Category Archives: cognition

Felling the Tree of Knowledge

Creationists are playing dirty . . . again.

No news in that, I guess. The latest creationist ploy was to run to YouTube demanding removal of videos posted by the Rational Response Squad that criticized the Creation Science Evangelism ministry*. (Not that there is really anything scientific about Christianity, but most fundamentalist creationists are too cognitively challenged to know that. Still, the site is hilarious in a Monty Python Parodies God modeif you enjoy the antics of the terminally deluded, that is.)

WIRED magazine reports that under pressure from Hovind’s Hounds, YouTube not only pulled the critical videos, but suspended the Rational Response Squad’s account.  Kent Hovind, the founder of the Creation Science Evangelism who is serving a 10-year prison sentence for tax evasion, had encouraged use of the content on the ministry’s web site.

The RRS wrote an open letter citing fair use under the provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which was passed in 1998. The videos were eventually reposted, so they should be getting lots of traffic thanks to the publicity generated by the ‘Christian Anti-science Fundamentalist’ ministry. The Rational Response Squad’s account has also been reinstated.

Needless to say, the CSE website will now be using YouTube to air its own videos for its deluded followers :

“Exciting things are happening here at CSE as we further the creation message! We now have YouTube and GodTube accounts. There you can view our promos and other recommended resources. These will help equip you in introducing the world to Christ our Creator. Subscribe to us and be notified of new videos. We’ve also released a new promo . . .”

Kinda makes you wonder why God Himself didn’t get a YouTube account to post videos in support of his revelataions. Better yet, why doesn’t God perform a miracle and upload video footage of miracles from His archives?  After all, an Omnipotent Omniscient Being should find uploading archival videos, or better yet, footage of new miracles a synch.

Oh, I know why CSE has to go to all this troublethere really is no God, just deluded Earthlings.

 * why a link to googling rather than the site.

Creationist vs. Atheist YouTube War Marks New Breed of Copyright Claim .

Underactive ACC and Conservativism

I found this on Neurophilosophy, which is a very good blog:

“Research suggests that liberals and conservatives have different personality traits and “cognitive styles”: while liberals are more intellectually curious and tolerant of ambiguity, conservatives have a greater desire to reach decisions quickly and are more consistent in the way they make those decisions.

It was found that those who considered themselves to be conservatives made more response errors when upon presentatin of the infrequent letters than those who considered themselves as liberals (respectively, 47% and 37% of the time).  

The EEG data showed that, during the trials in which the infrequent letter was presented, the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC) was twice as active in liberals than in conservatives.

The ACC is one of the brain’s executive control centres, and is hypothesized to be involved in detecting and signalling conflicts in information processing. So liberals showed significantly more conflict-related brain activity when confronted with a situation in which they are required to break an old habit.”

 Neuroscience and neuropsychology research is often criticized as not being science.  Such criticism is ironic considering that it often originates in the sorts of reflexive anti-science polemic that attacks science while praising the “proofs” demonstrated by “creation science”.

Research into the neurosciences is confounded by a combination of ethical and technical limitations. Although these factors render the neurosciences more challenging for scientific inquiry than chemistry, for instance, they do not signify that neurosciences are not scientific. Imagine that you are in an electronics store in which banks of loudspeakers are simultaneously playing different outputs from banks of CD players.  Now try to identify which output belongs to which player. It is not that there is not an “explanation” for each output, it is merely that this is difficult to decipher against background activity.

I found the ACC-Conservatism study interesting because it provides a neural correlation with a behavioral pattern that I have observed repeatedly.  I have long maintained that there is cognitive processing deficiency that underlies a commonly observed cluster of personality traits. 
 

Elsewhere: Red Brain, Blue Brain: Politics and Gray Matter : Persistence of Untruths and Flexibility