Religion

The Science of Misunderstanding

Just over a week ago, I gave a public lecture for Cork Skeptics at the magnificent Blackrock Castle Observatory. Subject to technological issues (i.e., assuming it worked), a video of the talk will be available online soon. In the meantime you can view the full slideshow above. The evening was very […]

Seven billion Earthlings: So what’s the problem?

Typically, I get uncomfortable when I’m in the presence of more than, say, five other people. Therefore, you might expect me to be particularly perturbed by reports that the world’s population reached seven billion people earlier today, 31 October 2011. Such reports do perturb me, but not because I’m worried about […]

“Marriage saves lives!” (Well, it has a nice ring to it…)

So, apparently, being married is good for you. Married, I tells ya, as in party to a matrimonial contractual arrangement with a legally eligible spouse. Why might this be? Well, one advantage to being married is that your tax and inheritance provisions tend to be facilitated by legislation in ways that […]

“Atheists die first”: CNN’s “expert” fights back

This is psychologist, Dr Wendy Walsh, discussing the merits of religion on CNN. Rather melodramatically, she is focusing on the purported advantage of being religious during catastrophic survival situations. According to Walsh, “Most studies on survivors show that the atheists die first“, suggesting that religious people survive longer. This news […]

Do polling locations influence election outcomes?

In times of economic and political turmoil, people increasingly turn their attention to how their societies are governed. As a result, it seems as though matters relating to elections and electoral processes are permanently in the public spotlight. Globally, over 80 national elections or civil ballots are scheduled to take place […]

Emergency contraception: Pragmatics, politics, and (just) a little science

Recently, the Irish state’s national Medicines Board legalized the availability of emergency contraception on an over-the-counter basis in high-street pharmacies. The drug, NorLevo, an emergency contraception that can prevent pregnancy if taken within 72 hours after unprotected sexual intercourse, is now available to all women without the requirement that they first obtain a […]