Tania Lombrozo

In the 1960s — well before Spike Jonze's Samantha — MIT computer scientist Joseph Weizenbaum introduced the world to Eliza, a psychotherapist (of sorts) who interacted with people through a text interface. She's still around today.

As a (mostly vegan) vegetarian for ethical reasons, I've encountered all sorts of responses to arguments for animal welfare. Here's one that I've heard surprisingly often, nabbed from a comment to a recent article arguing that atheists should be vegan:

In a recent Washington Post piece, Diana Liverman, a professor at the University of Arizona, explains how she used to teach her undergraduates about climate change — and why she stopped.

In a 2006 article for the Los Angeles Times, Sam Harris identified 10 myths about atheism, among them the idea that "atheists are closed to spiritual experience."

Harris explained: "There is nothing that prevents an atheist from experiencing love, ecstasy, rapture and awe; atheists can value these experiences and seek them regularly."

In a commentary published earlier this month in Nature, Harvard professor Sarah S. Richardson and six co-authors caution scientists, journalists and the public against drawing hasty conclusions from findings concerning epigenetic effects on human development.

Not long ago, Caren Walker, a PhD student at the University of California at Berkeley, was hiking in Tilden Park with her brother Michael when they came upon what looked like wild carrots.

"Yum, yum, yum!" exclaimed Michael (with perhaps greater eloquence, but no less enthusiasm). "These will make a tasty soup!"

The most basic formula in first-order logic is P(x): one predicate, one variable.

It's also the most basic unit of communication — we say something (the predicate) about something (the variable). Delicious chocolate. Chocolate is delicious. Or, if you want to get fancy, you can throw in more formal machinery to specify that I believe chocolate is delicious, or that chocolate is only delicious when it's dark.

Last week, the satirical "news" source The Onion reported that the field of psychology was disbanding as researchers realized they had been studying the mind with nothing but itself.

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