 25,000 years ago to the high-tech, high-wonder jumble we inhabit today runs straight through cities. In traveling that path, our construction of cities has always been a dance with physics. In some cases, that physics was explicitly understood; in others, its manifestation was only recognized in hindsight.

As our cities have become more complex the physics embodying their behavior and organization has also become more nuanced, subtle and profound.

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