from month 08/2010

Scott Atran on religion and political violence

Scott Atran gave a lecture entitled "For Friends and Faith: Understanding the Paths and Barriers to Political Violence" at Hampshire College in the lecture series on science and religion. The abstract: "Many creatures will fight to the death for their close kin, but only humans fight ...

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Distress, culture and gene expression

An interesting paper forthcoming in PNAS showing how cultures may favour different expressions of the same gene: "Culture, distress, and oxytocin receptor polymorphism (OXTR) interact to influence emotional support seeking" by Heejung S. Kim, David K. Sherman, Joni Y. Sasaki, Jun Xu,Thai ...

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Laurie Santos on monkeynomics

An interesting TED talk: Laurie Santos looks for the roots of human irrationality by watching the way our primate relatives make decisions. A clever series of experiments in "monkeynomics" shows that some of the silly choices we make, monkeys make too.       &...

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The Zeus Problem

Forthcoming in the Journal of Cognition and Culture and available here, an article by Will M. Gervais and Joseph Henrich, "The Zeus Problem: Why Representational Content Biases Cannot Explain Faith in Gods" that deserves being read and discussed. Abstract: In a recent article, Barrett ...

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