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Top down or bottom up?

Posted by on Jul 25, 2014 in Epistemology, Featured, Philosophy | 0 comments

'Rationality is useless if it is not sound. This is what Martin Luther meant when he called reason a "whore". Pick the wrong premises, and rationality is utterly screwed. Therefore, merely that someone is "rational" means absolutely nothing about whether that person is well-connected to reality.'

The exactitude of human evolution up in the air

Posted by on Jul 20, 2014 in Evolution, Science | 1 comment

So human evolution in its African context has been hotly researched, but the research is necessarily slow. Fossil digs take a ling time and are few and far between. New finds from 2000 onwards in Georgia are throwing a lot of theories up in the air. What were once thought to be different species of early human ancestors might have been variations in the same species. As the Guardian reports:

Seeing it all add up

Posted by on Jul 18, 2014 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

Here I want to discuss a few books published recently and which I have read in the last few months that are focused on math. They are not books on how to do math (i.e., textbooks), but instead they discuss mathematical concepts and their relations to ways of thinking about the world. Sometimes they touch on theological issues, sometimes a lot. But all three are good reads.

Scientists discover that atheists might not exist, and that’s not a joke (plus rebuttal)

Posted by on Jul 14, 2014 in Atheism, Featured, Psychology, Science and religion | 2 comments

Metaphysical thought processes are more deeply wired than hitherto suspected WHILE MILITANT ATHEISTS like Richard Dawkins may be convinced God doesn’t exist, God, if he is around, may be amused to find that atheists might not exist. Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged.

Deepak Chopra vs Prof Brian Cox. FIGHT!!!!

Posted by on Jul 12, 2014 in Consciousness, cosmology, Science | 0 comments

Good ole Brian Cox. I miss his wistful stares from mountaintops as he regales the audience with soundbites of majestic physics. The TV presenter/scientist/ex-keyboardist of D-REAM has recently come to Twitter blows with blowhard Chopra and his rather dubious use of real science to espouse his spiritualistic nonsense. There is a great article, here, at The New Statesman:

On theists believing ridiculous, unscientific things, and Terror Management Theory

Posted by on Jul 10, 2014 in Atheism, Creationism, Evolution, Featured, Psychology, Science and religion | 313 comments

Over at another post of mine, we have been discussing whether religion can and should be destroyed. During that conversation, the idea came up that Christians, in all probability, hold more ridiculous beliefs which are unscientific in nature; and also arose the connected idea that Christians, in a generalistic sense, are not as good at doing science, because they have a higher propensity to give up searching for answers.

The success of John Oliver and Last Week Tonight

Posted by on Jul 5, 2014 in Humour, Skepticism, The News | 1 comment

If you, like me, have been really pleased that the state of comedy and satirical news is in rude health, and if you have been comforted by the emergence of John Oliver and his research- and fact-based show (Last Week Tonight) , then you will find this a good read. I have loved John Oliver's comedy. The writing is astute, and chimes with so much of what is going on in the liberal, secular, intellectually invigorated community.