Finished reading Haldeman's "The Forever War" and have started on his pseudo-sequel written many years later called "Forever Peace". It's not really a continuation of events but rather a continuation of the ideas: of war, culture, men and women, technology, and behaviour. Very good. I can't talk in detail about this new book yet (still only about 50 pages in) but "The Forever War" certainly deserves the awards and compliments it has been given. I liked every part of the book, even the finale, leaving us with a happy feeling that everything turns out right in the end. I don't really consider the happy ending to be a real part of the book. The real meat of the text is the slowly increasing horror and simultaneous LACK of horror at what is happening in the war and what has happened to the characters over relatively short amount of time and the Earth culture over vast amounts of time.
I have been listening to a few podcasts regarding religion and science. (Check out the "Points of Inquiry" website. I find myself leaning toward the scientific side of the issue because, among other reasons, the "scientists" seem more reasonable and less irrationally pleased with themselves. However, the skeptical philosopher in me still holds back, seeing very similar responses on both sides, all based on unjustifiable assumptions the most basic of which is the very nature of belief and it's supposed requirement for action or even life itself. Atheism may not take as much "faith" as Christianity or Hinduism or Zoroastrianism but it still requires a leap that doesn't seem to have sufficient basis in pure reason. At least to me... What do you think?