Ann Druyan And Carl Sagan On The Empathic Ethical Behavior Of Humans Vs. Macaque Monkeys

Really fascinating bit of radio audio discussing a variation of the Milgram experiment performed on macaque monkeys, comparing its results to when the actual Milgram experiment was first done on humans: Thanks to Amanda for the great find. Your Thoughts? [Read more...]

Cognitive Misers

Kaj_Sotala summarizes fascinating ideas from Keith E. Stanovich’s What Intelligence Tests Miss: The Psychology of Rational Thought Cognitive science suggests that our brains use two different kinds of systems for reasoning: Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 is quick, dirty and parallel, and requires little energy. Type 2 is energy-consuming, slow and serial. Because [Read More...]

If I Could Read Only One Atheist Blogger, It Would Be…

…Richard Wade of Friendly Atheist, whose ”Ask Richard” column turns one fantastic year old today.  It is a column by a retired therapist who gives atheists advice about atheistic parenting, the effects of one’s religious past on one’s present life and the way to go forward constructively in the future as an atheist, and, probably most [Read More...]

Tom Rees On Why Loss Of Faith Might Be A Two Generational Process

The Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life study this February revealed that less than one fifth of all American adults under 30 report regular church attendance.   But they still also overwhelmingly claim belief in God.  Tom Rees thinks that despite their beliefs, their abandonment of the pews may indicate that a multi-generational secularization [Read More...]

Unconscious Influences

Time ticks off some observed ways in which people have been shown to be susceptible to irrational subconscious influences: Studies have found that upon entering an office, people behave more competitively when they see a sharp leather briefcase on the desk, they talk more softly when there is a picture of a library on the [Read More...]

Contrasting Muslim And Western Psychologies: The Locus Of Control

Nicolai Sennels spent several years working with criminal Muslims in Copenhagen (where as of March 2009 “70% of the prison population in the Copenhagen youth prison consists of young man of Muslim heritage.”)   He writes the following about the different ways that Westerners and Muslims view the locus of control: There is another strong difference between the [Read More...]

Deciding Without Knowing It?

In the paper “Predicting Persuasion-Induced Behavior Change from the Brain” from The Journal of Neuroscience , UCLA researchers reveal that they were better able to predict test subjects’ behavior days in advance by monitoring activity in the medial prefrontal cortex than by asking them what they would do.  Psyorg.com explains: The new study by Lieberman [Read More...]

Contortions Of Catholic Philosophy: Eve Tushnet Argues Gay Sex Is Not OK But Sex Changes Are

Tushnet’s moral choice for herself and for other gays is celibacy or gender reassignment. Of course for some people, specifically some of the transgendered, a sex change is entirely appropriate and preferable to gay sex because from a gender (rather than a sex) perspective, those who are pre-op transgendered and are attracted to members of their [Read More...]

“Ick Factor” Vs. “Projective Disgust”, Huckabee Vs. Nussbaum On The Source Of Aversion To Homosexuality

In the New Yorker, Mike Huckabee recently used the phrase “ick factor” in describing responses to homosexuality and when attacked for it, claimed he was taking it from the LGBT movement and from the work of philosopher Martha Nussbaum. Huckabee’s self-defense comes from his website: The reaction over a reported quote from my most recent [Read More...]


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