Link blog: funny, science, templeton, culture

Plato’s Man Cave

Shadows on the wall, plus 52" plasma TV.
(tags: plato cave philosophy funny parody)

Why Sex and the City 2 is a science fiction movie

I LOL'd.
(tags: movies review funny future sf scifi sci-fi science-fiction)

Decoding God’s Changing Moods – TIME

You'd think the Abrahamic God would make up his mind — Can he live with other gods or not? What's with the random mood fluctuations?
But the fluctuations aren't really random. If you juxtapose the Abrahamic Scriptures with what scholars have learned about the circumstances surrounding their creation, a pattern appears.
(tags: religion islam history christianity god culture)

God, Science and Philanthropy | The Nation

An interesting article on the history of the Templeton Foundation, the controversial foundation which provides grants to scientists interested in "the Big Questions".
(tags: templeton dawkins richard-dawkins science religion intelligent-design)

Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth – opinion – 19 May 2010 – New Scientist

"…denialism, the systematic rejection of a body of science in favour of make-believe. There's a lot of it about, attacking evolution, global warming, tobacco research, HIV, vaccines – and now, it seems, flu. But why does it happen? What motivates people to retreat from the real world into denial?"
(tags: climate conspiracy creationism epistemology politics psychology religion science denialism denial)

3 thoughts on “Link blog: funny, science, templeton, culture”

  1. Interesting TIME article. I agree that the way people view the relationship of their religion or culture with others does vary according to how threatened they feel (though I wonder to what extent there is some circularity of argument when looking at ancient writings, as one of the measures used to assess what period they were written in is the attitudes they show). But the article doesn’t mention the fact that many people seem to enjoy being threatened. It enables you to bond with the rest of your group in an ‘us against the world’ way. And this isn’t primarily about religion, although some religious leaders do take advantage of it. I’ve seen it in goths, geeks, parents[1], scientists, environmentalists and anarchists. Any subculture will define itself by the ways in which it stands against the majority.

    [1] Before Faith was born I visited a few parent forums. On one in particular, people were very vociferous in defence of a parenting style known as ‘attachment parenting’, complete with stories about how they were told off by relatives/given evil looks from passers-by/advised to do things differently and how No-one Else Understands. I didn’t know exactly what ‘attachment parenting’ was, but presumed from these tales that it must be something very extreme and controversial. Coincidentally, when Faith was born a relative gave me a copy of a book that these people considered to be one of the key texts for attachment parenting. Apparently it means ‘keep your baby close to you, cuddle it when it cries, and feed it when it’s hungry’. All of which I would consider basic common sense!

    1. I was reminded a bit of Richard Beck’s Defensive Theology Scale: people who expect God to intervene positively in their lives (what Beck calls “Summer Christians”) are more likely to denigrate other religions (the “us vs them” thing) when primed with thoughts of death. I think in most religions, there are more people who are Summer than Winter.

      On attachment parenting: scribb1e‘s grandfather, James Robertson, worked with John Bowlby. People seem to credit Robertson’s documentary on a child left in hospital with starting the changes to allow unrestricted visiting, rooms for parents to stay overnight, and suchlike.

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