I recently emailed the National Academy of Sciences in order to explain why their article on evolution is incorrect. I did not expect a reply, and I did not get one, as of yet, but misrepresenting science is not acceptable. Below is the email. « Continue »
In a recent article, posted on Atheist Republic, there was a suggestion that fundamentalist religion was positively associated with PNIMRs. However, the analysis seems to be an interpretation, of an interpretation, of maybe even one more level of interpretation before getting to the actual study. Furthemore, the study itself faces significant methodological errors. « Continue »
I created this page to explain a point about epistemology. Default to nonexistence is not universal. Whether or not we default to an assumption of existence or nonexistence depends on necessity. If neither are required, we just don’t make an assumption. If there is more danger if something exists, we assume existence. For instance, we assume drugs have dangerous side effects, until shown otherwise. We’re also risk averse, so even though this page does not contain any harmful material, one might still be cautious about clicking a link to it.
Recently, I came across an article discussing Breaking the Spell: Religion as a Natural Phenomenon. I have not focused on Daniel Dennett’s work, but I wanted to respond to the discussion in the article, and will be adding more to this discussion as I read through the book. One of the largest issues is that Dennett’s position seems to be that Dennett, or at least the author of the blog article, seems to view religious behavior as being indistinct from non-religious belief: “from the meme’s-eye-view, there’s no difference between a Muslim who prays five times a day because he truly believes in Allah and the truth of the Koran, and a Muslim who prays five times a day because that’s what Muslims do.” The second issue is the view that religion perpetuates itself because there is a belief that religion is good. « Continue »
The following is a draft research proposal to investigate the scientific perception and reality of the efficacy and efficiency of B. pertussis vaccines and the prevalence of asymptomatic infections. I have written extensively, both on The Spiritual Anthropologist, and over at Politicoid, on the topics of vaccine efficacy and science, especially concerning issues with the way vaccine efficacy is researched and on the potential threat of asymptomatic infections, and have been striving to publish new research, rather than just summarizing existing research.« Continue »
Philosophy of Academics included Philosophy of Education, but also questions about the validity of methods of research and scholarly communication. Questions include, but are not limited to is the separation between “fields of study” in academia reasonable or arbitrary?, is there a more reasonable way to measure academic achievement beyond degree level?, and can people still be world class scholars in more than one field?. If I were to categorize these questions, I think they would fit reasonably well into a category that I would call “philosophy of academics.”« Continue »
Prominent individuals in psychology have stated or implied that religion is a delusion. These people are often delusional themselves. I have explained why religion is not a delusion or mental illness in “The Pervasive Nature of Religiophobia” and “Religion is an Illness and Evolution is Wrong (Not).“« Continue »
Over the last couple of decades, we have learned a lot about the human gut microbiome. Rather than simply being a collection of commensal organisms, the gut microbiome (GMB) is now thought to be involved in a number of important metabolic roles, including nutrient extraction, immunity, and possibly even the regulation of sleep and mood. The degree with which negative health outcomes have been associated with a dysbiosis, or the dysfunctional GMB, and the degree with which different organ systems interact with the GMB, suggest that we should consider it to be as important as an organ, if not actually an organ itself. Dysbiosis is therefore not a minor inconvenience that may cause discomfort, but a syndrome or disease that must be treated to maintain proper health. Further research on gut microbiome dysbiosis should be undertaken, including research into new diagnostic tools. The first half of the paper will summarize part of the discoveries made in the field of research on the GMB. The second half of the paper will use those findings to suggest further research.« Continue »