Study Says Thinking About God Causes People to Take Bigger Risks (in Certain Situations)

A new paper published in the journal Psychological Science takes a look at the impact that thoughts of God can have on a person’s risk-taking behavior, and the results are interesting. The Stanford University researchers were particularly interested in the impact religion might have on behaviors when the moral component was removed.

While previous research has linked religiosity or spirituality with a decrease in behaviors like alcoholism, head researcher Daniella Kupor and her team wanted to know if the decrease was linked to religion’s moral imperatives against such behavior, or if spirituality and religiosity lowered risk-taking in general.

To answer that question, the team examined participants’ responses to both morally neutral and morally negative risky behaviors, along with non-risky behaviors. The responses were gauged both with and without religious references. The results reaffirmed the link between religion and risky behaviors typically deemed immoral… but where moral judgment was neutral, thoughts of God seemed to actually increase risk-taking:

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Bill Nye, Ever the Scientist, Admits He Was Wrong About GMOs and a Revised Edition of His Book Will Rectify That

A few months ago, Bill Nye published a book called Undeniable: Evolution and the Science of Creation:

In it, he mentioned that food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) could pose environmental risks:

Genetically engineering food is controversial, as it should be. If you’re asking me, we should stop introducing genes from one species into another, while at the same time taking full advantage of our ability to understand the genome of any organism — plant, animal, or fungus — in order to produce the healthiest, most sustainable food system possible. Here’s why: Although we can know exactly what happens to any organism we modify, we just can’t quite know what will happen to other species in that modified organism’s ecosystem. For me this is a big deal, though some other investigators don’t seem to find it as troubling.

But in a video filmed after his recent appearance on Bill Maher‘s show, Nye explained that he has studied the issue more since writing that chapter. He’s spent time with scientists who are experts in this area. And he admits his fears were nothing to be concerned about:

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Jimmy Kimmel Keeps Pressure on Anti-Vaxxer Parents by Sharing Over-the-Top Reactions to Last Week’s Segment

Last week, Jimmy Kimmel aired a fantastic rant against anti-vaxxers by simply explaining the reality of the situation — there’s no link between vaccines and autism, for example — and sharing what the vast majority of medical professionals recommend:

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UK Free School, Already Facing Closure, Found to be Promoting Creationism in the Classroom

The Durham Free School in the UK is an independent state-funded school (kind of like U.S. charter schools) even though it’s founded on “Christian values.” Earlier this year, Education Secretary Nicky Morgan ordered the school to be shut down after it was discovered that school officials cared *way* more about Christianity than the education it offered:

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Pakistan Arrests Hundreds of Parents for Not Vaccinating Their Children Against Polio

I want parents to vaccinate their children.

I’m all for blocking unvaccinated kids from attending public school.

But when it comes to pushing parents to vaccinate their children, this strikes me as going a *little* too far…:

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