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An old Canadian law which outlaws magic fraud is about to be eliminated. This print by William Hogarth, ‘Credulity Superstition and Fanaticism,’ from 1762 epitomizes the Enlightenment view that witchcraft and religious fanaticism go hand in hand. William Hogarth/1762

Hello magic and witchcraft, goodbye Enlightenment

An antiquated Canadian law against magic and witchcraft is about to be repealed. A close look at its history reveals that it is far less superstitious than it appears.
Members of the team who were rescued from a flooded cave prepare to be ordained to become Buddhist novices and monks. AP Photo/Sakchai Lalit

Why the rescued Thai soccer team has ordained as Buddhist novice monks

In Theravada Buddhism, ordaining to be a monk and donating the merit thus gained is one of the greatest honors that a person can give to another – in this case to the late Navy SEAL officer.
In this file photo, cognitive scientist and psychologist Steven Pinker addresses the Origins Symposium at Arizona State University on April 6, 2009 in Tempe, AZ. Shutterstock

‘Enlightenment Now’ rationalizes the violence of empire

Steven Pinker's latest work disturbingly casts aside the violent exploits and mechanistic logic of Eurocentric "progress."
White House spokesman Sean Spicer and senior advisor Kellyanne Conway chat. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

Seeking truth among ‘alternative facts’

How do we determine what is fact? An archaeologist explains how the answer has changed over time and why it matters so much now.
The lyrical beauty of Arabic inspired many poets, writers. Land Rover MENA

What’s missing in the teaching of Islam

The teaching of Islam is often limited to its religious practice. How Christians, Jews and Muslims borrowed freely from each other in the realm of art, music, and literature is seldom discussed.
Left … right … where’s the centre? Flickr/Mike Leary

How an approach to science helps define the political centre

There was a bit of talk over the last election cycle, expressed in the usual language of political left and right, about returning the pendulum to the “sensible centre”. Sounds a good idea, but what does…
The Secrets of the Hand premieres on SBS at 8:30pm Sunday April 13. SBS

The future in your palm: science and The Secrets of the Hand

For thousands of years, people believed their future could be read in the lines etched into the palm of their hands. The ancient art of palmistry, originating in India, claimed a close examination of the…

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