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This week on Think Atheist Radio we have our chat with Dr. Kathleen Taylor. Dr. Taylor is a freelance science writer affiliated with the Department of Physiology, Anatomy, and Genetics at Oxford University where she does her postdoctoral work in cognitive neuroscience. After studying physiology and philosophy at the University of Oxford she moved on to Stirling University where she received a research Masters of Science (MSc) working on neuro-chemistry before ultimately returning to Oxford for her PhD in visual neuroscience. Her interests center on belief formation and retention plus the neuropsychology of cruelty. She is the author of Cruelty: Human Evil and the Human Brain and Brainwashing: The Science of Thought Control. We asked Dr. Taylor to talk to us about her new book, just published, The Brain Supremacy: Notes from the Frontiers of Neuroscience. In the book, she surveys the work that's been done to get us to where we are in our understanding of neuroscience and then transitions into a discussion of just what we can expect from this exciting area of science and how it will impact our lives. She compares the coming revolution in neuroscience and the changes to our lives it will usher in with the revolution in our understanding of the world the discovery of Quantum Mechanics and the unraveling of the secrets of DNA have given us. Tune in to find out if that comparison holds up and why!
With the election just days away, and with the there being 2 third-party candidates that may appeal to you because of their positions relative to the 2 main-party candidates, Adam Lee wrote this week to explain why he won't be voting third-party despite the possible appeal. He then followed up with a post responding to some people who commented on the first post to say that they weren't going to vote at all, explaining why you should most certainly vote.
Following Hurricane Sandy questions are being asked about what kind of influence climate change had on the storm. Surely you can imagine what some religious bigots are saying about the cause of the storm... The GAYS!! New Scientist described how climate change will cause the increase in frequency of slow moving storms like Sandy. NASA scientists warned officials in New York of the risk of storms like Sandy 6 years ago. Turns out a foot of the so destructive storm surge from Sandy wouldn't have existed if it wasn't for climate change. Indeed, sea level rise as a result of climate change will cause Sandy's New York to be the norm by 2200. Climate change did seem to turn Sandy from a simple hurricane into the Frankenstorm we ended up with. The point is, while it's surely true that storms like Sandy would happen without climate change, with climate change storms like Sandy are more powerful and more frequent. And yet, as Phil Plait offers, the Neroes stand by and watch Rome burn as more Republican voters believe in demonic possession than accept the science underlying the conviction that the planet is warming and we're the cause. And will Sandy change the way the general public talks about climate change?
Check out this eye-opening chart on the price of inequality.
Michael Nugent debunks the myth of the "one-dimensional rabidly anti-religious Dawkinsian."
Steven Novella examines an email sent to him by a proponent of alternative medicine, focusing on key features of advertising propaganda in use by those proponents.
Libby Anne explained why she left behind the "pro-life" movement.
A new analysis of available genomes suggests that vision first evolved 700 million years ago.
Psychics submit to a test of their powers under scientific controlled conditions. How do they make out? Guess.
Curiosity's analysis determines a Martian soil sample is similar in composition to soil in Hawaii. At the same time, Curiosity's measure of the Martian atmosphere finds no methane, suggesting that there may not be any life.
A guest post at Ophelia Benson's Butterflies and Wheels site explaining and defending why atheists don't respect "faitheists"– atheist accommodationists– has riled up some people. Ophelia Benson defends the piece.
Carl Zimmer explains that without viruses, we wouldn't be here.
Republican candidate John Koster opposes abortion in instances of "the rape thing."
Here's a funny question for the 73% of evangelicals that apparently plan to vote for Mitt Romney.
The last life on Earth? Microbes will rule the far future.
Steven Novella advises skeptics: add another term to your lexicon of self-deception and cognitive biases. Temporal binding.
On the ancient glaciers of Mars. Is Mars between ice ages?
Astronomers measure the "cosmic fog"– the diffused starlight from the accumulated billions of stars throughout the universe– and estimate the space between stars.
Massimo Pigliucci wrote on the pseudoscience of the "singularity" for the most recent Skeptical Inquirer.
Life is, of course, common all around us. But how common is life likely to be in the rest of the universe?
On the similarities between creationism and "complimentary alternative medicine."
Religious exemption for children's homes in Florida results in rampant abuse.