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The Sciences

Open Thread - December 25th, 2010

Gene ExpressionBy Razib KhanDecember 25, 2010 11:03 PM


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This is a scheduled post (As many of my posts are by the way. Shout out to the stupid readers who occasionally wonder why I'm not partying when a post goes live on Friday night!). Merry Christmas! I'm probably playing around with my HTC Evo 4G if you're reading this on Saturday, or eating, etc. What do you think of Christmas? A friend pointed out that Christmas' religious origins may be clear in the name (Christ's mass), but the world holiday itself originally meant holy day, and had clear religious connotations. Christmas seems an appropriate holiday for the de facto post-Christian pagan environment of the modern USA. Elements of most European Christmas celebrations draw rather obviously from pre-Christian mythos, customs, and tradition, though because of the nature of human cognition many of them are not too difficult to reinterpret in a Christian manner. That's obviously what happened. And in turn the specific and distinctive Christian coloring of the holiday has become attenuated in much of the West. The secular and commercialized version of Christmas has even spread to Japan.

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