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Discussions by Helga Vieirch

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There appears to still be a Waco in Texas

Helga Vieirch - 07 May 2012 23 Comments

My own feeling at first was that I had strayed back into the pages of the Onion. But I checked, and NO, I was actually browsing an account on Think Atheist of a recent debacle that happened in Waco,...

TAGGED: RELIGION, SCIENCE

Genocide: What is behind irrational evil perpetrated by ordinary people?

Helga Vieirch - 10 April 2012 228 Comments

It is just religion? I don't think so. I doubt it is even the most important problem. Why, even in the case of the Holocaust, there is a profound indoctrination into a belief system involved,...

TAGGED: CRITICAL THINKING, HARM, MORALITY, PSYCHOLOGY

Republican war on science

Helga Vieirch - 09 April 2012 31 Comments

Look at this - Daily Show: Republican Strategist telling us why science is bad I know it is a bit tongue in cheek, right??? I hope. But there is a serious underlying problem here… unless I...

TAGGED: MEDIA, POLITICS, SCIENCE

Genetic diversity among Common Chimpanzees

Helga Vieirch - 18 March 2012 25 Comments

I was very struck by the findings of recent studies of diversity in Pan troglodytes , which revealed that there were probably four subspecies, not four. I was particularly struck by one of the...

TAGGED: GENETICS

Karma?

Helga Vieirch - 18 March 2012 4 Comments

The Heartland Institute has ben a major funder of "scientists" with various irrelevant qualifications who are willing to go on the record to debunk the evidence for global warming, or, at least,...

TAGGED: CLIMATE

Who has the right to prevent children learning to be tolerant of others' beliefs?

Helga Vieirch - 26 February 2012 65 Comments

No one. The Canadian Supreme Court has ruled that Catholic parents cannot prevent their children from attending ethics and religion courses. The parents have been fighting to prevent their...

TAGGED: CHILDREN, EDUCATION, RELIGION, VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Windows of opportunity and destruction - for the human mind

Helga Vieirch - 17 February 2012 17 Comments

On a number of different topics here, I have often referred people to The Two Year Window , a study which suggests that emotional nurture in the first two years of life are critical for the...

TAGGED: CHILDREN, EDUCATION, RELIGION, SECULARISM

Networking - a modern phenomenon?

Helga Vieirch - 06 February 2012 25 Comments

You may all know about Dunbar's Number , which is based on the finding that the human brain tends to knock off work if asked to keep close track of much over 150 other people. Yet many young...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, EVOLUTION, PSYCHOLOGY, SOCIETY, TECHNOLOGY

The domestication syndrome

Helga Vieirch - 02 February 2012 45 Comments

This is an interesting thought.Tame Theory: Did Bonobos Domesticate Themselves? A new hypothesis holds that the natural selection produced the chimpanzee's nicer cousin in much the same way that...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, EVOLUTION

Race re-debunked

Helga Vieirch - 05 January 2012 353 Comments

[update 10am GMT-7 - the problem with page 3 of the comments not displaying has been corrected. Click on page 3 below is now working. /Mike One of the most widely read articles in the...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, CRITICAL THINKING

Jesus has come again?

Helga Vieirch - 27 December 2011 29 Comments

This looks like a lovely little community. However it scares me just a bit that new cults like this can arise so spontaneously and, despite their premise being clearly bogus (or maybe just seems...

TAGGED: CULTS, RELIGION

Fatherhood and the hormonal changes associated with it

Helga Vieirch - 24 December 2011 12 Comments

And I quote: (from the Times review cited in this article [This] finding … helps make the case that women aren’t the only ones who are biologically wired for raising children. Decreased levels...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, BIOLOGY, SOCIETY

The power of belief: Puppy Pregnancy Syndrome: Men Who Think They Are Pregnant with Dogs

Helga Vieirch - 18 November 2011 28 Comments

I have occasionally tried to impress people here with the importance of culture in influencing human behaviour via their actual perception of reality. Despite also affirming that we have cognitive...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, IRRATIONALITY, PSYCHOLOGY

Are atheists the new Jews?

Helga Vieirch - 30 October 2011 58 Comments

I am aghast. From the article : "...Joseph Ratzinger knows that he can’t aim his pious invective at the Jewish people as his predecessors did. So this most contemporary pope takes aim at the...

TAGGED: ATHEISM, MORALITY, POPE, RELIGION, VATICAN/ROMAN CATHOLICISM

Are humans bad or good?

Helga Vieirch - 30 October 2011 53 Comments

A book by Steven Leblanc, anthropologist, has me in a kind of outraged shock. It seems that he has fallen for the view that humans are naturally violent, aggressive, deceitful, manipulative…...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR

Alberta: where the word "evolution" and the name "Darwin" does not appear in a "science" textbook

Helga Vieirch - 27 October 2011 33 Comments

I live in the Canadian province of Alberta. I find it hard to believe - but even harder to get other people here to even see as serious - the way evolution and Darwin's ideas are virtually ignored...

TAGGED: EDUCATION, EVOLUTION

The evidence for Homo sp. being polytypic all along

Helga Vieirch - 24 September 2011 24 Comments

Our general anthropological consensus is that modern humanity can trace most of its DNA to a small number of individuals who probably lived in subsaharan Africa between 200,000 and 150,000 years...

TAGGED: BEHAVIOR, EVOLUTION, SOCIETY

Missionary deconverted by native tribe

Helga Vieirch - 19 September 2011 17 Comments

This is a rather interesting audio account of the trials and tribulations of a young linguist, Daniel Everett, who went to live among the Pirahã tribe in South America. It struck me particularly...

TAGGED: ATHEISM, RELIGION

Is Homo sapiens really wise enough to be rational about the future?

Helga Vieirch - 10 September 2011 36 Comments

Enlightenment is a wonderful thing. Our big brains should be good for something. But besides intellectual satisfaction, winning arguments, and charming the opposite sex, our intelligence ought to...

TAGGED: CRITICAL THINKING, GENERAL INTEREST

Well, that's interesting … who is "praying" for Obama?

Helga Vieirch - 31 August 2011 44 Comments

I recently came across this article and was struck by the sinister implications of the recent " pray for Obama" campaign in the USA. Do you suppose someone got their scripture verses mixed up? ...

TAGGED: HATE, RELIGION