Will's Posts

The Evolutionary Psychology of Promiscuity

The Evolutionary Psychology of Promiscuity

Fellow Skepchick Mindy alerted me to this story in The Atlantic about some new evolutionary psychology research concerning promiscuity and morality. As usual, the reporting on the research uncritically reproduces all sorts of essentialist ideas about sex/gender and sexuality while reporting on the research. As usual, I am highly skeptical of any science reporting, much less science reporting on ev... »

Cross-Post: We Aren’t Ready for Inclusive Atheism Yet

Cross-Post: We Aren’t Ready for Inclusive Atheism Yet

Let me just say first that I agree with what you’re about to shout into your computer, that supportive and accepting inclusivity should always be a top priority for any community group or movement, especially one comprised of intersectionally-marginalized people (not only are we all marginalized as nonbelievers, many of us are also women, people of color, disabled, LGBTQ, etc.). But we aren’t ther... »

Facebook’s Unethical Research Project

Facebook’s Unethical Research Project

Facebook has apparently conducted a “massive” psychological experiment and published the results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science (PNAS). The study sought to manipulate the emotional responses of 689,000 Facebook users by controlling the types of content that appeared on their feeds in order to see whether or not emotional traits can be “transferred to others via emotional con... »

#notallsciences

#notallsciences

There’s an article over on The Curious Wavefunction blog titled “Neil DeGrasse Tyson makes an excellent point, but Larry Summers is still right.” I know we’re not supposed to judge a blog post by its title (that’s how that saying goes, right?), but I saw this and immediately thought to myself, “this couldn’t possibly be awful!” Social psychologist Chris Martin f... »

No, That’s Not How Anthropologists Think Of Human Social Organization

No, That’s Not How Anthropologists Think Of Human Social Organization

There is recent a video posted on Slate that summarizes a recent study claiming to give support to the anthropological position that “hierarchical organization of human society is deeply nested in human psychology.” As I sat and watched the video, I thought surely this is a problem of science reporting and the research does not make such claims. Alas, the video is quite accurate in describing the ... »

Cross-Post: Who is really to blame for Elliot Rodger’s mass murder?

Cross-Post: Who is really to blame for Elliot Rodger’s mass murder?

The following post was written by Anna and is cross-posted from Queereka. [CW, TW for pretty much everything from misogynist violence, racism, suicide, and every horrible other thing that MRAs on a "troll" site would post] With all the news and speculation surrounding what would compel Elliot Rodger to commit murder, who or what could we POSSIBLY blame? Is it TV? Is it video games? Is it VIOLENT T... »

Of Buildings and Bras

Of Buildings and Bras

In 2010, I had the pleasure of befriending Leah McCurdy, a PhD student in archaeology at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I am always in awe of her fierce intelligence, deep inquisitiveness, outgoing personality, and drive to help others as much as she can. Leah has recently begun expanding beyond the archaeological work she does in Belize to try to help Belizeans in need. I am inspired by ... »

Challenge Accepted: Non-Theistic Explanations for Sacrifice

Challenge Accepted: Non-Theistic Explanations for Sacrifice

Over at THE WEEK a few days ago, Damon Linker wrote an article titled “Why atheism doesn’t have the upper hand over religion.” In this article, Linker claims to have dealt a coup de grâce to atheism: “The fact is that there are specific human experiences that atheism in any form simply cannot explain or account for. One of those experiences is radical sacrifice—and the feelings it elicits in... »

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