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THE concepts of God and evolution are inextricable. In the beginning God created the Universe. The series of events that followed produced man. This imperfect product needed a higher authority (scapegoat, infallible architect, benevolent headmaster, king of quiz) so before long the concept of God evolved. This God created the Universe. The series of events that followed produced man. This imperfect product needed a higher authority etc, etc.

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Introducing the New Editor

THE OTHER NIGHT, after a particularly fine feed of nachos, my friend pulled out her numerology book and proceeded to do my chart. I’d done some things wrong in a past life, and there were a number of lessons I hadn’t picked up on — but generally I was happy to learn my soul was a fairly evolved one.

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Demonology for an Age of Science

THIS TRICENTENNIAL OBSERVANCE of the Massachusetts Day of Contrition cannot fail to provoke sombre and resolute thoughts in everyone who sees a parallel between the judicial horrors of the 1690s and those of the 1980s and 90s. Although Salem has a positive resonance for those who love American literature, the town inevitably calls to mind the aura of demented legalism that made the execution of so-called witches appear to be the only available course of action in 1692. Salem’s own Nathaniel Hawthorne, for one, could not escape that theme, and it helped colour his imagination and make him a lifelong brooder about irreparable wrongs.

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Home Water Treatment and the Sceptical Consumer

HOME WATER TREATMENT SYSTEMS are often promoted on the basis of the purported health (rather than aesthetic) benefits of using them. This is particularly in relation to urban drinking water given the full treatment — coagulation, sedimentation, filtration and disinfection — where such claims usually constitute misleading advertising. In this review I will focus on a number of misconceptions about the health benefits of water treatment, examining each assertion in its wider context. The ensuing discussion applies less to rural water supplies, where valid reasons often exist for use of treatments — eg removing nitrate or protecting against giardia.

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