Bias Archive

Why Religion Eventually Leads to Secularity: A Review of Big Gods

"Secular societies climbed the ladder of religion, and then kicked it away," says Ara Norenzayan in Big Gods: How Religion Transformed Cooperation and Conflict. Security breeds secularity. "There are indications that some societies with strong institutions and material well-being may have passed a threshold, no longer needing religion to sustain large-scale cooperation."

Quoted: Iris Murdoch on Self-Delusion

“One should go easy on smashing other people’s lies. Better to concentrate on one’s own.” ~ Iris Murdoch, Henry and Cato

3 for Thursday: 3 Examples of Your Brain Tricking You

We rely on our brains, so the idea of your brain tricking you might be disheartening, but it’s a reality. The brain gathers information and fills in the gaps. Sometimes we see things that we think are there and make judgments about the world based on that observation, but sometimes it’s all in our

The Blinding Power of Bias

The power of bias is immense. It can keep us from seeing our own faults and give us an undeserving certainty about the world. Noticing the biases of others may be easier, especially if you are the unfortunate subject of them, but finding a way to convince them of those biases can feel like

3 for Thursday: 3 Examples of the Power of Misperception

Misperception is a powerful force. It drives our daily lives in ways we are often unaware, and it may take many forms. Biases can get in the way of solid conclusions about the world. This is why it is important for scientific studies to be verifiable and falsifiable, and why peer review is always

A Priest, A Rabbi, And An Atheist Walk into A Conference

My newest article, “A priest, a rabbi, and an atheist walk into a conference,” for ToledoFAVS.com (our local hub of the Religion News Service) is up. In this piece I reflect on this year’s annual meetings of The American Academy of Religion and The Society of Biblical Literature through the eyes of two scientific studies on group

Why The World Could Use A Few Brave Outcasts

My newest article (“Why the world could use a few brave outcasts“) is up at ToledoFavs.com, a local hub for the Religion News Service. This new piece is on the perils of “groupthink.” It’s a subject that has been on my mind lately, largely because of incidents like the alleged abuse in the Boy Scouts and

The Unrelenting Power of Bias

Never underestimate the power of bias. My newest article, “Forgive us our biases, as we forgive,” for Toledo Faith and Values (the local news hub for the Religion News Service) shows just how pervasive bias is in our decision making. In this piece for their culture and science section, I look at three scientific studies on bias
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