"Churches involved in torture, murder of thousands of African children denounced as witches"
- A genuinely sickening report on Africa's growing witch craze. It's positively Medieval. And who's at the forefront? Yep, the churches. Religion and evil, who would have thought...
- A Slate piece on recent research by Aaron Sell and colleagues on adaptations for the visual assessment of formidability. I have in fact written a lengthy piece on Sell's research and once it's done and dusted, I'll post it here. Physiognomy is making a comeback. (Via Mind Hacks)
- A report on very clever research (pdf) that seems to demonstrate that going on the hajj may in fact make Muslims more moderate. Fascinating and surprising. Note: as far as I know, the research has not yet been published, so it's not been peer-reviewed. Buyer beware.
- I was genuinely saddened to hear of Margo Wilson's death. If you haven't heard of her before, go find out. In collaboration with her husband Martin Daly, she produced groundbreaking work on the Cinderella effect and homicide.
- Using Amazon's Mechanical Turk (in which people get small payments to do simple tasks) to do psychological experiments. Pretty cool, but rather fraught. (Via John Hawks).
- An op-ed in The Times by Simon Singh urging reform of libel law. He argues convincingly that England's preposterous libel laws not only limit freedom of expression, it limits people's right to know. A healthy democracy allows open debate and putting the onus on the defendant and not having a public-interest clause stifles such debate. It boggles the mind that these laws survived into the 21st century.
- A short but sweet post on Marginal Revolution about why blogging is good for you. Some of the critical comments are worth reading too: it's certainly possible to blog in a echoing chamber.
- David Sloan Wilson's inaugural post at his new home over at ScienceBlogs. Wilson, if you don't know him, is an eminent biologist and one of the leading proponents of neo-group selection. Note: some other dude seems to have posts on the same blog (despite not being listed as an author). Those posts are dumb.