Chance, Romance & Lucky Pants

I am speaking at a satellite gathering tonight before this weekend’s The Amazing Meeting in London. I would have liked to have given a talk at the main event but there were no slots left. Anyway, after seeing me give a Skeptics in the Pub event back in June, über-organizer Tracy King suggested that I should talk about skeptics and dating – as if I am someone who knows alot about this. But it all came about after my answer to a question raised from the floor about why we still have irrational beliefs in today’s society. I said that relationships were especially dependent on having a degree of irrational thought because applying analytical thinking when considering your partner was, well unromantic. Couples thrive on the possibility of magic otherwise known as love. I am not sure how this idea will go down. I’ll let you know.


Filed under General Thoughts

8 responses to “Chance, Romance & Lucky Pants

  1. When contemplating one my own mysterious romances, your comments about how human brain work to find meaning and patterns in randomness have always been helpful.
    Depressing, but helpful.

  2. Many times on atheist/skeptic blogs, the comment will be made that “science is the only valid epistemology.” While I agree that science is the most trustworthy epistemology, it is piss-poor for many purposes.

    As it turns out, my favorite counter-example is to ask what kind of epistemology is most useful for knowing that I love my wife and infant son. Clearly, science is completely inadequate here. In fact, many of the things I believe about my relationship to my wife and son are clearly contradicted by logic (e.g. I believe in my heart that my wife and I were fated to be together, even though I suppose from an objective perspective that must seem rather absurd when one considers I’ve dated something like 0.00000015% of the female population of the world).

    People often respond to this challenge by pointing out all of the progress that science has made in understanding the brain processes that we describe as “love”, but they are missing the point entirely. Perhaps science is an excellent epistemology when it comes to explaining why I love my wife, but it has an abjectly useless epistemology when it came to realizing that I love my wife.

    I suppose it would be conceivable to take some sort of brain monitoring device with you on all of your dates and later go back and compare the activity in certain regions of one’s brain when interacting with the various prospective mates, but uh… yeah. That’s really, really dumb.

    Anyway, in a roundabout way, I am saying that I absolutely agree with you, but also expect to get some resistance. My experience has been that many rationalists get very huffy when you suggest that rationality is not always the best tool for the job.

  3. Andrew Atkinson

    There is a beautiful deserted island in the middle of nowhere where the following group of people are stranded:

    2 Italian men and 1 Italian woman
    2 French men and 1 French woman
    2 German men and 1 German woman
    2 Greek men and 1 Greek woman
    2 Bulgarian men and 1 Bulgarian woman
    2 Irish men and 1 Irish woman
    2 American men and 1 American woman
    2 British men and 1 British woman

    One month later on this absolutely stunning deserted island in the middle of nowhere, the following has occurred:

    One Italian man killed the other Italian man for the Italian woman.

    The two French men and the French woman are living happily together in a “menage a trois”.

    The two German men have a strict weekly schedule of when they alternate with the German woman.

    The two Greek men are sleeping with each other and the Greek woman is cleaning and cooking for them.

    The Bulgarian men took a long look at the endless ocean and one look at the Bulgarian woman and they started swimming.

    The Irish began by dividing up their island, Northside and Southside, and by setting up a distillery. They do not remember if sex is in the picture because it gets sort of foggy after the first few liters of coconut whiskey, but at least the English are not getting any.

    The two American men are contemplating the virtues of suicide while the American woman keeps on talking about her body being her own, the true nature of feminism, how she can do everything that they can do, about the necessity of fulfillment, the equal division of household chores, how her last boyfriend respected her opinion and treated her much nicer and how her relationship with her mother is improving. But at least the taxes are low and it is not raining.


    The 2 British men are still waiting for someone to introduce them to the British woman

  4. Paul

    I was in the audience in Doggetts when you and Dr Petra Boynton spoke around the theme of Chance, Romance & Lucky Pants.

    My female partner confirmed that she did of course have and uses some Lucky Pants, a new term for me. I wondered if this is mainly a female practice or if men also have Lucky Marks & Sparks Y-fronts, as I don’t, should I get some?

    I wasn’t expecting the train of thought you discussed about the work of Serge Voronoff and Dr John R Brinkley which I will leave others to Wiki. Crikey, the thought made my eyes water and it was time for another beer.

    Separately Professor I have emailed you to ask if you could send me a copy of the PPT you spoke to?

    A good night and I would recommend ‘Skeptics In The Pub’ whose newsletter introduced me to your talk.

    • brucehood

      Thanks Paul… I am sorry but I never pass on copies of slides or videos from my talks (some of them are not for distribution) – Even to my students.

  5. Mikeharvey

    New here, from Toronto, Canada

    Just a quick hello from as I’m new to the board. I’ve seen some interesting posts so far.

    To be honest I’m new to forums and computers in general 🙂


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