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Wednesday, March 01, 2006

100% secular / Paranormal belief and brain chemistry


My friend Brad has started a new icon campaign : "100% secular". Add it to your page today !


On our Hellbound Alleee show about synchronicity, I recently revisited an old New Scientist article entitled "Paranormal beliefs linked to brain chemistry". An extract :

Believers were much more likely than sceptics to see a word or face when there was not one, Brugger revealed last week at a meeting of the Federation of European Neuroscience Societies in Paris. However, sceptics were more likely to miss real faces and words when they appeared on the screen.

The researchers then gave the volunteers a drug called L-dopa, which is usually used to relieve the symptoms of Parkinson's disease by increasing levels of dopamine in the brain.

Both groups made more mistakes under the influence of the drug, but the sceptics became more likely to interpret scrambled words or faces as the real thing.


I'm going to go ahead and give a little grumble at the fact that they divided people between "believers" and "skeptics", but apart from that it's a great article.

Post a Comment


10 Comments:

At 3/01/2006 8:05 AM, Blogger Zachary Moore declaimed...

That's wonderful news! I'll get started designing a drug to cure people of Christian belief.

 
At 3/01/2006 5:35 PM, Blogger Young Physicalist declaimed...

The 100% Secular site doesn't imply libertarianism, right? If so, I'll add my site to the link.

 
At 3/01/2006 7:34 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Not you again ? Don't tell me I have another stalker ? Fucking humanist, don't you have some culture to protect somewhere ?

 
At 3/01/2006 10:17 PM, Blogger Young Physicalist declaimed...

Funny how all the good and intellectually achieved atheists were also secular humanists, isn’t it? After all, the only thing that comes out of the libertarian right is hot air! On the other hand, humanists have funded the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal and the Center for Inquiry, while all libertarians have done is started a crummy, unelectable, and embarrassing political party, embracing pseudo-philosophy. If it is a choice between hot air (libertarianism) or achievement (humanism), I’d pick achievement.

 
At 3/01/2006 10:31 PM, Blogger Young Physicalist declaimed...

And, if you go to the internet infidels, you'll notice a lot more on humanism than wacky radical anarcho-capitalism!

 
At 3/01/2006 11:43 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Is this the best you can do ? An argument from popularity ? You are even lamer than I thought.

All the intelligent people I know are at least sympathetic to anarcho-capitalism, and reject humanist collectivism. So in my own experience, your fallacy doesn't even work.

If we compare the so-called "accomplished atheists", I think you'd find that most of them may call themselves "humanist" but reject collectivism. One exception is Einstein, who was a fucking commie. I'm sure you love that, too. Hooray for exploitation by the ruling class, asshole !

 
At 3/01/2006 11:43 PM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

And... Get the Fuck Out of My Blog (tm).

 
At 3/02/2006 12:03 AM, Blogger Francois Tremblay declaimed...

Sorry, I just realized that although I make most of the posts, this is a cooperative blog. So... Get the Fuck Out of Our Blog (tm).

 
At 3/03/2006 7:32 PM, Blogger Young Physicalist declaimed...

Humanism does have good points. For one, it recognizes humanity’s and science’s accomplishments, not to mention realizing people need a democratic government to survive. In my view, it is far better than extremist individualist anarchism.

 
At 4/08/2006 2:34 AM, Blogger Aaron Kinney declaimed...

Stop being an ass Tremgay. Get a life.

 

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