June 2, 2016

The science writer John Horgan is not, like he suggests, a tribal outcast. He does have an ideological tribe, and it is a problematic one. Read more

May 27, 2016

A new archaeological paper published in Nature  has caused something of a stir as it details the discovery in a cave in France of ancient structures intentionally built from stalagmites, which dating methods suggest to be around 176,000 years old. The main significance of this finding is that during this time period there were no homo-sapiens in the region, instead it was occupied by neanderthals (homo-neanderthalensis). Consequently, the discovery offers some new evidence that the complexity of neanderthal cognitive abilities may have been underestimated and provides us with a remarkable new piece… Read more

May 24, 2016

Opening the Guardian app this morning I was surprised to see an article on religious affiliation as the main story. The bombastic headline explained that ‘Christians now in a minority as the UK becomes less religious’ (emphasis added by me) and the subheadline elaborated that the “proportion of population who identify as having no religion rose from 25% in 2011 to 48.5% in 2014”. If true this would suggests there has been a major new trend in religious affiliation in the UK observed… Read more

May 18, 2016

Easter Island, also known as Rapa Nui, is a small island in the Pacific Ocean that is famous worldwide for the hundreds of large stone monoliths (moai) found across the island. Although popularly referred to as stone ‘heads’, most of the monoliths actually possess long bodies, with the largest constructed standing over 30 feet tall and weighing 82 tons. The mystery of how almost 900 moai were carved and transported, mostly between 1250 CE and 1500 CE, only to be toppled and abandoned by… Read more

May 14, 2016

Hello everyone. From this week I’ll be launching this new blog, which as the title suggests is partly about addressing research on religion and belief from a cognitive perspective and partly about trying to address the cognitive ‘demons’ and biases that affect (and damage) all of our reasoning and the conclusions we draw from research. A small cadre of the folks reading this will already know me from my previous infrequent blogging under God-Knows-What, but for those of you who do not here is a… Read more

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