Thirty one years old.
Liberal. Atheist. Feminist.
Portland, OR

Miss USA 2011 — Should Math Be Taught In Schools? (by mackenziefegan)

So good!

Denis Dutton: A Darwinian theory of beauty (by TEDtalksDirector)

This is an interesting theory and definitely a fascinating topic!

"Peacock spider" (by Peacockspiderman)

Natural selection is awesome.

ignatius-m:

incomprehensibleuniverse:

From hiccups to wisdom teeth, the evolution of homo sapiens has left behind some glaring, yet innately human, imperfections

By Rob Dunn
Smithsonian.com, November 19, 2010

Natural selection acts by winnowing the individuals of each generation, sometimes clumsily, as old parts and genes are co-opted for new roles. As a result, all species inhabit bodies imperfect for the lives they live. Our own bodies are worse off than most simply because of the many differences between the wilderness in which we evolved and the modern world in which we live. We feel the consequences every day. Here are ten.

(source: incomprehensibleuniverse)

We evolved from a common ancestor with other modern apes and here’s a few problems an intelligent and benevolent creator probably wouldn’t have given us. :D

I would like, if at all possible, to declare a moratorium on using the word “believe” to describe what people do in relationship to scientifically sound theories backed up by oodles of evidence.

I’ve definitely had to catch myself from going into the “believe” trap on many occasions.

If Daniel Dennett is right — that there’s a human genetic need for religion — then I’d like to imagine that my atheism is proof of evolutionary biology in action.

—Adam Savage (via pyropanda)

Richard Dawkins Answers Reddit Questions (via richarddawkinsdotnet)

Some great questions… Dawkins reading hate mail at the end is priceless!

Dan Dennett: Cute, sexy, sweet, funny (via TEDtalksDirector)

Why are babies cute? Why is cake sweet? Philosopher Dan Dennett has answers you wouldn’t expect, as he shares evolution’s counterintuitive reasoning on cute, sweet and sexy things. For a topping, try his introduction to a new theory by Matthew Hurley on why jokes are funny.
BBC News - Ancient giant penguin unearthed in Peru
The fossil of a giant penguin that lived 36 million years ago has been discovered in Peru.
…
It was about 1.5m (5ft) tall and nearly twice as heavy as an Emperor Penguin, the largest living species.

It’s really interesting to see that they were brown and grey back then. And almost as tall as me… yikes!

BBC News - Ancient giant penguin unearthed in Peru

The fossil of a giant penguin that lived 36 million years ago has been discovered in Peru.

It was about 1.5m (5ft) tall and nearly twice as heavy as an Emperor Penguin, the largest living species.

It’s really interesting to see that they were brown and grey back then. And almost as tall as me… yikes!

ziltoidia:

Richard Dawkins on eye evolution

This is great! He’s such a fantastic teacher.

Why Didn’t Anybody Tell Me? (via philhellenes)

13,500,000,000 years ago something happened, and we really only found out a few years ago.

You live in amazing times. Don’t say nobody told you. :)

Post by “EvolutionSkeptic” on PZ Myer’s blog

Hey, so some of you may remember me (one can hope). I found this thread that some people told me last time to find when I wanted to ask a question. Since I have one, I thought I’d check in. Hope everyone is doing well.

All right. I read “Why Evolution is True” and “The Greatest Show on Earth,” as recommended by several of you. After that, I also started reading some of the stuff on Dawkins’ site, because I really liked his calm approach to the subject.

After reading there and a good bit here, I’m actually getting a little afraid, and this is where my question comes in … I can recognize the validity of evolution and that it’s true. This began to make an impact on my belief in God, but I still felt like he could have set the whole thing in motion.

But the more I read there and here, the more I’m questioning that, the more I worry that my faith may be in danger. Since you guys were so helpful the first time, I thought maybe I could come to you to ask a couple of questions again …

  1. I truly don’t mean this to be insulting, so please don’t take it that way, but what is your motivation to live a moral, upstanding life without the guidance of the rules of God and the Bible? I know you guys do this, but I’m not sure I understand how it works without concrete guidance.
  2. For those of you who were once Christians (I’m guessing there are some), how did you reconcile your atheism/agnosticism with your relationship with your Christian family/friends? How do you tell them? Do you still go to church for the fellowship but just don’t pray/participate? Did you lose friends/family in your process of change?

I hope I’m not interrupting a conversation here, but any help would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for reading, if you actually got this far.

This post provides a fascinating glimpse at the demise of theistic beliefs. I’m so glad this person was able to challenge their own world-view, read books about evolution, and continue to ask questions.

(Source: scienceblogs.com)

Psychology of Belief, Part 7: Projection (via AntiCitizenX)

Have you ever wondered why creationist Christians love to call atheism and evolution “faith-based religions?” Well, as it turns out, Sigmund Freud was right. Classical psychological projection is a defense mechanism whereby people deny their own faults by perceiving them in other people. Projecting their own blind faith onto critics is therefore just a tool believers use to avoid recognizing those very same faults within themselves.

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.

Totally worth your 20 minutes… fascinating!