One Psychic Octopus and a 10^23 Dilution of Common Sense

“So, who’s your money on for the German v Spain match then?”
“Oh, definitely Spain, I trust the octopus.”
“… Stephen, you’ve said some weird shit before, but that’s got to be a new record”
“Oh, you haven’t heard about the psychic octopus?”
“… Okay, THAT is the new record…”
“Haha, no, seriously, the BBC’s reporting on an octopus in a German zoo which has been predicting Germany’s football results. He’s been right each time so far. He’s getting quite famous in Germany, apparently.”
“Really? Wow, I wouldn’t have thought the Germans would be into that sort of thing”
“What sort of thing?”
“You know, believing something as silly as a psychic octopus”
“Well, I think the octopus thing is more of a joke than anything, but actually the Germans are just as prone to superstition as everywhere else in Europe, if not more so. The people I know there are all mad keen on astrology and they’re one of the biggest consumers of homeopathic products in Europe.”
“Pfft, yeah, but come on, there’s a BIG difference between homeopathy and believing in a psychic octopus!”

The Mechanisms of Religious Infection: A memetic approach

Thursday 15th July, 18:00 at the Science Gallery, Pearse Street, Dublin 2

A lecture from eminent writer Dr Darrel Ray exploring the ideas and themes from his research on religion that culminated in his book ‘The God Virus’. He is also speaking at the Atheist Ireland AGM on Saturday 17th July, but we are maximizing his stay in case anyone can’t attend that AGM.
Darrel Ray, Ed.D. is an organizational psychologist and consultant. For the first 10 years of his career he practiced as a clinical psychologist before moving into the corporate world where he has had an international consulting practice since 1986. He has been a student of religion all his adult life. His website is