Couldn’t resist the scholarly book pun, for yet another Republican/conservative calling out the ridiculous Sarah Palin for her self-aggrandizing and self-serving public lies. The original Ant and the Peacock is about complex and nuanced scientific truth. Want to lay odds about whether she’s read it? (I have.)
And speaking of Sarah Palin and science thinking, she who claims that God has everything planned out for her and wanted her to run for vice-president (and wanted her son off to war, her daughter pregnant, sister divorced etc etc?) — what a fitting exemplar of the effect discussed in this next story, frisky cock of the snook to Daryl via PZ Myers: divining the divine mind is really about probing the echo chamber of one’s self, how Dan Brown! [see chapter 118-133 note at link]
Epley’s research calls the worth of this counsel into question, for it suggests that inferring the will of God sets the moral compass to whatever direction we ourselves are facing. . .
The brain scans found the same thing, particularly in a region called the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) that’s been linked to self-referential thinking. . . The three images below show the differences in brain activity between the three tasks and you can see that the ‘God’ and ‘self’ scans had little to distinguish them. . . . many people, from Rousseau to Twain to Voltaire, are credited with the line: “God created man in his own image and man, being a gentleman, returned the favour.”
Epley’s results are sure to spark controversy, but their most important lesson is that relying on a deity to guide one’s decisions and judgments is little more than spiritual sockpuppetry. . .