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How John Loftus’s The Christian Delusion Fails: Part One

How John Loftus’s The Christian Delusion Fails: Part One

Book Review: The Christian Delusion John Loftus’s Facebook page lit up recently after I answered his question about going to church. Several of his friends challenged me to dig in to the meat of Loftus’s work. I had two of his books on my “guilt shelf” (books I own that I know I really ought to read), so I dove into one of them: The Christian Delusion: Why Faith Fails. My conclusion: there actually is some meat here, some things worth thinking…

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Something Different About This Philosopher

Something Different About This Philosopher

A philosopher came through the university, explaining the purpose of life, the way to happiness, the answer to the question of immortality, and the truth about right and wrong, good and evil. He spoke plainly. He avoided argument except over his right he speak; for he spoke on his own authority, and as if speaking for God himself: “It is true because because God says so, and I speak for God. My words are attested by the power of my…

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Rationality Undermines Religion? Yes, Maybe, and No

Rationality Undermines Religion? Yes, Maybe, and No

“Analytic Thinking Promotes Religious Disbelief.” So says recent research coming out of the University of British Columbia, reported in the prestigious journal Science. Even something as innocuous as viewing an image of Rodin’s Thinker seems to increase rational processing, which appears in turn to undermine belief. The story has been spun in multiple directions by various blogs and periodicals, so, wanting to get to the truth of the matter, I paid to retrieve the article from behind the subscription paywall….

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“Why Experts Create Few New Ideas | Psychology Today”

“Why Experts Create Few New Ideas | Psychology Today”

Psychology Today on a topic that just might be of interest to evolutionary scientists: Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., thought the idea of a personal computer absurd, as he said, “there is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” Robert Goddard, the father of modern rocketry, was ridiculed by every scientist for his revolutionary liquid-fueled rockets. Even the New York Times chimed in with an editorial in 1921 by scientists who claimed…

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“Born believers: How your brain creates God — New Scientist”

“Born believers: How your brain creates God — New Scientist”

The question at New Scientist was, how did we ever come up with the idea of gods? The answer begins, It turns out that human beings have a natural inclination for religious belief, especially during hard times. Our brains effortlessly conjure up an imaginary world of spirits, gods and monsters, and the more insecure we feel, the harder it is to resist the pull of this supernatural world. It seems that our minds are finely tuned to believe in gods….

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Will the Media and the APA Admit That Abortion Might Harm Women?

Will the Media and the APA Admit That Abortion Might Harm Women?

Abortion harms women. The Royal College of Psychiatrists is taking a very strong stand on this, saying it’s time to reverse positions and overturn policies on abortions. According to today’s [London] Times Online, Women may be at risk of mental health breakdowns if they have abortions, a medical royal college has warned. The Royal College of Psychiatrists says women should not be allowed to have an abortion until they are counselled on the possible risk to their mental health. This…

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“The functional neuroanatomy of science journalism”

“The functional neuroanatomy of science journalism”

Language Log takes frequent note of strange things science journalists say. Their most recent is about the neuroscience of mothers watching children in distress. Here is part of what LL’s Mark Liberman’s had to say: It’s rhetorically interesting that Ms. Parker-Pope takes the existence of brain differences observed by fMRI as evidence that the reactions in question are “hard-wired”, i.e. innate. No doubt the ability to recognize one’s children and the impulse to empathize with them have a substantial evolved…

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