It's a common misconception that atheists are, by default, materialists. While not quite true (there are several religions that are atheistic, some of which, like Buddhism, are quite prominent in the world), it is generally true of modern humanist, rationalist or skeptic atheists. PZ Myers (A prominent evolutionary developmental biologist and author of the the Pharyngula blog) recently gave a talk to a antheist/skeptic society in Minnesota (Minnesota Atheists) concerning atheism and a materialist way of approaching belief and religion in our species. There's a fair bit covered in the talk, and, given the context of the talk, yes it is biased towards atheism. PZ covers some basic neurobiology and evolutionary topics; he's talking to a general audience, not an audience of biologists, or even scientists in general, so if you're not really knowledgeable on the subject before hand, he offers some exposition. He then goes on to outline the functional roles of religions, and gets into the evolution of religion and belief. He even opens with a hallmark of scientific discussion, admitting when there's something we don't know! *gasp!*
Warning for TL;DRers, each half of the talk is ~45min long; there's a lot to watch if you're wanting to watch it.
0 blog comments below