Category Archives: Skepticism

It’s Harder for Religious People to Tell Fact from Fiction

Jesus-Krishna

When I wrote the article “Should Parents Tell Their Kids ‘The Truth’ About Santa?” three and a half years ago, I argued that most children whose parents allow them to believe are giving them a potentially important opportunity to learn. That is, to understand the process of believing something they inevitably stop believing in (or should I say, most people stop believing in). However, I stumbled upon some research that both reminded me of this story and made me wonder about it.

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Is Atheism a Religion? (Hint: No)

atheism religion baldness hairstyleRarely do I make new articles based on my interactions with commenters, but a recent one warranted a full response. From my article “Read a Bible – Become an Atheist (In That Order)” one commenter said:

Sorry, atheism is a religion, as it is a system of belief…a very simple one (not saying that everyone’s beliefs are simple, but the simple fact being that one chooses NOT to believe in God). It takes great leaps of faith to believe that there is no God.

Posted in Japan, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Read a Bible, Become an Atheist (in That Order)

Atheists and Christians may not agree on everything, but one thing is certain: They want you to read the bible. When I first decided to write this article, I was planning to compare quotes about why a Christian and an atheist may want others to read the bible. But considering the fact that (as I wrote in my last article) I was threatened with a lawsuit from a Christian website, I won’t be doing that. Instead, I’ll just use my own words: Christians think that reading the bible will make you believe in God. Studies show otherwise.

Posted in Culture, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Scientific Consensus and the Obvious Truth about Global Climate Change

You-control-climate-changeI often ask questions in my article titles, but the question “are we responsible for climate change?” is simply unnecessary. From the overwhelming evidence, we know the answer to this question; and the answer is “YES!” This is good news because we may have the power to change things, but bad news because we aren’t doing nearly enough, and we may pass the point of no return within the next few decades. Furthermore, with so many people fighting to argue against what almost all climatologists are saying, most people aren’t even trying to do something about it.

Posted in Biology & Evolution, Culture, Media, Psychology, Science, Skepticism, Social Psych, Technology | Tagged , , , , , | 18 Comments

Exorcism, the Human Stun Gun, and Suggestion

Pope Exorcism

When the world ended last year, I pointed out the there is a certain degree of relativism to the apocalypse. That is, you, the reader, must have been impervious to the apocalypse. Why? It’s simple – you never believed it. And therefore, it didn’t happen. Unfortunately, many people do believe in things for which there is no evidence, including the end of the world. In the Vatican City, new Pope Francis has nothing to say about the end of the world, but he may have just performed his first exorcism as Pope, which is yet another phenomenon for which there is no evidence. And it reminds me of the “Human Stun Gun.”

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Biographical, Culture, Japan, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

Why Haven’t We Found the Missing Link in the Fossil Record? Science Answers!

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War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength. -George Orwell

If evolution is such an incontrovertible “theory,” then why haven’t we found the “missing link” yet? A compelling question – if not boldly ignorant. In fact, creationists ask this question all the time, falsely asserting that there is a lack of evidence to support evolution. This article is going to look at why we don’t have all the information we want on the fossil record, and what the whole question of a “missing link” really means.

Posted in Biology & Evolution, Culture, Science, Skepticism, Technology | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The 2013 Pigasus Awards

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Every year, the James Randi Educational Foundation gives awards to recognize the special few uncritical thinkers who do more to peddle pseudoscience and damage the public in ways that only celebrities could. Below are five “winners” of various categories whose success in nonsense have given actual science communicators like myself a greater challenge – not only to inform the general public of the way things are, but to do so while battle the faulty preconceptions caused the non-scientific thoughts and beliefs caused by such purveyors.

Posted in Aggregators/lists/rankings, Biographical, Culture, Media, Science, Skepticism, Technology | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Did Jesus ‘Want’ to be Nailed to a Cross?

Philippines Crucifixion god damn that looks painful

I’m pretty sure the answer to the question in the title is “no,” but there are many things I don’t know about religion. For example: Why is it that some Christians celebrate Easter by eating bunny-shaped chocolates (often after an informal hunt) and painting eggs, while others celebrate it by carrying a gigantic wooden cross up to the point well they will be literally nailed to it in a fashion that was – to my knowledge – reminiscent of how Jesus was forced to a few millennia ago? And for that matter… what part of that makes it “Good Friday?”

Posted in Culture, Skepticism | Tagged , | 5 Comments

Possessed by Demons, Animals, and Nonsense

Green Snake hand art

“Japan doesn’t have that stuff. That’s more of a Western thing.” Just like I constantly have to remind Westerners how they’re horribly wrong about the bizarre and ridiculous stereotypes of Japan, I had to show my Japanese friend that she was totally wrong in her idea about “us” and “them.” The notion that only Westerners believe in exorcisms and demonic possessions is simply wrong. In addition to the many stories I mentioned in an earlier post about exorcisms in Japan, yet another case occurred recently in Japan where the belief in possessions reared its ugly head.

Posted in Abnormal & Clinical Psych, Culture, Japan, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Brain is Not Simply Split into Two Totally Separate Halves, and Other Lessons on Skepticism

left brain right brain WRONG

One year ago, I wrote an article that skewered the infographic that one website had been sending to the public. I showed the evidence that contradicted what was claimed, and I ended up busting two persistent myths in that article. The first myth was that the two hemispheres of the brain (right and left) were radically different sections of the brain; the second myth was that people have distinct learning styles, which make some people “visual learners,” while others are “audial learners,” etc. I don’t mind explaining this stuff to laypeople, but there’s something unnerving about the email I got from one of the creators of the infographic.

Posted in Blogging, Media, Neuroscience, Psychology, Science, Skepticism | Tagged , | 5 Comments