I very much enjoy your science blog and have posted comments from time to tme over the past month when I first came across scienceblogs.com. I very much enjoyed your interview with Richard Dawkins (contained on one of his CD's I purchased). Despite being aware of Dawkins' statement that organizing atheists is like herding cats, I am curious if the atheist scientific community (I understand there is considerable overlap between the two) is endeavoring to focus its energy on ascertaining why folktales/mythology/religion are so pervasive and persuasive to otherwise intelligent human beings. Is any organization attempting to cure people from religion and the God-myths by an interdisciplinary approach including genetics (are there genes which make some us more prone to seek supernatural explanations?), behavioral psychology, et cet. to speed up the process of ridding the world of this curse or at least making it less dangerous to human progress? I know I am WAY over my head here, PZ, but is anybody in the scientific community trying to focus science's enormous wealth of knowledge on the forest of religion as well as on all the fascinating trees, leaves, and smaller constituent parts? I look forward to participating in the process and appreciate all of your efforts to educate the world about the beauty of evolution. Thank you.
Hey! I've never been able to swallow any of this god-stuff, despite the best-efforts of my parents. I've been combing the web looking for insights into raising godless kids in our religulous society but so far I haven't found much. I'd be interested in any thoughts/experiences of members here. It's one thing to tell your kids that a jolly, bearded old guy who knows if you've been bad or good and dispenses presents accordingly doesn't really exist; apparently it's quite another to tell your kids that a vengeful, bearded old guy who knows if you've been bad or good and dispenses damnation accordingly doesn't really exist.
Plus, I've always thought cephalopods are way cool; especially in a black bean sauce with lots of veggies the way my wife makes it. Yum!
I've been privately trying to abandon the faith of my fathers for decades, recently read Dawkins and was astonished to read that you're currently teaching in the little town 18 miles from where I grew up (not far from Chokio)!
My first thought was 'have you somehow been exiled to American Siberia?'! My second is that my Mom still lives in Morris and I see her fairly often. (My Dad is buried less than 500 yards from your office!) I'd sure like to meet you on one of my next visits to Morris.
My other thought was 'why do we have to spend so much time and energy debating the obvious with all the supernaturalists?' IOW, let's just get on with our work and let them all believe in the Invisible Man or handle snakes or whatever turns them on? This is a serious question--really!
Loved your hilariously blogged tale about your expulsion from Expelled! I could not resist sending a copy of it to a Super friend of mine. Her response, unsurprisingly, was to distance herself from all Christians who have not been guided to her particular form of infallible divine moral understanding. I find the narcissistic circularity of this type of argument quite infuriating.