Research Suggests the Brain Benefits Socially and Cognitively from Prayer

According to new research, the act of prayer can strengthen one’s will and refuel an exhausted brain. This comes to us from a post at Scientific American by Piercarlo Valdesolo, where we learn that Prof. Malt Friese and Michaela Wanke put participants through some emotionally and cognitively draining tasks — suppressing emotion and laughter while watching a funny video followed by identifying the colors of words that spell different colors as they flash by rapidly. Then the participants were told to pray for 5 minutes, and what happened?

Participants who were asked to pray about a topic of their choosing for five minutes showed significantly better performance on the [color identifying task] after emotion suppression, compared to participants who were simply asked to think about a topic of their choosing. And this effect held regardless of whether participants identified as religious (70 percent) or not.

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The Token Skeptic Experiments with Crowdfunding

If you delve into skeptic media even a little bit, you probably already know who Kylie Sturgess is. For those who don’t, she’s a first-class communicator of science and skepticism, known best for her podcast and blog Token Skeptic, and her work writing at the Skeptical Inquirer website.

Podcasting, though, doesn’t pay the bills like it ought to. So Kylie’s taken to the indie fundraising site Patreon to crowdsource the funding of her podcasting work. [Read more...]

A Short Film on Carl Sagan, Ann Druyan, and Deep Love

A few days ago, many of us marked the anniversary of the death of Carl Sagan. Since becoming part of the larger community of nonbelievers, I continue to be taken aback by how strongly so many of us continue to feel about that loss. I was more or less alone among my circle of friends [Read More...]

Ken Ham States the Obvious: Atheists Put Their Faith in Themselves, Not God

Creationist Ken Ham is not at all happy with the atheist billboards the Centre for Inquiry put up in Vancouver:

Ham takes issue with one of the signs suggesting that we trust ourselves instead of the Bible, but he *really* has a problem with the grammar:

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The Pale Blue Pixel

I don’t know what it was about this freakishly long image thread, but it really put things in perspective…

Click on the Earth to see the full story :)

(Thanks to Kimberly for the link)

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