It is an interesting coincidence that one year after the murderous terrorist Osama Bin Laden was killed, the new One World Trade Center has become the tallest building in the Big Apple.
Construction slowed in January and February due to high winds and the building remained at the 92nd floor. By March, construction progressed above the 92nd floor. As of April 28, 2012, the tower’s steel has risen to the 102nd floor, concrete flooring is at the 92nd floor, and glass panels have reached the 74th floor. The building’s structure is expected to top out in Spring 2012, whereupon its 408-foot (124 m) steel spire will be installed. The building surpassed the Empire State Building as tallest in the city on 30th April 2012.
Police resources in North America are tied up with marijuana enforcement way beyond what they should be. If marijuana was legalized it could be sold in for example, the Manitoba Marijuana Control Commission, MC for short. The tax revenue generated by the legal sale of pot could repair all the pot-holed highways in Manitoba.
And the police could get around to making society safer from the real thugs out there. Instead of busting regular citizens who smoke a bit of pot and are just laying back.
Map of legality of cannibis worldwide
But there are just too many anti-drug forces in the United States for legalization to ever become reality. Or is there?
Losing Your Religion: Analytic Thinking Can Undermine Belief
A series of new experiments shows that analytic thinking can override intuitive assumptions, including those that underlie religious belief
By Marina Krakovsky
People who are intuitive thinkers are more likely to be religious, but getting them to think analytically even in subtle ways decreases the strength of their belief, according to a new study in Science.
The research, conducted by University of British Columbia psychologists Will Gervais and Ara Norenzayan, does not take sides in the debate between religion and atheism, but aims instead to illuminate one of the origins of belief and disbelief. “To understand religion in humans,” Gervais says, “you need to accommodate for the fact that there are many millions of believers and nonbelievers.”
One of their studies correlated measures of religious belief with people’s scores on a popular test of analytic thinking. The test poses three deceptively simple math problems. One asks: “If it takes five machines five minutes to make five widgets, how long would it take 100 machines to make 100 widgets?” The first answer that comes to mind—100 minutes—turns out to be wrong. People who take the time to reason out the correct answer (five minutes) are, by definition, more analytical—and these analytical types tend to score lower on the researchers’ tests of religious belief.
But the researchers went beyond this interesting link, running four experiments showing that analytic thinking actually causes disbelief. In one experiment, they randomly assigned participants to either the analytic or control condition. They then showed them photos of either Rodin’s The Thinker or, in the control condition, of the ancient Greek sculpture Discobolus, which depicts an athlete poised to throw a discus. (The Thinker was used because it is such an iconic image of deep reflection that, in a separate test with different participants, seeing the statue improved how well subjects reasoned through logical syllogisms.) After seeing the images, participants took a test measuring their belief in God on a scale of 0 to 100. Their scores on the test varied widely, with a standard deviation of about 35 in the control group. But it is the difference in the averages that tells the real story: In the control group, the average score for belief in God was 61.55, or somewhat above the scale’s midpoint. On the other hand, for the group who had just seen The Thinker, the resulting average was only 41.42. Such a gap is large enough to indicate a mild believer is responding as a mild nonbeliever—all from being visually reminded of the human capacity to think.
Another experiment used a different method to show a similar effect. It exploited the tendency, previously identified by psychologists, of people to override their intuition when faced with the demands of reading a text in a hard-to-read typeface. Gervais and Norenzayan did this by giving two groups a test of participants’ belief in supernatural agents like God and angels, varying only the font in which the test was printed. People who took the belief test in the unclear font (a typewriterlike font set in italics) expressed less belief than those who took it in a more common, easy-to-read typeface. “It’s such a subtle manipulation,” Norenzayan says. “Yet something that seemingly trivial can lead to a change that people consider important in their religious belief system.” On a belief scale of 3 to 21, participants in the analytic condition scored an average of almost two points lower than those in the control group.
Analytic thinking undermines belief because, as cognitive psychologists have shown, it can override intuition. And we know from past research that religious beliefs—such as the idea that objects and events don’t simply exist but have a purpose—are rooted in intuition. “Analytic processing inhibits these intuitions, which in turn discourages religious belief,” Norenzayan explains.
Harvard University psychologist Joshua Greene, who last year published a paper on the same subject with colleagues Amitai Shenhav and David Rand, praises this work for its rigorous methodology. “Any one of their experiments can be reinterpreted, but when you’ve got [multiple] different kinds of evidence pointing in the same direction, it’s very impressive.”
The study also gets high marks from University of California, Irvine, evolutionary biologist Francisco Ayala, the only former president of the American Association for the Advancement of Science to have once been ordained as a Catholic priest, and who continues to assert that science and religion are compatible. Ayala calls the studies ingenious, and is surprised only that the effects are not even stronger. “You would expect that the people who challenge the general assumptions of their culture—in this case, their culture’s religious beliefs—are obviously the people who are more analytical,” he says.
The researchers, for their part, point out that both reason and intuition have their place. “Our intuitions can be phenomenally useful,” Gervais says, “and analytic thinking isn’t some oracle of the truth.”
Greene concurs, while also raising a provocative question implicit in the findings: “Obviously, there are millions of very smart and generally rational people who believe in God,” he says. “Obviously, this study doesn’t prove the nonexistence of God. But it poses a challenge to believers: If God exists, and if believing in God is perfectly rational, then why does increasing rational thinking tend to decrease belief in God?”
Religious belief in North America
It is getting to the point that whenever I turn on the TV I see J-Roc, actor Jonathon Torrens doing some show. Recently I saw him hosting Wipeout Canada. He is best known for his role as J-Roc on Trailer Park Boys where his trademark saying was “know what im saying.”
This guy will take any TV gig. I guess he needs the moolah, “know what im saying.”
Jonathan Ormond Torrens (born October 25, 1972) is a Canadian actor and television personality best known for his co-hosting of Street Cents, his talk show Jonovision, and his role as “J-Roc” in the popular Canadian mockumentary Trailer Park Boys. In October 2009, Torrens began hosting TV with TV’s Jonathan Torrens, a comedic newsmagazine program broadcast on the TVtropolis network.
Torrens’s past work includes co-hosting CBC Television’s teen-oriented consumer affairs series Street Cents from 1989 until 1996. He then went on to host, co-produce and write for his own teen-oriented talk show, Jonovision, from 1996 until 2001.
In 1998 he played David in Beefcake, a movie about 1950s muscle magazines and their connection with the homosexual community. The same year, he won a Gemini in the category of Best Short Dramatic Program for his work on Nan’s Taxi. In 1999, he hosted and narrated a 33 minute docudrama on the consequences of impaired driving for the Alberta Alcohol and Drug Abuse Commission (AADAC) called When Choices Collide. In 2001 he played Tony Moressa on the show Pit Pony and had two appearances on Royal Canadian Air Farce as ‘The Clean Cut Keen SportsNet Guy’. From there he went on to play Daniel VanDusen on Rideau Hall in 2002 and had a guest appearance on This Hour Has 22 Minutes. In 2003, he starred in the CBC six episode mini-series Jonathan Crosses Canada, in which he travelled across Canada in a Winnebago.
During the summer of 2004 he starred as “The Gotta-be-Gay-Guy” on the Spike TV mock reality show, Joe Schmo 2, and has made appearances on the shows The Greatest Canadian and 50 Most Outrageous TV Moments. In 2005 he played Mike in Dirty Love, a romantic comedy starring Playboy playmates Jenny McCarthy and Carmen Electra that held six nominations for the 2005 Golden Raspberry Awards and won the award for Worst Picture.
He also played Shane McKay, Emma Nelson’s biological father on Degrassi: The Next Generation. Torrens had a recurring role as J-Roc on the television series Trailer Park Boys. He also appeared in both of the Trailer Park Boys movies. In November and December 2008 Jonathan was the guest host of several episodes of the CBC radio show Definitely Not the Opera.
In 2008 he appeared in the award-winning short film Treevenge, directed by Jason Eisener.
In 2009, Torrens debuted in his own television show called TV With TV’s Jonathan Torrens on Canadian specialty network TVtropolis. As of 2010, Torrens is one of the co-hosts of the reality television series Wipeout Canada, which also airs on TVtropolis.
Torrens plays the role of Robert Cheeley, vice principal of Xavier Academy on the CBC sitcom, Mr. D.