Archive for December 3rd, 2008

This bizaare story on the Telegraph about a year ago about murder due to beliefs:

Babies born into some Indian tribes in the Amazon are being buried alive, a practice that is being covered up by the Brazilian authorities out of respect for tribal culture. 

The tradition is based on beliefs that babies with any sort of physical defect have no souls and that others, such as twins or triplets, are also “cursed”.

Infanticide has claimed the lives of dozens of babies each year, say campaigners fighting to end the practice.

Babies who are girls, who have some disability or who have unmarried mothers are all in danger of an early death in a shallow grave in the rainforest. Others are suffocated with leaves, poisoned or simply abandoned in the jungle.

Visit the full story here. The clip below is part of a longer movie which had stirred quite a controversy.

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Sagan’s opening line captures the flavor of this wonderful episode very succinctly:

There are two ways to view the stars: as they really are, and as we might wish them to be.

In this 3rd instalment of Carl Sagan’s popular series, he probes into beliefs about stars and the science of astronomy that developed after. He also looks at prevailing scientific models about the earth and the solar system (e.g. earth-centric) and how this had changed going into modern times.

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