Posts

November 27, 2014

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1:00 PM | The Devil Made Me Do It.
When faced with negative life events, people often interpret the events by attributing them to the actions of God or Satan (Lupfer, Tolliver, & Jackson, 1996; Ritzema, 1979). To explore these attributions, a new article published in Psychology of Religion...            Related StoriesListening to the GodsAs Former POWs Grow OlderThe Rise of the Robot Therapist 

November 26, 2014

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10:36 PM | Creationist ‘audits’ science museum
Imagine you are 10 years old and your crazy aunt is taking you out for a treat. A crazy aunt can be fun. Problem is this aunt is also a creationist and she is taking you to the local natural history museum. … Continue reading →
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10:36 PM | Creationist ‘audits’ science museum
Imagine you are 10 years old and your crazy aunt is taking you out for a treat. A crazy aunt can be fun. Problem is this aunt is also a creationist and she is taking you to the local natural history museum. … Continue reading →
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9:37 PM | When you think about spirits, do you see ghosts?
Humans are finely honed for spotting intentional agents in our environment. Meaning that if you hear a rustling, or see a branch move, you’re instantly on the alert in case it is another person (this effect is has a name: ‘hyperactive agency detection’). You can see why evolution would have favoured that. Better safe than [Read More...]

van Elk, M., Rutjens, B., van der Pligt, J. & van Harreveld, F. (2014). Priming of supernatural agent concepts and agency detection, Religion, Brain & Behavior, 1-30. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2014.933444

Citation
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9:37 PM | When you think about spirits, do you see ghosts?
Humans are finely honed for spotting intentional agents in our environment. Meaning that if you hear a rustling, or see a branch move, you’re instantly on the alert in case it is another person (this effect is has a name: ‘hyperactive agency detection’). You can see why evolution would have favoured that. Better safe than [Read More...]

van Elk, M., Rutjens, B., van der Pligt, J. & van Harreveld, F. (2014). Priming of supernatural agent concepts and agency detection, Religion, Brain & Behavior, 1-30. DOI: 10.1080/2153599X.2014.933444

Citation

November 24, 2014

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11:07 PM | The Recombinant DNA Controversy: Where Will Genetic Engineering Lead Us?
DNA. Officially known as deoxyribonucleic acid. Also otherwise known as the building block of life. The substance that is unique to each individual and is the basis of forensics to identify culprits. For some dogmatic people, the one thing that science was never supposed to touch and experiment with. Yet, … READ MORE
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7:47 PM | This just in: Pterosaurs are STILL dead, maybe even more so
Dr. Donald Prothero exposes the myth of the ropen, a pterosaur-like flying animal claimed to have been observed in Papua New Guinea. It has even been suggested it is a self-luminous creature. It’s a story well-known to cryptozoologists (the same stories get recirculated repeatedly to make up for no new evidence to fill a book). Turns… Source: Doubtful News

November 23, 2014

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6:30 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies! Christian Love, Bathing in the Ganges, and SAHPs
Categories: Meta StuffTags: Anna Dorothea TherbuschartcometsDBTEscepticaGangesGMO Awareness Daygrounded parentsloveMad Art LabmentorsParentingphysicspuppetsReligionRosetta missionSandrine Hazanschool of doubtstay-at-home-parentsstudent-centered learningteachingTeen Skepchickwomen in scienceSunday Funny: “You can calculate the area of my annulus and goddamn kiss it!” (via SMBC) Teen Skepchick Depending on What You Mean by Love Elizabeth realizes that her family ...(Read more...)

November 18, 2014

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11:00 AM | An Ontario court dooms a First Nations girl with cancer: Who’s to blame?
I figured that yesterday’s post about the First Nations girl in Ontario with lymphoblastic leukemia whose parents stopped her chemotherapy in favor of “traditional” medicine would stir up a bit of controversy, and so it did, albeit much more at my not-so-super-secret other blog, which featured an expanded version of this post. Don’t worry, you…
Editor's Pick

November 17, 2014

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3:30 PM | An Ontario court dooms a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11-year-old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about this case…
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3:30 PM | An Ontario court dooms a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11-year-old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about this case…
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8:00 AM | Ontario fails to protect the life of a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11 year old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about […]
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8:00 AM | Ontario fails to protect the life of a First Nations girl with cancer
A few weeks ago, Steve Novella invited me on his podcast, The Skeptics’ Guide to the Universe, to discuss a cancer case that has been in the news for several months now. The case was about an 11 year old girl with leukemia who is a member of Canada’s largest aboriginal community. Steve wrote about […]

November 16, 2014

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12:06 AM | New Video: Judge Orders Boy Circumcised Against Mother’s Wishes
Categories: Religion SkepticismSupport more videos like this at patreon.com/rebecca. Sort of transcript: Last week, a judge in Florida decided that a 4-year old boy would be forced to undergo a circumcision against ...(Read more...)

November 15, 2014

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4:30 PM | Fear mongering about vaccines as “racist population control” in Kenya
There are many conspiracy theories about vaccines that circulate almost continuously. Some are relatively new, but most are at least a few years ago. They all tend to fall into several defined types, such as the “CDC whistleblower” story, which posits that the “CDC knew” all these years that vaccines cause autism but covered it […]

November 12, 2014

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10:59 PM | Veganism plays role in mother losing custody of underweight infant
Doctors fear the baby is not thriving and may be in danger from the mother’s ideological beliefs. The baby is taken away. We have a big debate… Vegan mom arrested over unhealthy newborn fights for baby’s custody. Sarah Markham’s baby was taken from her because she opted not to take him to the hospital when… Source: Doubtful News

November 11, 2014

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11:14 PM | Experts Debunk Claim Jesus Was a Husband and Father
Jesus was a father and husband of two, claims a new book based on an ancient manuscript. Continue reading →
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10:30 PM | 1,500-Year-Old "Lost Gospel" Suggests Jesus Was Married With Children
A new book is making the controversial claim that Jesus married Mary Magdalene and had two sons. The authors say the evidence comes from a 1,500-year-old manuscript uncovered at the British Library. Read more...
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5:00 PM | Harsh Environments Foster Beliefs In Powerful And Judgmental Gods
An analysis of 583 cultures shows that challenging environmental conditions, such as floods and famines, lead cultures to adopt beliefs in moralizing, high gods. The research may help explain how and why certain religions emerged, including Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.Read more...
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2:38 PM | Rossiters guilty of manslaughter in faith healing death of child
In an update to this story, faith healing parents have been found guilty of manslaughter in the death of their young daughter from diabetes. Jury: Parents Guilty of Manslaughter | KEZI. After four hours of deliberating Monday evening, a Linn County jury found both Wenona and Travis Rossiter guilty of manslaughter in the first and… Source: Doubtful News
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1:00 PM | Listening to the Gods
From Mount Sinai to the Oracle at Delphi, the history of religion is filled with examples of "special places" where ancient peoples could receive messages from their gods. But could acoustic theory provide clues about the way sound and geology...            Related StoriesThe Case of the Brooklyn Enigma (Part 2 of 2)Can We Control the Aging Process?P.T. Barnum and You 

November 07, 2014

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6:55 PM | These Are The Pages Being Ripped From A Biology Text Book In Arizona
The Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board in Arizona recently voted to "redact" a page from a ninth-grade biology text book because it includes a brief section on an abortion pill. School officials have responded by literally tearing the page from the texts. Thankfully, the Internet has come to the rescue. Read more...

November 06, 2014

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2:00 AM | More Britons Believe In Aliens And Ghosts Than God
God's polling numbers are down in the UK, where a recent survey found adults were more than twice as likely to believe in extraterrestrials than the creator and ruler of the universe.Read more...

November 05, 2014

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11:33 PM | Why the Pope Shuns Creationism But Supports Exorcism
Pope Francis disses creationism but embraces exorcism. Here's why. Continue reading →

November 03, 2014

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4:00 PM | Skepchick Sundaylies, Monday Edition! Bogus Ebola Meds, Cause Marketing, and Jesus as Disability Cure
Categories: Meta StuffTags: "F-bombs for Feminism"cause marketingDBTdeathdisabilityEbolaEscepticagrounded parentsNimonaParentingReligionReviewsschool of doubtSkeptabilityTeen SkepchickI’m terribly sorry. I had super-secret Skepchick business this weekend, so the Skepchick Sundaylies are a day late. Don’t worry, though! I would never abandon you completely. Check out the ...(Read more...)

November 02, 2014

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3:55 AM | From realism to interfaces and rationality in evolutionary games
As I was preparing some reading assignments, I realized that I don’t have a single resource available that covers the main ideas of the interface theory of perception, objective versus subjective rationality, and their relationship to evolutionary game theory. I wanted to correct this oversight and use it as opportunity to comment on the philosophy […]

Kaznatcheev, A., Montrey, M. & Shultz, T.R. (2014). Evolving useful delusions: Subjectively rational selfishness leads to objectively irrational cooperation., Proceedings of the 36th annual conference of the cognitive science societ., arXiv: http://arxiv.org/abs/1405.0041v1

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1:04 AM | Reconstructing Gödel
What exactly was his “Philosophical Viewpoint”? Austria Forum source Kurt Gödel left a large amount of unpublished writings and notebooks and preserved correspondence. Called his Nachlass, German for “after-leavings” or bequest, these writings were catalogued and organized by several—including his first biographer, John Dawson, for a heroic two years. Those of highest scientific and general […]

November 01, 2014

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3:48 PM | New Video! Calling Out Religious Misogyny without Hypocrisy
Categories: Feminism ReligionSupport more videos like this at Patreon! Pseudo-transcript: In Orange County, Florida, public schools, a Christian group was allowed to hand out Bibles and other literature on Freedom of Religion ...(Read more...)

October 30, 2014

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12:51 AM | Pope Francis says Evolution and the Big Bang are Compatible with Catholicism
Pope Francis says Evolution and the Big Bang are Compatible with Catholicism You’ve probably heard, the news. Pope Francis has announced that Big Bang cosmology and evolutionary theory are compatible with Catholicism and “may even be required.” This is, of course, wonderful news. It’s evidence that science and religion are not necessarily … Continue reading → The post Pope Francis says Evolution and the Big Bang are Compatible with Catholicism appeared first […]

October 29, 2014

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6:03 PM | Pope says evolution and Big Bang are A-OK routes when God still drives the bus
Pope Frank breaks with former Pope Benny in embracing scientific concepts of the origin of the universe and the process of evolution as being not inconsistent with faith. Meh. Nothing new. Catholicism is in desperate need to look relevant in the modern world and to distance themselves from clearly wrong and ridiculous ideas about how… Source: Doubtful News
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