Cenk Uygur (http://www.twitter.com/cenkuygur) host of The Young Turks discusses a newly released study that shows the least religious countries and what that may mean.
“Gallup International and WI Network of Market Research conducted over sixty thousand interviews world wide to determine which countries are the least religious. While there is a litany of reasons as to why a country may not be very religious and the results may vary its important to remember that ultimately statistics are worthless and are more of an interesting thing to think about more so than anything of real value. It’s also important to remember that correlation does not always mean causation nor vise versa. It’s just an interesting survey. But it is interesting that less religion usually means a more developed country.”
Windsor Mayor Drew Dilkens says the city will follow a Supreme Court of Canada ruling against beginning council meetings with a prayer.
Dilkens said there will not be a prayer at Monday’s council meeting. Essex County Warden Tom Bain also confirmed there will not be an opening prayer at Wednesday’s county council meeting.
“It’s something that we must abide by and live by and every municipality in Canada will be in the same boat as we are,” Dilkens said.
“It’s what the highest court in the land has told us to do and we’re going to follow that accordingly.”
The Supreme Court ruled Wednesday the municipal council in the Quebec town of Saguenay cannot open its meetings with a prayer.
In its ruling, the Supreme Court said Canadian society has evolved and given rise to a “concept of neutrality according to which the state must not interfere in religion and beliefs.”
“The state must instead remain neutral in this regard,” the judgment said.
A March for Jesus flag will not fly at Windsor City Hall this summer, after council voted down the request Monday night.
A group representing different churches went to city council last night to ask permission to fly the flag.
The flag is white with a red cross on a blue rectangle in one corner.
Council turned down the request, stating the flag violates the city’s policy, which prohibits “flags deemed to be offensive in nature or those supporting discrimination, prejudice, political or religious movements.”
The group organizing the “March for Jesus” in August wanted to fly the flag in the days leading up to the event.
“In a newly discovered video, Pastor Eric Dammann admit to punching a child right in the chest because he didn’t take God seriously. And he considers that an ultimately good thing.
As he recounts the story, there was a ‘real smart-aleck’ at some youth group he was at, a ‘bright kid’ who was ‘just trying to push my buttons and was “not taking the Lord serious.’”
Hundreds of people have taken to the streets of Dhaka in protest at the murder of a prominent secular American blogger of Bangladeshi origin who was hacked to death with machetes after he allegedly received threats from Islamists.
Avijit Roy and his wife, Rafida Ahmed, were attacked on a crowded pavement as they were returning from a book fair at Dhaka University. Ahmed, who is also a blogger, lost a finger and remains under treatment at the Square hospital in Dhaka.
The attack took place at about 8.45pm on Thursday evening when a group of men ambushed the couple as they walked toward a roadside tea stall, with at least two of the attackers hitting them with meat cleavers. The attackers then ran off into the crowds. Two blood-stained cleavers were found after the attack, said police.
Many people with religious convictions feel that their faith is rock solid. But a new study finds that prompting people to engage in analytical thinking can cause their religious beliefs to waver, if only a little. Researchers say the findings have potentially significant implications for understanding the cognitive underpinnings of religion.
Psychologists often carve thinking into two broad categories: intuitive thinking, which is fast and effortless (instantly knowing whether someone is angry or sad from the look on her face, for example); and analytic thinking, which is slower and more deliberate (and used for solving math problems and other tricky tasks). Both kinds of thinking have their strengths and weaknesses, and they often seem to interfere with one another. “Recently there’s been an emerging consensus among [researchers] … that a lot of religious beliefs are grounded in intuitive processes,” says Will Gervais, a graduate student at the University of British Columbia, Vancouver, in Canada and a co-author of the new study, published today in Science.
It is a clever trick if you can pull it off – mimic another, more dangerous animal and so avoid being eaten.
Many insects try it, but it has been a long standing puzzle why some of the worst mimics in Nature can still seem to escape becoming a meal.
Now, Canadian scientists tell Nature journal they can answer that one.
Larger animals, they say, make for more substantial meals, and so their mimicry needs to be spot on. For small prey, a great performance is not so essential.
“Mimicry of harmless species pretending to be dangerous ones in order to avoid being eaten is one of the best celebrated examples of the outcome of evolution by natural selection,” says Professor Tom Sherratt, of Carleton University in Ottawa, who led the research.
An international team of researchers have discovered that human bipedalism, or walking upright, may have originated millions of years ago as an adaptation to carrying scarce, high-quality resources.
The team of researchers from the U.S., England, Japan and Portugal investigated the behaviour of modern-day chimpanzees as they competed for food resources, in an effort to understand what ecological settings would lead a large ape – one that resembles the 6 million-year old ancestor we shared in common with living chimpanzees – to walk on two legs.
Before them are dozens of massive stone pillars arranged into a set of rings, one mashed up against the next. Known as Göbekli Tepe (pronounced Guh-behk-LEE TEH-peh), the site is vaguely reminiscent of Stonehenge, except that Göbekli Tepe was built much earlier and is made not from roughly hewn blocks but from cleanly carved limestone pillars splashed with bas-reliefs of animals—a cavalcade of gazelles, snakes, foxes, scorpions, and ferocious wild boars. The assemblage was built some 11,600 years ago, seven millennia before the Great Pyramid of Giza. It contains the oldest known temple. Indeed, Göbekli Tepe is the oldest known example of monumental architecture—the first structure human beings put together that was bigger and more complicated than a hut. When these pillars were erected, so far as we know, nothing of comparable scale existed in the world.