There’s nothing quite like a set of loaded questions from a believer to illuminate what being an atheist really means. For all the increased and increasing visibility that celebrity nonbelievers like Daniel Radcliffe and Jodi Foster are getting us, and for all that atheist thinkers like Richard Dawkins and Daniel Dennett have rendered an exemplary case for non-belief as a philosophical position, we continue to suffer from a litany of stereotypes. (Often, our most visible proponents do little to disprove them…)
“Any form of discrimination with regard to a country or a person on grounds of race, religion, politics, gender or otherwise is incompatible with belonging to the Olympic Movement”
North America’s history prominently features separate British colonies combining into larger independent countries. This has made the formation of Canada and the United States in particular quite distinct from the otherwise similar independence movements in Latin America, which fragmented from approximately seven colonial units into 18 countries by the beginning of the 20th century. However, there is one part of the Americas where the British legacy has not followed this pattern, and where it more closely resembles the postcolonial histories of Africa. Since I vacation in this region regularly with my family, I’d like to give it the attention it deserves.
It’s a tricky thing to use animals as examples of behavior for humans. The psychology of an earthworm or dragonfly has virtually no resemblance to that of a vertebrate, let alone a vertebrate with an unusually large cerebral cortex. Arthropods in particular labor under a “sensor-heavy paradigm” that doesn’t rely on a single massive body of nerves for integrating information and determining behavior.
But here and there, we find animals whose mores and activities prove illustrative. In light of the latest explosion of rape allegations that has rocked the atheist/skeptic community over the past several weeks, today’s example is the humble guppy.