On Unintentionally Intimidating People

While most of us rightly want to be exceptional in some way or another, we often feel a lot of social and moral pressure not to think of ourselves as generally better than others. And, even more urgently, we feel pressure not to convey to others that we think ourselves superior and not to be [Read More...]

How To Make God Die A Little More

Scientific American summarizes studies which locate people’s distrust of atheists in their fears that atheists are more likely to act deviously in secret because they fear no god is watching them. We have talked about such research before. Then this article explores other research which gives indications about how to combat this problem: When we know [Read More...]

A Cool Optical Effect

I saw this image on Facebook and I find it mesmerizing.   Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Baby Morality

Yale psychologist and author of How Pleasure Works: The New Science of Why We Like What We Like, Paul Bloom discusses the evidence that certain behaviors, dispositions, and feelings on which morality is built are innate in us and present already in babies: Relatedly, Alison Gopnik’s The Philosophical Baby: What Children’s Minds Tell Us About [Read More...]

MRI's Show Internet Can Be Addictive Like Cocaine

Over LoggingGet More: SOUTHPARKmore… That full, brilliant South Park episode is here. Now the science: Internet addiction has for the first time been linked with changes in the brain similar to those seen in people addicted to alcohol, cocaine and cannabis. In a groundbreaking study, researchers used MRI scanners to reveal abnormalities in the brains [Read More...]

Pascal Boyer on Imaginary Friends and Supernatural Agents

Sorry for the hiccup as the site was down, but now that we’re back up, the blogathon goes on! Onward to 9:00am! Reading Pascal Boyer’s frequently illuminating Religion Explained last fall, the single most interesting part for me was his discussion of imaginary friends. According to my mom I had countless imaginary friends as a [Read More...]

How and Why Do We Deceive Ourselves?

Robert Trivers, author of the new book The Folly of Fools: The Logic of Deceit and Self-Deception in Human Life explores some of the stranger scientific studies of self-deception: Robert Trivers: Why Do We Deceive Ourselves? from The RSA on FORA.tv Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Emotions and Control

In November, a Christian gelato store owner temporarily put up a sign refusing to serve attendees of Skepticon IV because he had briefly visited the convention, witnessed a satire of Christian revivalists, and been offended. In response, there was an uproar on the internet against the gelato store owner which led to him apologizing. I [Read More...]

The Dangers of Religion Itself

Salvaging Religion In this post I am going to explore the dangers of religion. For some context, I have written often that I think that there are good things that go by the name religion that atheists should try to salvage from authoritarians, irrationalists and bigots. I am generally optimistic about the idea that we [Read More...]