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Comments by Peter Grant

Go to: We Are Viral From the Beginning

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Peter Grant

We Are Viral From the Beginning http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/loom/2012/06/14/we-are-viral-from-the-beginning/

Excellent piece @carlzimmer

Sat, 16 Jun 2012 14:46:42 UTC | #947705

Go to: Classroom Clashes: Teaching evolution

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 69 by Peter Grant

I remember crying myself to sleep because my teachers were idiots.

Sun, 10 Jun 2012 10:14:16 UTC | #946716

Go to: Why We Don't Believe in Science

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Peter Grant

But it turned out that something interesting was happening inside their brains that allowed them to hold this belief. When they saw the scientifically correct video, blood flow increased to a part of the brain called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, or D.L.P.F.C. The D.L.P.F.C. is located just behind the forehead and is one of the last brain areas to develop in young adults. It plays a crucial role in suppressing so-called unwanted representations, getting rid of those thoughts that aren’t helpful or useful. If you don’t want to think about the ice cream in the freezer, or need to focus on some tedious task, your D.L.P.F.C. is probably hard at work.

Now I want a brain scan, because I suspect that my dorsolateral prefrontal cortex is seriously underdeveloped as I have never had any patience for tedious tasks. Yet I still am an atheist who tries to think scientifically about things. Perhaps I have managed to reverse engineer my intuitions somehow? Only a brain scan will tell for sure. Does anyone know how much they cost?

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 17:34:29 UTC | #946374

Go to: Stop female genital mutilation in the UK! - Avaaz.org petition

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Peter Grant

Stop female genital mutilation in the UK! http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_female_genital_mutilation_in_the_UK/?cl=1821934338&v=14523

68,184 signers. Let's reach 100,000

Tue, 05 Jun 2012 08:10:43 UTC | #945654

Go to: The Dangerous Fallacy of Ceremonial Deism

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 1 by Peter Grant

Deists, rejecting the idea of an intervening God with whom one can have a personal relationship, would find the notion of "trusting" in God to be rather puzzling.

Pretty much sums it up, "ceremonial deism" is another one of those oxymorons.

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 19:44:55 UTC | #945544

Go to: In U.S., 46% Hold Creationist View of Human Origins

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 25 by Peter Grant

In U.S., 85% are still idiots

http://www.gallup.com/poll/155003/Hold-Creationist-View-Human-Origins.aspx

Mon, 04 Jun 2012 13:50:02 UTC | #945463

Go to: Richard Dawkins & Daniel Dennett. Oxford, 9 May 2012

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 20 by Peter Grant

Richard Dawkins & Daniel Dennett. Oxford, 9 May 2012 http://youtube.com/watch?v=WdU-UtEJEIA

That was excellent, of course memes are real replicators! Hopefully Dan's new book will clear up some of the confusion surrounding them.

I especially enjoyed this personal anecdote of Richard's illustrating the importance of ridicule:

I myself was influenced. When I was an undergraduate I was rather taken, I'm ashamed now to admit, with Teilhard de Chardin and The Phenomenon of Man. And I was taken in by what Peter Medawar called that "tipsy, euphoristic prose-poetry which is one of the more tiresome manifestations of the French spirit". Um, so I was taken in by that and then I read Medawar's review of The Phenomenon of Man and was completely won over, I mean this witty take-down of this pretentious theologian and I realized gosh I'd been fooled, I'd been conned. So one of the things that I try to do when I do occasionally indulge in ridicule, is that I'm not actually trying to change the mind of a real died in the wool deeply religious person. I'm trying to change the mind of someone who's sitting on the fence and who hasn't really given it very much thought.

I'm now tweeting all the latest richarddawkinsdotnet videos @AtheistTube. Could rdfrs please suggest some more channels to add?

Sat, 02 Jun 2012 18:17:25 UTC | #945212

Go to: Why I watched a snake-handling pastor die for his faith

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Peter Grant

Finally got the pictures to load (I hate these flash things). Would have preferred a full length documentary highlighting this inhumane treatment of snakes as well as the suffering and eventual death of one of their tormentors. It is not very obvious from the photos how these snakes are mistreated, but in one you can clearly see that the snake is placed in a box on top of a loudspeaker. Snakes are very sensitive to vibrations, so this is presumably done to make the snake riled up for a more interesting performance.

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 20:16:23 UTC | #945067

Go to: Why I watched a snake-handling pastor die for his faith

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Peter Grant

Someone should call the local SPCA.

Fri, 01 Jun 2012 19:24:03 UTC | #945053

Go to: Atheism and Human Rights Abuses in Africa

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 11 by Peter Grant

I not terribly keen on Nationalism either. It gets used as way to justify the suffering of those who are not of one's own nation.

Thu, 31 May 2012 19:35:39 UTC | #944820

Go to: Atheism and Human Rights Abuses in Africa

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 7 by Peter Grant

Atheism and Human Rights Abuses in Africa http://ieet.org/index.php/IEET/more/igwe20120531

Leo Igwe is inspiring! Imagine Africa with basic human rights for everyone.

Thu, 31 May 2012 18:19:59 UTC | #944799

Go to: Eugenie Scott at TAM 2011 - Denialism of Climate Change and Evolution

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Peter Grant

Eugenie Scott "Deja Vu All Over Again: Denialism of Climate Change and Evolution." http://youtube.com/watch?v=LuBfns5CcaY

The Steve Song:

http://www.ncse.com/files/pub/action/stevesong.wma

:D

Wed, 30 May 2012 19:25:58 UTC | #944587

Go to: Jury gives "faith healing" mother prison time in son's death

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 17 by Peter Grant

Jury gives "faith healing" mother prison time in son's death http://newsok.com/jury-gives-mother-prison-time-in-death/article/3679118#ixzz1wJqPUNm3

Good.

Wed, 30 May 2012 09:06:06 UTC | #944423

Go to: Does Religious Liberty Equal Freedom to Discriminate?

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 29 by Peter Grant

Religious liberty is the freedom to believe nonsense entirely at one's own risk, it does not give one the right to make any claims on anyone else.

Tue, 29 May 2012 21:20:50 UTC | #944318

Go to: Official: 160 girls poisoned at Afghan school

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Peter Grant

Official: 160 girls poisoned at Afghan school http://www.cnn.com/2012/05/29/world/asia/afghanistan-girls-poisoned/index.html

Disgusting. This insanity must end.

Tue, 29 May 2012 14:47:23 UTC | #944230

Go to: Does Religious Liberty Equal Freedom to Discriminate?

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 12 by Peter Grant

http://richarddawkins.net/articles/646057-does-religious-liberty-equal-freedom-to-discriminate Does Religious Liberty Equal Freedom to Discriminate?

No, religious liberty does not equal freedom to DO anything.

Tue, 29 May 2012 04:00:21 UTC | #944144

Go to: Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss Tribute to Christopher Hitchens - 2012 Global Atheist Convention

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 23 by Peter Grant

http://youtube.com/watch?v=QfZISH7NHBg http://youtube.com/watch?v=2ImIziEINXI http://youtube.com/watch?v=iR0GyYaeI-k Richard Dawkins & Lawrence Krauss Tribute to Christopher Hitchens - 2012 Global Atheist Convention

Remember Hitch!

Mon, 28 May 2012 08:23:39 UTC | #943922

Go to: The Descent of Edward Wilson (with Polish translation)

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 73 by Peter Grant

Comment 72 by ccw95005

At that point group selection could fine tune them.

Genocide is not fine tuning. Evolution may be cruel, but it certainly isn't that wasteful. Wiping out entire groups is not progress, in any sense of the word.

Sun, 27 May 2012 16:53:47 UTC | #943835

Go to: Mr. Deity and the Rights

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 14 by Peter Grant

Mr. Deity and the Rights http://youtube.com/watch?v=kRGj-L_Y6-Q

Give them money, I've got to see Mr Deity and freakin' Richard Dawkins together! :D

Fri, 25 May 2012 20:22:59 UTC | #943562

Go to: The Descent of Edward Wilson (with Polish translation)

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 46 by Peter Grant

Comment 39 by Richard Dawkins

As always when we post articles that are published elsewhere, we put "Read on" prominently at the bottom. "Read on" means Read on. You click it and you get taken to another place, in the present case to the website of Prospect Magazine, where you will find almost exactly ten times as many words, explaining in great detail why Wilson is wrong.

LOL :D Not sure clicking through would have helped though. The comments on that website were even worse, last I checked any way, It seems that whenever you give of your valuable time to rationally and clearly try to explain anything important, legions of naysayers with no clear understating of biology or evolution begin to attack you en mass, spreading their confusion even more and thus undermining the effort. What can be done about this?

Fri, 25 May 2012 19:50:42 UTC | #943555

Go to: Psychiatry Giant Sorry for Backing Gay ‘Cure’

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 21 by Peter Grant

http://www.nytimes.com/2012/05/19/health/dr-robert-l-spitzer-noted-psychiatrist-apologizes-for-study-on-gay-cure.html

At least he admits he was wrong, I can respect that.

Fri, 25 May 2012 12:42:01 UTC | #943469

Go to: The Descent of Edward Wilson (with Polish translation)

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Peter Grant

The Descent of Edward Wilson http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/science/edward-wilson-social-conquest-earth-evolutionary-errors-origin-species/

What's so hard to understand? It's as if most of those commenting aren't even reading the article.

Fri, 25 May 2012 12:03:51 UTC | #943463

Go to: The Descent of Edward Wilson (with Polish translation)

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 19 by Peter Grant

The Descent of Edward Wilson http://www.prospectmagazine.co.uk/science/edward-wilson-social-conquest-earth-evolutionary-errors-origin-species/

This is sort of sad, but I imagine it must also be quite irritating for Professor Dawkins and his peers to have to keep correcting the same mistakes over and over again. Thank you.

Thu, 24 May 2012 22:26:34 UTC | #943368

Go to: Full Length Talk - 'How To Tell You're An Atheist'

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 10 by Peter Grant

http://youtube.com/watch?v=0iVCxx-GkMg Daniel Dennett - 'How To Tell You're An Atheist' http://clergyproject.org/

Enjoyed that.

Thu, 24 May 2012 11:35:40 UTC | #943255

Go to: Ultra-Orthodox Jews Rally to Discuss Risks of Internet

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 56 by Peter Grant

Comment 51 by Quine

For example, the Boy Scouts have rallies that are closed to gays and atheists.

This needs to change.

Thu, 24 May 2012 08:11:35 UTC | #943238

Go to: Debate: Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 70 by Peter Grant

Comment 68 by Troy'sHorse

Almost nobody mentions agnostics.

Because most atheists are agnostics.

Wed, 23 May 2012 18:21:40 UTC | #943154

Go to: Debate: Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 61 by Peter Grant

Comment 41 by xmaseveeve

I'm sure the Jews would rather have been lined up and ridiculed than being put into the gas chambers.

Yes, it's a bit like being called a militant atheist. Maybe if more Germans had ridiculed the Nazis they might never have gained power in the first place.

Tue, 22 May 2012 20:20:33 UTC | #942952

Go to: Update - Podcast June 5 Interview with Peter Boghossian - "Faith: Pretending to know things you don't know"

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Peter Grant

http://youtube.com/watch?v=qp4WUFXvCFQ Faith: Pretending to know things you don't know PETER BOGHOSSIAN

Or mental illness, I like how he made that point too. Faith is either dishonest or insane, those really are the only two options.

Tue, 22 May 2012 18:02:38 UTC | #942888

Go to: Moral Clarity and Richard Dawkins

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 3 by Peter Grant

The only way to do real science is to avoid making metaphysical assumptions. Equally, the only way to do real good is to avoid making meta-ethical assumptions.

Tue, 22 May 2012 09:51:39 UTC | #942783

Go to: Debate: Can Atheists and Believers work together for the common good?

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 26 by Peter Grant

Comment 9 by casaoui-cool

You seem to be totally unaware of the fact that what you were saying was / is the very definition of ...fascism, ironically enough .

Hardly, I've never met a funny fascist, they generally seem to lack any sense of humor. Perhaps they take themselves a bit too seriously. Fortunately, this also makes them great targets for ridicule.

Congratulations .

Thank you :D

What makes you think you possess or monopolise the truth, buddy ?

It is precisely those who think they possess some sort of monopoly on truth who should be ridiculed.

Ridiculous pretentious intolerance : science should make you humble, people

LOL, have you met any real scientists? Many are extremely arrogant in their field of expertise, and justifiably so.

P.S.: I do think, at the other hand , that all beliefs , cultures , thoughtstreams ...do have some elements of truth here & there , to some extent at least ,including the secular or atheistic ones ,so.

Sure, why not. The whole "God" thing is still ridiculous though.

Mon, 21 May 2012 22:12:03 UTC | #942690