Editor's note

The execution of the fourth Arkansas prisoner was put on hold last night as the Supreme Court agreed to review the case. The state had planned to put eight inmates to death over 11 days. Five of those have been halted by the courts. Arkansas sits in the middle of the “Bible Belt,” where most executions have taken place over the last three decades.

While the support for death penalty is falling worldwide, in the United States, a majority of white Protestants and Catholics are in favor. Catholic scholar Mathew Schmalz argues that the “eye for an eye” retribution might well go back to prebiblical times, but Jesus’s admonition was to forgive one’s enemies: “if anyone slaps you on the right cheek, turn to him the other also.”

As Mathematics and Statistics Awareness Month comes to an end, Henry Adams at Case Western Reserve University argues that artists have paved the way for mathematicians throughout history: explore for yourself the evidence, from Islamic tiles to Jackson Pollock’s paintings. Meanwhile, USC Dornsife statistician Rand Wilcox writes that there are better ways for scientists to analyze data – but modern techniques haven’t made great inroads with the research community.

And this week President Trump ordered a review of more than two dozen national monuments. He may seek to eliminate or shrink some of them. In response, four environmental lawyers explain why that power rests with Congress, not with presidents.

Kalpana Jain

Senior Editor, Religion & Ethics

Ethics + Religion

  • Is death penalty anti-Christian?

    Mathew Schmalz, College of the Holy Cross

    Support for the death penalty is falling worldwide. In the Western world, the U.S. is only one of two countries that retain it. What is the Christian view?

Arts + Culture

  • Did artists lead the way in mathematics?

    Henry Adams, Case Western Reserve University

    Mathematics and art are generally viewed as very different. But a trip through history – from an Islamic palace to Pollock's paintings – proves the parallels between the two can be uncanny.

  • Is there any way to stop ad creep?

    Mark Bartholomew, University at Buffalo, The State University of New York

    A host of spaces that were once immune to commercial intrusion – from parks to our friendships – are now being infiltrated by advertisers. Are we being enslaved by a 'merciless master'?

Environment + Energy

  • National monuments: Presidents can create them, but only Congress can undo them

    Nicholas Bryner, University of California, Los Angeles; Eric Biber, University of California, Berkeley; Mark Squillace, University of Colorado; Sean B. Hecht, University of California, Los Angeles

    President Trump has ordered a review of national monuments protected by his predecessors, and may try to abolish or shrink some. But four legal experts say that only Congress has that authority.

  • Trump’s offshore oil drilling push: Five essential reads

    Martin LaMonica, The Conversation

    The industry has wanted access to offshore oil for decades, but the Arctic remains challenging. Consumers, meanwhile, seem conflicted on expanded offshore drilling.

Economy + Business


Science + Technology

Health + Medicine

  • The patients we do not see

    Dave A. Chokshi, New York University Langone Medical Center

    For many of the nation's poor, food and shelter are more important than health care. Questions of insurance coverage loom broadly, but another question lingers: how to treat the poor we do not see.

Politics + Society

Trump's 100 Days

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