No, that's not a giant pink marshmallow in the sky in the new header. It's Denali at 11 pm, just after sunset. The landscape seems just slightly "philosophical" (well, meditative) but not in the cliched manner of clouds, sunsets, and beaches. So maybe this header will stay for a while. It's a nice reminder of our trip to Alaska last summer. (I'm ready to go back...)
There was an interesting two-page ad in the New York Times today. The Templeton foundation asked scientists and religious thinkers whether the universe has a purpose. A couple said no, a couple maybe, and a plurality said yes. (All the answers are here.)
It's hard to know what to think of the Templeton people--their official agenda is to fund research on "big questions." That sounds good, but the underlying agenda is to fund a close nexus between science and religion. They are not necessarily interested in promoting "free inquiry," wherever it may lead. (Barbara Ehrenreich has a good article about the Templeton foundation here.)
Whatever the agenda, I have to say there were some interesting answers (e.g. from Neil DeGrasse Tyson, who said No; and from Elie Wiesel, who said "I hope so").