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Why are unfalsifiable beliefs so attractive?

Recently, Dr. John Wentworth, professor of physics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, argued that regardless of future advances, science will likely never discover whether the supernatural exists. He said,”almost always, our research raises more questions than it answers, therefore the question of God’s existence just isn’t scientifically testable.” If you are religious, how does [Read More...]

Studying links between religious belief and crime is notoriously difficult. On a crude level, people in prisons in the USA are more likely to be religious than the general population. Of course, there are any number of confounding factors that could be…

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Humans are finely honed for spotting intentional agents in our environment. Meaning that if you hear a rustling, or see a branch move, you’re instantly on the alert in case it is another person (this effect is has a name: ‘hyperactive agency detection’). You can see why evolution would have favoured that. Better safe than [Read More...]

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There’s a strand of thought that says that belief in the supernatural is founded upon a misunderstanding of how the world works (see: You either believe in it all, or you don’t). On the other hand, there’s another perspective that says the cognitive problem is with the atheists. Belief in gods, according to this school [Read More...]

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Almost all cultures have some kind of supernatural beliefs. But it may surprise you to know that belief in moralising supernatural beings, who care about whether mortals do good or bad, are far from universal. That’s fascinating, and it begs the question: “why?”. Why do some cultures bother to believe spirits who watch over us [Read More...]

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For many people, their religion is like a badge of social identity. You feel an affinity with people who share a religion – not surprising given that you will share many cultural and social touch points. But will you feel their pain? If shown a picture of a Christian grimacing, will you mentally flinch? What about [Read More...]

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If you tune into Epiphenom via the rss feed, you may have missed this post that went up at the new home over at Patheos.If you did – then this links is specially for you!Best of Epiphenom 2007-2014Basically a short review of some of the most-read posts…

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I’m excited to say that, after many lovely years here at Field of Science, Epiphenom is moving to a new home at Patheos: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/epiphenom/Patheos is a major site with many well-known religious and atheist blogs. Epiphenom should f…

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Welcome to Epiphenom at its new home on Patheos! This blog has been running for seven years now, and over that time we’ve taken a look at a huge amount of cutting edge research into the psychology and sociology of religion and non-belief. If you’re new to this blog, maybe you want to get a quick [Read More...]

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The USA is a conundrum when it comes to creationist beliefs. While the US comes about average in high-school science education results, staggering numbers of American adults are not only creationists but young earth creationists – believing that the earth is a mere 6,000 years old. Now, there’s quite a lot of research to suggest [Read More...]

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