Category Archive: Science

Jul 05 2013

CONvergence – Evolutionary Psychology panel audio


Okay, this is not the greatest recording in the world. As it turns out, a Google Nexus 4 appears to only be able to record at 8000Hz mono. If I’m going to keep doing this, I’ll have to invest in a better sound recorder. Or maybe use my old iPhone, because that’s literally the only …

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Jun 15 2013

News from down under: the TRUE skeptical women side with the guys!

Something funny happened in my and Stephanie’s trackbacks today. On Adelaide Atheists’ Meetup group, one of their male members wrote up a post asking women to endorse the Skeptic Women petition. The thread was titled, “I wish to promote the statement below issued by a group of women atheists/(true) skeptics and ask women to consider …

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May 16 2013

Privilege, Dialogue, Harassment, and the Anti-Availability Heuristic

The Availability Heuristic is a well-known cognitive bias that primes people to more readily believe something when they can easily come up with examples. Of the cognitive biases that I’ve encountered among rationalists in the skeptical and atheist communities, this bias is the one I’m most capable of coming up with examples. I am therefore …

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Apr 27 2013

Evolving pseudo-creatures in computer simulation to run a short course

I love the idea of simulating evolution through computer models. The purpose of such an exercise is not so much to prove that evolution happened, or to prove that complexity can evolve from simple rulesets (though that’s certainly important), but to show that randomness and flexibility in solving tasks can create novel approaches that are …

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Apr 14 2013

Climate denial and the Industry of FUD

I’ve had this link to Climate Crocks on my tabs for forever, intending to blog about it as soon as possible. Today I was listening to Minnesota Atheists Talk Radio, on AM 950 KTNF, and Stephanie Zvan was interviewing Greg Laden about the climate denialists who’ve been trying to sue him into the ground for …

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Jan 09 2013

Staver/Barbar: California law turns sexual abuse victims into gays and transgender

The specific laws they’re talking about, that are preventing kids from receiving counselling? The “change therapy” laws of course, which forbid religious “therapists” from trying to un-gay-ify kids. Their reasoning is that children who are predated upon by pedophiles have no recourse but to go with any gay feelings they have thereafter. The premise that …

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Dec 29 2012

Baby turtle eats raspberry

I’m posting this to prove a point, on top of the obvious squee and funny factors. That point is, human beings can be complete monsters sometimes. Treating cute little turtles as sport, as though there was any contest between the turtle and an automobile. For shame. Look at that turtle, having trouble eating a raspberry! …

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Dec 26 2012

Asteroid 2011 AG5 missed the keyhole

Welp, there goes another apocalyptic prophecy — this one grounded in reality, mind, but it means we can scrub the 2040 doomsday off our calendar. Earlier in 2012 only a few observations of AG5 could be made before it got too close to the Sun to see. Those allowed the crude estimate of where it …

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Dec 19 2012

IQ test exposes the myth that is ‘g’

The idea that there’s a single scalar value that measures anything like “general intelligence” (“g”), commonly known as “IQ” or “intelligence quotient”, has been pretty much blown out of the water by this comprehensive study by the University of Western Ontario’s Brain and Mind Institute. Our attempt to answer [the question of how to quantify …

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Dec 08 2012

Animation student’s thesis: Pale Blue Dot

Adam Winnik produced this lovely animation for Carl Sagan’s poetic musings on our place in the cosmos, as his school thesis. From his video’s description: I’ve been enrolled in illustration at Sheridan College for the the last 4 years and this is my final thesis project. I have always thought of Carl Sagan’s writings as …

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