Saturday, October 11, 2008

Some interesting links tying together science and religion

I'm too lazy to write up a whole post, so I'm giving you some interesting articles (tangentially related to religion) to read over instead. Enjoy!
  • Research indicates that people who find themselves losing control tend to develop superstitions and to find patterns in random things (think images of deities in grilled cheese). It's a subscriber-only article, but you can read a synopsis here.

  • A biologist reviews an evolution textbook from the Intelligent Design camp. I wonder if evolution can still be considered "only" a theory if it is actually witnessed. Because that's what this article discusses actually happened recently - evolution caught in action!
  • For many people, facts don't matter as much as ideology (PDF article). You can read a summary of that here. This should be fairly obvious to anyone who followed the discussions at XGH, no?

  • This research examines the developmental roots of fairness and altruism. Summary here. On the other hand, here's a study which show that those who believe in an all-seeing god might be nicer than those who don't.

  • These guys demonstrate that the concept of a dirty sin might not just be metaphorical.

  • Researchers at Oxford University have discovered that believers in religion can draw upon their faith to endure suffering. Interestingly, while googling this topic, I found an old article that mentions this research before they actually began the tests.

  • And finally, in this great TED video, psychologist Jonathan Haidt studies the five moral values that form the basis of our political choices, whether we're left, right or center.

  • Update - Just found out about this: Can virgin births be real? A female shark that had been in captivity for eight years with no contact with any males of her species gave birth to a single shark pup this past week.