Neuroscientist: Fundamentalism As Mental Illness

A HuffPo article from yesterday (Friday, May 31) says:Kathleen Taylor, Neuroscientist, Says Religious Fundamentalism Could Be Treated As A Mental Illness An Oxford University researcher and author specializing in neuroscience has suggested that one day religious fundamentalism may be treated as a curable mental illness.Kathleen Taylor, who describes herself as a "science writer affiliated to the Department of Physiology, Anatomy and Genetics," made the suggestion during a presentation … [Read more...]

The First Music Video in Space … Rocks.

I know you've probably seen this already. But it's special enough that *I* wanted to put it somewhere permanent. This is so cool it brought tears to my eyes.Thanks to ISS Commander Chris Hadfield. (Hurrah for Canadian intelligence, talent and bone-deep class!)Video below:   … [Read more...]

Well, This Is Disturbing.

Before I started A Citizen of Earth, I blogged as The Blue Collar Atheist.The name was mostly intended to underline my lack of a college degree, or any great amount of advanced education, to make the point that giving up religion, become an agnostic or atheist, is not something you need a Ph.D. to do. You can be a complete doofus and still reason yourself free of it.Speaking of which, even *I* can see the gaping holes in some of the stuff from this site (hat tip to commenter Chris for … [Read more...]

4th Grade Quiz: Four Ways Not to be Fooled

"What do you get when you cross an elephant with a rhino?"  goes the old joke. The answer: Elephino (hell if I know)!To the question of whether the attached image is the real thing, that's the best I can figure out. (Click to see it full-size.)I saw it this morning on the Richard Dawkins Foundation for Science and Reason Facebook page, a link shared by J.O., commenter from Gothenburg, Sweden. The original image appears to be from Imgur.The Imgur side-caption says the picture was … [Read more...]

Adventures in Cholecystectomy Land – Part 1

Probably more than you wanted to know, but ...I promised myself I would blog about this, and so I am:I went to the hospital on Friday for my pre-admission session, in preparation for gallbladder surgery – by an actual robot! – next Friday. Before surgery, they want to make sure you’re up to it, so they do blood tests, EKG, etc.I aced the tests. One of the nurses even told me she really liked having people like me, because so many of her patients were, you know, smokers and such, and had mul … [Read more...]

A Study in Conflict Between Island Cultures (Repost)

It doesn’t get much play in the publicly-available cultural anthropology literature, but there’s an island in the Pacific where an interesting conflict has played out over generations.The island, which has an untranslatable name – generally rendered in English as  “Ryeezahn” –  is occupied by two tribes, the Kritsi and the Syenz, which have been at war for generations, a war temporarily restrained in an uneasy peace.The root of the conflict, as visiting anthropologists have documented, is une … [Read more...]