Blog Entries



You won't find ISIS in the brain or genes. The Daily Beast tries to sell you an imaginary Brooklyn Bridge

Posted 17-Mar-2015 at 07:01 PM (19:01) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

Some people have big problems living with uncertainty, so they like to drastically amputate parts of reality till they find a vision they can live with. Perhaps in line with that, David Ewing Duncan (@Duncande) has written an article on the Daily Beast, in which it is generally opined you may find ISIS in the brain, or the genes, or both. No cliché remains unspurned in it, but it's the theology of the article that is the main problem. He starts off by saying:
"Call it a tale of two brains:
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A clerihew for @Iittlelamb - on neurobollocks, dopamine and oxytocin

Posted 06-Sep-2012 at 04:00 PM (16:00) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 06-Sep-2012 at 04:25 PM (16:25) by Gurdur

Lammie Oostenbrink
Said, "Dopamine is driving me to drink.
The poetry molecule is MY finding,
But oxytocin hampers my versifying."

The explanation for all this is a tweet from @Iittlelamb (Lammie Oostenbrink) in reply to me in the course of a Twitter conversation prompted by various things. The most immediate cause is Naomi Wolf, who has written yet another exercise in self-praise disguised as a book; this new one is also full of neurobollocks, the incorrect...
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LOL, post-atheism redux. The Empire strikes back, well, at least it tries to.

Posted 27-Jun-2012 at 04:58 PM (16:58) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 27-Jun-2012 at 05:15 PM (17:15) by Gurdur

Into every life a little rain must fall, but sometimes that rain is quite refreshing and welcome. A while back - we're talking 28 April this year here - I did a blog post on the Post-Atheism Phenomenon, and then I simply let it completely drop from mind, as a nonimportant thang. Just a couple of days ago, I noticed angry flamers flaming in inadequate ways, so I looked for the source, and it turns out that the board X I mentioned in that old blog post of mine had finally woken up and noticed my blog...
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The seductive but wrong allure of the brain: fMRI brain pics, gullibility, now with added neuro-history and neuro-aesthetics, i.e. neuro-scientism, neuro-bollocks

Posted 24-May-2012 at 05:39 AM (05:39) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Feb-2015 at 01:32 AM (01:32) by Gurdur

Pictures of the brain will tend to make you believe silly things. That includes a new subject called neurohistory (in short, an attempt to describe neurological effects from human cultural history), which came up yesterday when Stephen T. Casper (@TheNeuroTimes) blogged briefly about an initial look at issues of enviromentalism and attempts at looking at the effect of cultural evolution on the human brain. While interesting, the whole effort Casper describes strikes me as missiing out badly on two...
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Neurobollocks! A talk about neuro-scientism and neuro-realism in London, UK, 15th of June

Posted 26-Apr-2012 at 08:48 AM (08:48) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 26-Apr-2012 at 09:44 AM (09:44) by Gurdur

There will be a talk on neuro-scientism and neuro-realism in London, Britain, on the 15th of June this year. The talk will be between @hugospiers (Hugo Spiers, who has also done a bit on art/neuro projects), and @MakingLondon (Sebastian Groes). It takes place at the UCL Festival of London and Literature: One Day In The City packet of events and happenings, which can also be followed on Twitter on @onedayinthecity.

Hugo Spiers defines
neuro-scientism as the stance that, "all behav...
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Is it possible alcohol, sleeping-pills or antidepressants can cause a pampered celebrity to love Hitler?

Posted 22-Jun-2011 at 06:58 PM (18:58) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 22-Jun-2011 at 07:17 PM (19:17) by Gurdur

British fashion-designer John Galliano is now up in a French court to answer on charges arising from two incidents, in which in one he is accused of hurling anti-Semitic insults at customers and indulging in other stupid conduct in a Paris café. After a third incident, of which you can see for yourself video footage of Galliano making nasty remarks and saying how he loves Hitler (recorded on a mobile phone), he lost his job at fashion house Dior.

The trial begins today; he is charged...
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Society, Ethics And Science Weekly blogs round-up - 10/11 April 2011

Posted 12-Apr-2011 at 04:15 PM (16:15) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Apr-2011 at 09:12 AM (09:12) by Gurdur

As ever, the best around the web that I find. Late (this should have appeared last night), but hey, by now I guess you expect me to be a trifle late. Better than being premature. You can see my other weekly blogs round-ups here.

Science: I don't know if you remember my blog post a while back about rats in pants, but now they have portable, minaturized PET scanners for pets, whoops, mistake, sorry, I mean PET scanners for lab rats. It's science, Jim.

Science, science...
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Society + Science Weekly blogs round-up - 27/28 February 2011 - science, culture, philosophy, religion, atheism

Posted 28-Feb-2011 at 10:06 PM (22:06) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 28-Feb-2011 at 10:22 PM (22:22) by Gurdur

This is my usual weekly blogs round-up, marked off for Sunday/Monday. I considered how I may not be making clear what the blogs round-up is all about, thinking it would be self-evident, so I am making it more immediately clear: this regular blogs round-up is all about culture, science, mind, history, religion, atheism and philosophy. I am titling it so so as to make that clear. Every week emphasis is random; this particular week, this one is very heavy on the science, with not so much on religion...
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Rating: 8 votes, 5.00 average.

Mistaking the means for the cause; can you prove love?

Posted 06-Aug-2010 at 02:16 PM (14:16) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 13-Feb-2015 at 01:41 AM (01:41) by Gurdur

If I bopped you over the head with a rolled-up newspaper, and you asked me, "Why the hell did you whack me over the head?", and I replied to you, "Well, you see, my motor neurons sent a message to my arm muscles, and here's a handy diagram of how the arm and shoulder muscles work, and here's a nice little peice all about neurons and how they work", would you be happy or satisfied? Would you think your question has been answered?

No, of course not.

If you asked me, "Why...
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Sexual sadism is a mitigating factor? No, it bloody well isn't.

Posted 22-Jul-2010 at 11:46 AM (11:46) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)

While this news is a couple of months old, it bears repeating, since the topic of psychopaths, and whether or not psychopaths suffer from psychological compulsion, is going to come up a fair few times on my blog. President Obama a while back nominated Robert N. Chatigny for serving on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 2nd Circuit. This, while obviously nowhere near at the level of importance of a SCOTUS nomination, proved to be a mistake; some staffer or other hadn't bothered checking Chatigny's...
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The new Twinkie defence: abuse and misuse of fMRI's and science, and using the label psychopath as an excuse

Posted 06-Jul-2010 at 04:27 PM (16:27) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 06-Aug-2010 at 02:09 PM (14:09) by Gurdur

In 1978, Wikipedia link for Dan White Dan White murdered by shooting George Moscone, the then mayor of San Francisco, and Harvey Milk. At his trial, psychiatrist Martin Blinder testified that in his opinion Dan White was of Wikipedia link for diminished capacity diminished capacity owing to depression, or in other words Dan White's mental functions were allegedly "diminished" or impaired. Blinder argued that Dan White's change of diet to snack foods and drinks high in sugar was allegedly evidence of White's depression, and thus alleged evidence of his alleged diminished...
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Mind and brain, nature and nurture: why atheists need to get relevant

Posted 20-Jun-2010 at 02:09 AM (02:09) by Gurdur (Stranger In An Even Stranger Land)
Updated 07-Jul-2010 at 10:37 AM (10:37) by Gurdur

There is often a great deal of ignorance on large atheists boards regarding issues like nature versus nurture, mind versus brain, ethics, free will versus determinism, and the like. That there is a good deal of ignorance elsewhere as well on these subjects is no excuse for atheists as a whole, since very frequently atheists will make appeals to science, as if science always demonstrates atheism to be right, and as if the actual science was always correct itself. Some of those appeals are bogus;...
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