Point of Inquiry

Center for Inquiry

Religion & Spirituality, Science & Medicine, Social Sciences, Society & Culture, Philosophy

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Social Sciences 11
Science & Medicine 54

Point of Inquiry is the Center for Inquiry's flagship podcast, where the brightest minds of our time sound off on all the things you're not supposed to talk about at the dinner table: science, religion, and politics. Guests have included Brian Greene, Susan Jacoby, Richard Dawkins, Ann Druyan, Neil deGrasse Tyson, Eugenie Scott, Adam Savage, Bill Nye, and Francis Collins. Point of Inquiry is produced at the Center for Inquiry in Amherst, N.Y.


Will Gervais - This is Your Brain on Religion

June 4th, 2012

Episode 334 of 537 episodes

Host: Chris Mooney In late April, astudy came out in Sciencethat really got the secular blogosphere hopping. It was a paper showing that something we've long suspected may be true—less critical thinking is associated with more religiosity. In fact, having a cognitive style where you're less analytic, and more intuitive, promotes faith. And vice versa. It turns out this paper is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of what we're learning about the religious mind. So to get deeper into the topic, we invited on Will Gervais, lead author of the current paper and of much other work besides. Will Gervais is a Ph.D. candidate in social psychology at the University of British Columbia in Canada. Next year he will be an associate professor in psychology at the University of Kentucky. His research studies the cognitive, evolutionary, and cultural reasons why people entertain in supernatural beliefs—or, why they don't, which is perhaps equally interesting.