The Root of Transcendence

As an atheist, you hear it all the time – the in-your-face assertion that Humans are “wired for God.” We believe in gods, we’re told, because it’s natural to us. Because we have something in us that NEEDS a god or gods. Maybe because it carries some evolutionary advantage, so we evolved to have it.The conclusion, in the mind of any faith-professing Christian, is that we’re this way because there really is a god, or at least some sort of “something bigger out there somewhere” that makes it so. … [Read more...]

Yew Cain’t Trust Yore Lyin’ Eyes

Watch this video:I've been seeing optical illusions like this for something like 60 years, and the never-fail tagline is always "You can't trust your eyes!" The thing is always presented as a profound scientific lesson in human perception.But it's SLANTED science, science with a somewhat false editorial built into it, the whole aimed at achieving a little funhouse-type prank on the viewer. When I figured this out 30 or so years back, when I understood the REAL lesson, I stopped being … [Read more...]

Pile-On Against ‘Rationalia’

Neil deGrasse Tyson (@neiltyson) fired out a tweet on Wednesday, June 29: Earth needs a virtual country: Rationalia, with a one-line Constitution: All policy shall be based on the weight of evidence ... and the response was weird.I know absolutely nothing about Tyson's motivation, but I suspect he put it out there in mild and humorous frustration at how utterly NON-rational current society and government is. Suggesting ONE way it could be better -- with a more-rational, rather than … [Read more...]

Did God Mess With Biology’s Roots?

I've said many times that the true, full effect religion has had on human society is not something any of us is really equipped to notice. It's so ... everywhere ... that we have little to contrast with it in order to clearly see the damage.Even science, which escaped the grasp of religion and went off to change the world in ways religion could never have managed, still -- in my view, anyway -- suffers aftereffects.  For instance:Here's a pretty good article about something humans and … [Read more...]

The Dark Side of the Sun

I belong to a couple of Facebook groups on Transhumanism and the Singularity, and I avidly read the articles and posts. But I don't buy into every one of them. Yes, I want fantastic things to happen. Hell, I fully EXPECT fantastic things to happen. But ... a lot of the articles are more about possibilities than realities.  For instance, I think we've been predicting safe, abundant fusion energy -- any time now -- for the past 50 years. I've kinda begun to wonder "What if it just isn't … [Read more...]

Prairie Dogs are Calling You Fat

I don't think I ever got to meet this guy when I lived in Flagstaff and edited an arts and entertainment magazine for 3 years, but I wish I had. He's doing some amazing work.Dr. Con Slobodchikoff, Ph.D., assisted by students at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, has managed to decode some of the content of prairie dog language. As it turns out, they're pretty expressive. You might not think it to look at them, but prairie dogs and humans actually share an important commonality -- and … [Read more...]