religion

The Gods Must Be Counterintuitive

What’s the key to a lasting myth, a captivating religion or a sensational film pitch? Some cognitive scientists and anthropologists argue that the key is a minimally counterintuitive narrative: the right balance of the mundane with just a dash of the unreasonable and unexpected. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss the minimal counterintuitiveness effect. 

From the Vault:  Transhumanist Rapture War, Part 1

What do the transhumanist visions and singularitarians have in common with Christian rapture doctrine, apocalyptic prophesies and far-future saviors? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they explore the space for common ground -- and conflict -- between genetically modified cyborgs and Heaven-teleported believers in this two-part episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind. (Originally published Aug 23, 2016)

World Science Festival 2018 Field Report

Robert Lamb attended the 2018 World Science festival in New York City and had the chance to chat with its founder, physicist Brian Greene -- as well as a couple of noted panelists: physicist Max Tegmark and anthropologist Barbara J. King. This episode features those green room interviews, plus Robert and Joe’s discussion of their answers on theoretical physics, artificial intelligence and the evolution of religion. 

The Alphabet and the Goddess, Part 1

What happened to the worship of goddesses? In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick explore Leonard Shlain’s hypothesis from his 1998 book “The Alphabet Versus the Goddess,” in which the author argues that the brain-altering power of written language unbalanced human civilization in favor of misogyny, tyranny and the worship of abstract, masculine gods.

From the Vault: Techno-Religion, Part 2

We often think of technology and religion as distinct and separate worlds, but what happens when they converge? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick in this two-part episode as they examine religious world views shaped by technology, such as John Murray Spear’s electrical messiah, the simple prayer wheel and the psycho-spiritual technologies of Scientology. (Originally published Jun 11, 2015)

From the Vault: Techno-Religion, Part 1

We often think of technology and religion as distinct and separate worlds, but what happens when they converge? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick in this two-part episode as they examine religious world views shaped by technology, such as John Murray Spear’s electrical messiah, the simple prayer wheel and the psycho-spiritual technologies of Scientology. (Originally published Jun 9, 2015)

Boltzmann Brains Revisited

Space brains. Religious models of infinity. Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they revisit the topic of Boltzmann brains and discuss the general history of infinity. 

The Cambodian Stegosaurus

Do Cambodian temple ruins speak to a time when humans and dinosaurs coexisted? Absolutely not, but it’s a great excuse for Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick to talk about the armored stegosaurus, Ta Prohm temple, young Earth creationism and avian evolution. 

From the Vault: Hyper-Real Religion

When does a protest religion become an actual faith? What happens when purely fictional modes of belief leak off the page or screen? Join Robert Lamb and Joe McCormick as they discuss modern religious movements, the Church of the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the rise of so-called hyper-real religions like Jediism and Dudeism (Originally published March 29, 2016)

Machine God: Artificial Superintelligence

Voltaire famously postulated that if God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him. As humanity approaches the technological singularity, this statement takes on new meaning. In this episode of Stuff to Blow Your Mind, Robert and Joe contemplate the nature of gods and what it would mean to create an artificial superintelligence.