The Sadistic Designer

You may have come across the argument before: How can you say there isn’t a God, when butterfly wings are so perfect, or the Earth is just right for us, or [insert awesome nature fact here]. This argument is typically presented as an “argument from incredulity” (“How else could everything possibly come to be?”) with a healthy dose of appeal to emotion (“But have you seen how perfect the hand of a newborn is?”)…

Here is the counter-argument, in video form, from the always excellent TheThinkingAtheist:

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The Trailer for the Rebooted Cosmos TV Series Is Out

Earlier tonight, at Comic-Con in San Diego, host Neil deGrasse Tyson, writer Ann Druyan (Carl Sagan‘s widow), and director Brannon Braga premiered a trailer for the Seth MacFarlane-produced reboot of Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey

More. I need more.

Looks incredible. I can’t wait to watch this. The show premieres in the spring of 2014. [Read more...]

Jenny McCarthy, Who Wrongly Believes Vaccinations Cause Autism, Named Co-Host of The View

If you want to have a panel of opinionated women for a TV show like The View, it makes sense to include a couple of conservative Christians like Elisabeth Hasselbeck and Sherri Shepherd to offer a dose of opposition to the liberal Joy Behar and Whoopi Goldberg. Sure, it’s infuriating at times, but it makes for a spirited debate.

I didn’t think The View would sink lower after the departure of Hasselbeck. But they’ve now gone from woefully misguided to dangerously ignorant, hiring Jenny McCarthy to replace her:

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A Wonderful Explanation of Inclusive Fitness

Sally Le Page explains the concept of Inclusive Fitness in a brilliant Shed Science video. (Even if you don’t care one bit about evolutionary biology, you’re going to want to watch this!)

Highlight comes at the 2:35 mark :)

(Thanks to Andy for the link!) [Read more...]

Does Believing in God Really Lead to Better Psychiatric Treatment Outcomes?

A new study published in the Journal of Affective Disorders and reported on in the New York Times suggests that belief in God can lead to better outcomes for patients with mental health treatment:

Over all, those who rated their spiritual belief as most important to them appeared to be less depressed after treatment than those with little or no belief. They also appeared less likely to engage in self-harming behaviors.

“Patients who had higher levels of belief in God demonstrated more effects of treatment,” said the study’s lead author, David H. Rosmarin, a psychologist at McLean Hospital and director of the Center for Anxiety in New York. “They seemed to get more bang for their buck, so to speak.”

Does that mean God actually helps patients in a hospital?

No, of course not.

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