may the fourth…

…be with you. (^_^)

may-the-fourth-20102

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athe-nosticism

(<< coining a new term there? hmmmmm. maybe not.)

i thought i was an athe-nostic ’cause i’m neurotic. but now i learn that, maybe, it’s just ’cause i’m an aspie.

i’m so dysfunctional. (~_^)

16% of high-functioning autists had a religious belief of their “own construction.” heh. that never occurred to me! maybe i’ll give that a try.

previously: sperm donation and possible inbreeding – oops! (see comments thread for discussion on god and religion and all that jazz.)

(note: comments do not require an email. aspies of the world unite!)

linkfest – 08/14/11

Intelligence tests highlight importance of genetic differences“DNA study links variations in intelligence to large numbers of genes, each with a small effect on individual brainpower” – via steve sailer.

You can count on this: Math ability is inborn“Do some of us just arrive in the world with better math skills than others? It seems we do….”

Psychology and its national styles

“What about me?” Perceptions of exclusion and Whites’ reactions to multiculturalism“Overall, results show that the purportedly ‘inclusive’ ideology of multiculturalism is not perceived as such by Whites.” – via the inductivist.

World survey links religion and happiness — for some“[I]n societies under stress, those who are religious outnumber – and are happier than – their nonreligious counterparts. Where peace and plenty are the norm, however, religious participation is lower and people are happier whether or not they are religious….”

Why one waist-size guide doesn’t fit all ethnic backgrounds

Why the rich ‘are such a selfish, less empathetic and less altruistic lot’

bonus: It’s the Economy, Dummkopf! by michael lewis.

bonus bonus: Building Blocks of DNA Found in Meteorites from Space

(note: comments do not require an email. sith penguin.)

linkfest – 08/07/11

That anxiety may be in your gut, not in your head“McMaster research finds link between gut bacteria and behaviour”

Brain size, latitude, and ambient light – @evoandproud via diversityischaos.

A Trick of the Mind“[W]e are descendants of ancestors whose ‘default position is to assume that all patterns are real; that is, assume that all rustles in the grass are dangerous predators and not the wind.'”

Your Genome Structure, Not Genetic Mutations, Makes You Different

In the company of whales“Sperm whales have distinct dialects, complex relationships and a set of traditions passed down between generations—what scientists are calling a ‘multicultural civilization’”

Females can place limits on evolution of attractive features in males, research shows

Sex on the brain: What turns women on, mapped out“It’s what women have been telling men for decades: stimulating the vagina is not the same as stimulating the clitoris.” – got that? good.

Thank climate change for the rise of humans

bonus: Jewish solidarity makes Israeli democracy stronger“The secret to the strength of Israeli democracy may lie in another feature of this society that is not easily reconciled with a well-run democracy: the quasi-tribal sense of Jewish solidarity, the general sense that we are a kind of extended family.”

(note: comments do not require an email. helloooooooo!)

note to self:

pay more attention to ideologies.

bruce charlton suggests that i underestimate the power of ideology, and he’s probably right. i’m not a very ideological creature myself, so i think overlook what different ideologies mean to different people and the role it plays in their lives.

i mean, i know they’re there — ideologies, that is. most of the time, tho, i just think of them as neat, abstract ideas to discuss after dinner — like you might discuss an interesting chess opening, for instance.

the thing is, it’s hard to put yourself in other people’s shoes sometimes. i’ve operated most of my life without thinking much at all about any religious belief or political ideology. i forget that other people have a different experience in life.

anyway, i should pay more attention to them because i’ve even written (or commented) here on the ol’ blog about two different ideologies that have either profoundly affected the genetic relatedness in a population, or affected a population’s historical trajectory — and in both cases ideology affected the success of the populations — so obviously ideologies are important!

the first is what we’ve been discussing recently: that the spread of christianity in europe directly altered the degree of genetic relatedness within european populations when the roman catholic church (as well as the political powers of the day) imposed mating restrictions on the population.

the other is islam: that the spread of islam throughout the arab peninsula enabled mohammed’s tribe to unite the arabs and conquer large parts of the middle east and north africa.

HUGE effects on history by ideologies! not to be ignored. definitely not.

it’s interesting to compare the outcomes of the effects of these two ideologies on the populations in question. in the arab world, islam managed to unite the otherwise warring tribes (of course, the promise of a share in war booty also helped), but did not do away with the tribal system which still exists today and remains a cause for problems in the same old ways. in europe, christianity managed to (i think) do away with tribes (or, at least, it had a hand in it) which enabled broader cooperation amongst the peoples of europe. this worked pretty good (overlooking a couple of world wars here and there) for quite some time.

an interesting point to note: both ideologies replaced polytheistic religious systems with monotheism, but only one of them actually did away with tribes.

(note: comments do not require an email. nor do you have to be a card-carrying member of any ideology whatsoever.)

religion vs. biology

dennis said the other day:

“The waning of religious and nationalistic beliefs means that biology plays a greater role…. Modern science has disillusioned us of our former beliefs, the only belief remaining being the will to power, which is itself a manifestation of nature, in which every living thing lives at the expense of other living things.”

eh. i gotta disagree. ’cause i think this is a false dichotomy: religion vs. biology.

what is religion (or religious beliefs and practices) except an expression of our biology? (our biologies, in fact — that’s partly why we’ve got different religions.) religion is a manifestation of nature. our nature.

religion is just culture — which is just a product of our biology, afaics.

yup. i’m a reductionist. but, hey — reductionism works.

previously: tribalism makes a comeback!

see also: Twins Study Finds Adult Religiosity Heritable from futurepundit.

(note: comments do not require an email.)

linkfest – 01/02/11

“Why it’s natural for girls to play with dolls and boys to love guns”

“A Holiday Message from Ricky Gervais: Why I’m An Atheist” – i don’t actually agree with ricky on one main point here (u can’t KNOW there ISN’T a god either), but he makes an awful lot of great points — and he’s f*cking hilarious!