Atheists who love Science!


Atheists who love Science!

A group for science enthusiasts of all types -- professionals, amateurs, students, anybody who loves science.

Members: 1578
Latest Activity: Nov 15

Whether you're a professional, a student, an amateur, an enthusiast, whatever! Lots of atheists love science. Might as well have a group for it!

Feel free to nerd out, link articles, talk about your favorite field of research, whatever!

The icon is from

I've been super busy with school this semester -- no time for Atheist Nexus, sadly!!
If anyone who's around here a lot wants me to toss them moderation privileges to run this group or anything, just send me (Sara) a message! Thanks!

Removed ability to send mass messages to everyone in the group. At 1000+ members, that seems like asking for spam.

Offer still open if anyone active in the group wants moderation privileges, but it appears everything has been going smoothly with all kinds of great discussions without moderation. Fantastic! :)

Discussion Forum

Diagnostic test for ALL viruses

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by philip_rhoades Nov 15. 5 Replies

Liquid-crystalline water

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Nov 4. 4 Replies

Stable light-based memory

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Oct 5. 0 Replies

Fascinating article on strange world ex BBC

Started by Christopher Cosgrove. Last reply by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Sep 4. 3 Replies

Dirty Oil Beats Science in the US

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Sep 3. 0 Replies

"Science Isn't Broken"

Started by Grinning Cat. Last reply by tom sarbeck Aug 28. 10 Replies

Dog-human alliance edged out Neanderthals

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Gerald Payne Aug 27. 12 Replies

Not-amorphous glass

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner Aug 20. 0 Replies

Science Journals suffer large scale peer review fraud

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Clarence Dember Apr 17. 1 Reply

Common sense talk about climate change

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Michael Penn Apr 15. 2 Replies

Time goes both ways in the quantum world

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by tom sarbeck Apr 14. 1 Reply

Ebola Vaccine Very Promising

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Patricia Apr 10. 6 Replies

Wound Healing

Started by Patricia. Last reply by Joan Denoo Mar 14. 2 Replies

Comment Wall


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Comment by Vangelis Stamatopoulos on November 15, 2010 at 4:29am
I have written a blog post that talks about "life" from a couple of different scientific points of view. If you're interested, you can read more about it here.
Comment by Gary Berg-Cross on November 14, 2010 at 10:08am
On this wandering/distracted mind topic (and happiness) there is the broad topic of "multitasking", which is flourishing, and how it affects on us.

There are lab experiments that show that distracting people reduces the capacity of their working memory and thus impairs their decision making. At least for high cognitive tasking.

It’s much harder to show that multitasking outside of dfficult tasks and when it results from the choices and control of an individual as in directed daydreaming fantasies, does such cognitive harm. Multitasking dan be a distraction from our main activity, but some argue that it is what evoluton has given us as a main activity. It may be a safety value for boring task and perhaps too much of work has become boring for too many. The big new player is distracting folks is email, social media and the like. This may fill a gap in people's needs.

Of course our distractable attention can be targeted for commercial, political and personal gain and misused.
Comment by Kelly M on November 13, 2010 at 2:07pm
That better?? Geez
Comment by Kelly M on November 13, 2010 at 2:04pm
I wonder what finding that planet in our galaxy that is within the habitable zone of it's star will do the Drake Equation?
Comment by Mrina on November 13, 2010 at 10:30am
Can you two take it to private chat? Thanks.

Lead ions are a lot heavier than just hydrogen ions, but still the temperature is so hot you get a sticky soup of gluons. So cool!
Comment by Kelly M on November 13, 2010 at 8:54am
I think it's because your mind is FREE Mike...that has a pretty profound effect on one's outlook....
Comment by Mrina on November 13, 2010 at 8:42am
Lol, I read this article yesterday, too. I daydream all the time and had the motivation to follow those dreams in real. I am doing very well! You're right Mike K. If daydreaming means unhappiness, then I /should/ be depressed as hell.
Comment by CaptainCook on November 13, 2010 at 7:37am
For Mike:

Happiness evades wandering minds?

Friday, 12 November 2010 Carl Holm
From happy to unhappy

Does a wandering mind make us unhappy, or does unhappiness make us wish we were elsewhere?(Source: James Steidl/iStockphoto)
Related Stories

* Happiness more than gene deep, Science Online, 05 Oct 2010
* Happiness linked to healthy heart, Science Online, 19 Feb 2010
* 'Happiness meter' analyses blogs, tweets, Science Online, 03 Aug 2009

Chasing happiness A leading Australian psychologist debates the findings of a US based research team which suggests that allowing our minds to wander makes us unhappy.

People spend about half of their time thinking about being somewhere else, or doing something other than what they are doing, and this perpetual act of mind-wandering makes them unhappy, according to the study, published today in Science.

Psychologists Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert of Harvard University argue that the human mind "is a wandering mind, and a wandering mind is an unhappy mind."

The ability to think about what is not happening "is a remarkable evolutionary achievement," they say, "that allows people to learn, reason and plan", but they argue that it comes at an emotional cost.

The study tracked 2,250 people via a smartphone application, or app, that contacted volunteers at "random intervals to ask how happy they were, what they were currently doing, and whether they were thinking about their current activity or something else that was pleasant, neutral or unpleasant."

When the results were tallied, it appeared that people's minds were wandering 46.9 percent of the time.

The study reports that subjects were happiest while having sex, exercising or having a conversation. They reported being least happy while using a home computer, resting or working.

By examining the mind-wandering responses, researchers found that "only 4.6 percent of a person's happiness in a given moment was attributable to the specific activity he or she was doing, whereas a person's mind-wandering status accounted for about 10.8 percent of his or her happiness."

The study said "time-lag analyses" suggested that "subjects' mind-wandering was generally the cause, not the consequence, of their unhappiness."

According to the study, subjects tended to be most focused on the present, and least prone to mind-wandering, during sex.

Minds were wandering at least 30% of the time during every other activity.

"This study shows that our mental lives are pervaded, to a remarkable degree, by the non-present," says Killingsworth.

"Mind-wandering is an excellent predictor of people's happiness."
Unhappiness is not the default state

Robert Cummins, Professor of Psychology at Deakin University, Melbourne, and author of the Australian Unity Wellbeing Index, disagrees.

"I don't think this study shows us very much", he says, "and it certainly does not show us that a wandering mind produces unhappiness."

"What happens when people are in a contented set-point kind of a mood state is that their minds aren't enormously engaged in anything, so they'll think about their holidays, or their hobbies or exercising. But thinking about exercise will not elevate the mood as much as performing the exercise."

Cummins says exercise is a well documented way of elevating mood, "as long as you're not breaking rocks in a chain gang. If it's voluntary exercise that you're doing then this will elevate mood."

He also says that conversation, engaging with other people, makes us feel better because it's shared activity and we're choosing to do it. And that is the key, he says.

"What it shows is that when we engage actively in chosen activities, then it elevates our mood briefly, and then it comes back again. But where it comes back to is not unhappiness. It's 75 on a 0 to a 100 scale. These authors have not recognised that."

"The absolute basis for a scientifically credible study is that you absolutely must know your baseline measures", he says.

"If you don't know where your baselines are then the measurements that you make are meaningless."

"The thing that twigged me onto the silliness of it all was the statement that people were least happy when they were sleeping, resting, or using a home computer," he says.

"Those activities are baseline activities. We know people are perfectly happy when they're resting or sleeping."
Comment by CaptainCook on November 13, 2010 at 5:29am
While I have not yet read the article, I know this premise to be ridiculous. First: daydreaming (more properly called reflection, perhaps) is necessary for creativity in the arts and science. Second: how is "happiness" defined? Humans have a range of emotional peaks and troughs, the dynamics of which make life worth living. I will read the article when I have time.
Comment by Jim DePaulo on November 11, 2010 at 7:06pm
The research on Glia cells is fascinating. And it puts a whole new perspective on the difficulties of modeling the human brain. No model that I know of is even considering the function of the Glia cells in cognition - if they are communicating they are effecting it in some manner.
Good article!

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