Show 553: Susan Blackmore

Equal Time welcomes Susan Blackmore back to the show!

Where can you draw a line between spirituality and (scientific) skepticism? Is there a way to find a balance between the two without believing in supernaturalism? How does the new work in consciousness studies and neuroscience help us better understand what is “real” or imagined?

On this show, ex parapsychologist, current psychologist and scientific skeptic Susan Blackmore will discuss her own experience as well a her recent books, The Meme Machine, and Seeing Myself (about OBE’s).

Audio can be found here!

Show 368: The Belief Instinct w/ Jesse Bering

The Belief Instinct

Audio here!

Equal Time for Freethought will host evolutionary psychologist Jesse Bering, director of the Institute of Cognition and Culture at Queen’s University Belfast, and a writer for the weekly column “Bering in Mind” on the Scientific American website. We will talk about his book, “The Belief Instinct,” which explores the psychological underpinnings of humanity’s ability to believe in a variety of unseen things, such as life after death, a Supreme Being, Karma and more.

Have we evolved in such a way which has allowed such psychologically propensities? If so, does that mean there’s anything substantial to things unseen which may confirm our almost universal, often independently developed religious beliefs; or have our brains evolved this way as a survival mechanism?

And what are the psychological consequences of maintaining these beliefs in a time where dogmatic thinking can dangerously be combined with weapons of mass destruction? Also, why hasn’t the development of science – including the science of religion itself – been enough to eradicate magical thinking?