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Regardless of how rational and pragmatic you may think you are, or how immune to silly superstitions and wild ideas you might believe yourself to be, the truth is that none of us are Star Trek Vulcans. We're each just as susceptible to illogical thoughts and strange beliefs as the next guy. In fact, we're sorta hardwired that way; so don't feel bad.
Our ability to see patterns, connect the dots, and believe things that there's no evidence for is actually one of the many things that makes us the extraordinary creatures we've become. It's led to amazing discoveries in science, beautiful works of art, and even resulted in the very survival of our species. But, nevertheless, everything has its downsides.
For every Einstein or Darwin who recognizes patterns in nature that turn out to be real, there's always millions of us on the other side of the spectrum who put together patterns that turn out to be not-so-real. For, alas, while the scientific method and meticulous scrutiny are great ways to avoid fooling ourselves, we unfortunately don't apply that type of critical thinking to all things. It takes a special effort not to be duped, and sooner or later a false belief will slip through the cracks of our minds. But that's okay. Einstein and Darwin were wrong sometimes too, you know? We're all only human. And beliefs, whether wrong or right, are a major part of our humanity. But perhaps if we know why we fool ourselves, we'll then be better equipped not to be fooled again. That's our goal today. click here to read more