On "paleofantasies". The misguided nostalgia for our ancient past. Diet, morality, everything. You've heard it before.
With a new Pope about to be named the reasonable question is, will the Church change. It seems unlikely. Meanwhile, here are the 10 most corrupt, morally compromised cardinals voting for the new Pope.The Onion nails the funny with an "official" statement from the Pope who says "Being Pope was great, but you can't play make believe forever."
Speaking of corruption, here's why it's time to shut down the Vatican bank.
A common apologetic trope is to claim that, surely the historical claims of the Christian faith are true because, why would the early Christians persevere in their faith through persecution unless they were sure their faith was true. Leaving aside the fact that the feeling of absolute certainty on the part of adherents to a belief isn't itself evidence of the truth of a claim, historians find no evidence that the early Christians were in fact persecuted.
Scientists have found evidence of an ancient continent beneath the Indian Ocean.
Remember last week I linked to claims by some kooks who say they've typed the Sasquatch genome? Turns out one of the paper's citations is a well-known April Fool's prank from the past that claims to compare Yetis to primates. That's right. Sasquatch genome, because Yetis.
In this excellent longread the question is considered, in the deep future, will humanity go extinct here on Earth or live on to see a future among the stars.
Tom Rees of Epiphenom takes a look at a recent paper seeking to answer the question of why the religious tend to have a problem with outsiders. Is it the teachings of their religion or is it that people who are already more likely to be suspicious of outsiders are more likely to be religious?
4 reasons creationism should not be taught in schools.
Do neurons have a pre-programmed lifespan or is simply that they die when the body dies? Scientists aiming to answer the question have performed a fascinating experiment. Turns out neurons may be able to outlive the body.
With the advent of genetic testing companies that promise to provide customers with their ancestral makeup it's important that people understand that claims along the lines of "you have Viking ancestors" are no more true than astrology is. Not only are these companies making shady claims that aren't in evidence, they undermine legitimate research into human ancestry.
While it is surely the case that the anti-vaccine movement is dangerous and should be reviled and ridiculed where ever we find it, is there evidence for the claim that growing movement of vaccine denialists is responsible for the recent outbreaks of disease that have been in the news?
Historian of science Rebekah Higgitt writes on the trouble with "science" and "scientists", the use and misuse of the words.
Can Islam be reconciled with the fact of evolution? Here are the scientists trying to make it happen.
There's no end to discussions of whether Mars was habitable at some point in the distant past. Far fewer in number are those discussions of whether Mars is habitable today.
What kind of cognitive processing leads to religious belief? Put another way, what kind of thinker believes in God?
A 14yo Bangladeshi girl is raped and then given 100 lashes for her "crime". She made it to 70 before dying. People are entitled to their own beliefs?? Fuck you.
Cardinal O'Brien, Archbishop of Scotland and anti-gay bigot, resigns over accusations of unwanted sexual advances towards other priests. Best part? The Vatican apparently knew about the accusations months ago and allowed him to remain in his position.
The decline of a great scientist. E.O. Wilson, AGAIN, says silly things about group selection and its role in evolution.
The White House has committed to making all government research open access by a year.
A popular book last year was philosopher Alex Rosenberg's The Atheist's Guide to Reality. Jeff Lowder examines Rosenberg's defense of scientistic nihilism.
It's time for psychologists to put their house in order. Psychological research is in dire need of an overhaul.
Astronomers have found a black hole that is spinning superfast, tearing up space at nearly the speed of light.
Microbes have immune systems, and some can actually learn from their experiences to resist future attacks.
Interested in drilling a hole through the center of the planet and jumping in? Ethan Siegel explains the physics of what you'd experience. So cool...
I've been keeping you guys up to date on the exchanges between Massimo Pigliucci and Michael Shermer on the science and philosophy of morality. This week Richard Carrier jumped into the mix with some thoughts. His position is that Shermer is correct in broad strokes but has been woefully ineffective at explaining his position, being philosophically naive.
Mars may get hit by a comet in 2014. Stay tuned...
What are the challenges in simulating a human brain?
15,000 year old fossilized lightning? Wut?
5 ways to spot a bullshit news story on the internet.
In church/state separation news, the Irish government is taking steps to sever the tires between the Irish education system and the Catholic Church.
Past climate change revealed by........... fossilized critter urine??
MIT scientists create software that can detect a person's breathing and heartbeat by amplifying the small color differences in skin color and chest movement. The video is a must see. Really cool to watch a person's hearbeat flush the skin of their face with blood in real time. If the embedded video at that link won't load for you click here.
Last year a mysterious ring of radiation encircled the Earth for almost the entire month of September.
Animal sounds hint at the evolution of human language.
Just how big is the observable universe? Ethan Siegel gives us a run down. Get your drool cup ready as you will be blown away.
Could the solar system's deepest ocean– almost 10 times deeper than Earth's deepest ocean– harbor life?