Linking Color and Shape

A fascinating study seeks to explain why young children use the “wrong” colors for various objects when they color: Young children may colour trees blue or grass red because their memories can’t “bind” together the colour and shape of an object. Because the brain stores colour and shape in different groups of neurons, Vanessa Simmering at the University of Wisconsin in Madison suspected that young children have not yet developed the ability to link the information stored in each. Read more

Aaron Jentzen, “Great Inventors” and “Magnetic West”

I wholeheartedly recommend you go to Aaron Jentzen’s reverbnation page by clicking here if you love “elegaic baritone” (as his webpage puts it).  He reminds me of everything I love about Nick Cave, Leonard Cohen, and Matt Berninger (lead singer of The National).  And similar as his voice is in general style to these guys’ it’s still got a distinctive spectacularness  that makes him a must-listen in his own right. His overall sound to my ears is closer to The… Read more

Lenin, Mao, and the Enlightenment

Andrew Stuttaford debunks John Gray’s charges that Mao and Lenin were “disciples of an Enlightenment ideology”. First Gray: Equating fundamentalism with terrorism is loose thinking, but the biggest drawback is the loss of historical memory that making the parallel entails. Much of the state terror in the past century was secular, not religious. Lenin and Mao were avowed disciples of an Enlightenment ideology. Some will object that they misapplied this. And yet it is a feature of the fundamentalist mindset… Read more

The First “‘Nuff Said” Award

I love posters who disagree with me and through doing so open up whole new questions and angles to pursue, so everybody please keep your thoughtful and insightful challenges and contrasting opinions rolling in in the comments section. But every now and then there’s a different delight reading your comments and that’s the one that comes from a comment I agree with completely and can only reply with a tip of the hat and the words “’nuff said.”  Yesterday I… Read more

In Praise Of Public Schooling

In reply to this post in which I contrasted my experience as an Evangelical in public high school in the secular northeast to a midwestern girl’s struggles to be an atheist in high school in the midwest, Dave Smith, Camels With Hammers’ trusty webmaster and blogger, writes: Maybe, as you mentioned, it was because I grew up in the northeast, but I had a similar experience in high school. To be honest I don’t know anyone else in my class… Read more

The Coming Clash At The Creationist Museum

On August 7, biologist, anti-creationist, activist atheist and blogger-extraordinaire PZ Myers will be headlining a massive convergence of secular evolutionist atheists (including a large contingent from the Secular Student Alliance) upon Ken Ham’s infamous “Creation Museum”. Myers and the Secular Student Alliance have been promoting participation in the big visit for weeks and yesterday, Myers posted a letter from the museum warning him that they have been reading his website and taken note of many of his readers’ gleeful musings… Read more

Psychotic Reasoning, The Will To Believe, And Religious Interpretations Of The Mentally Ill

Yesterday morning, The Friendly Atheist’s Hemant Mehta analyzed stories of mothers who murdered their babies under religiously interpreted delusions with a critical eye towards the religions which put certain fantasies in their heads.  In reply to criticisms of his making this connection that came from skeptigirl (in this terrific post on psychosis you should read), from numerous really well-informed people you should read in The Friendly Atheist comments section, and from me, Hemant was big enough to take responsibility and… Read more

Daily Hilarity: Brain Surgery

Your Thoughts? Read more

Sam Harris’s Case Against Collins

President Obama’s recent choice to head the National Institutes of Health was Francis Collins who was both head of the human genome project and is an outspoken proponent of the complementarity of religion and science.  Here are some of  Sam Harris’s objections to his nomination: Why should Dr. Collins’s beliefs be of concern? There is an epidemic of scientific ignorance in the United States. This isn’t surprising, as very few scientific truths are self-evident, and many are counterintuitive. It is… Read more

Homeless Man Leaves Behind $4 Million Estate

Via BlagHag comes a really cool story, check out the whole thing: An article in the online newsletter of a Catholic mission in Phoenix revealed that Walters died two years ago at the age of 76. He left an estate worth about $4 million. Along with the money he left for NPR, Walters also left money for the mission. But something distinguished Walters from any number of solvent, well-to-do Americans with seven-figure estates: He was homeless. Walters was a retired… Read more

Follow Us!



Browse Our Archives