Login

Join for Free!
118251 members


Blind faith

Discussion of everything related to the Theory of Evolution.

Moderator: BioTeam

Re: Blind faith

Postby canalon » Wed Mar 23, 2011 9:58 pm

Nonsensical it is. I can whip up a similar story to demonstrate the opposite point. And it would have the same power of demonstration: none whatsoever.

Now if you will stop looking at my finger, and move your gaze to where I was pointing you might miss my point a little less massively. I do not argue that sensibility to faith is not subject to variation, or that it is not heritable, or anything like that. My point, since it needs to be made clearer is that faith as well as many other psychological character is not something that is wonderfully defined, and that is a problem if you want to understand their evolutionary importance. If you want to study the variation of a character you have to have a strong definition of it. And in many case in psychology this is sorely lacking.
In the case we discuss faith, where do you draw the line between the trust in your experience, the trust in other people and finally faith and blind faith? One is just the extension of the former (roughly) and the first 2 are probably essential to live a normal life. As autism demonstrate a total lack of empathy (the ability to make prediction on other people behaviour) seriously damage the ability to live in society. Less so for the rest. But in a way even being a rationalist atheist, I cannot deny that for many things like physics, and engineering, I have to place my trust on other as I have not, and seriously doubt that I could, reviewed the proof for quantum mechanics or whatever advanced science. I am human, I trust others that th published proof are serious and open to scrutiny, but in the end my trust does not amount much more than faith. And I am quite sure that if you look at yourself, you will have to make the same evaluation.

So rather than being all excited because I poked fun at your "just so story", try to understand that evolutionary psychology can have value only if it tries to be rigorous. Just so stories are not acceptable, they might help setting hypothesis, but that is all. What it needs is to define what needs to be measured in an objective and repeatable manner. Discuus how that quantity can be measured/evaluated and compared between groups and then measure and compare. Otherwise it is just intellectual masturbation, and the resultscontribute as much to science as nocturnal emissions contributes to the evolution of our species.
I am a stauch evolutionist and a skeptic, but I also value good science. making stuff up to make fun of something one disagree with is demonstrating one's own biases and nothing more. This is my main critic to wrd the original question, and with it being so essentially ridiculously flawed, any attempt to answer it should reasonnably only expect to be ridculed.
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
User avatar
canalon
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:46 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Blind faith

Postby BDDVM » Wed Mar 23, 2011 11:58 pm

I sincerly do not see what you find so objectionable about my conjecture.
I'll try to address some of your questions. First I will define "faithyness" for the purposes of discussion. Faithiness (I invented it, I can spell it any way I want) is the tendency/ability to believe things that are counter to evidence because an authority figure said so. That is the trait that I believe the origenal question was about. The selective advantage in this trait is to be on the right(still alive) side of the killing ,tribe wide or individually. Generally it's better to agree with the king even when he's wrong. Better to scream "burn the witch" than to be the witch. Better to attack than defend.
Note none of these are moral preferences, only practical. Evolution is practical not moral.
BDDVM
Death Adder
Death Adder
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:24 am

Postby canalon » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:09 am

Your conjecture in itself is not objectionable, what I am just trying to say is that this kind of mini story can be quickly whipped up for everything and its opposite. So they have very little convincing value.
But I appreciate that you start to define "faithiness". Yet once agin before I buy your definition I want to be convinced that this trait is actually one. Because before evolution can act on something, it must first exist. The second thing is that believing
things that are counter to evidence because an authority figure said so
does not strike me as a massive evolutionary advantage. Unless you are said authority figure.
And interestingly your description of the trait read more like "going for violence" rather than following the authority figure, which does not necessarily chose this option. Wonderful illustration of my point about the need for a correct definition and a measurable outcome.
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
User avatar
canalon
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:46 pm
Location: Canada


Re: Blind faith

Postby skeptic » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:15 am

We do not need to invent a new word 'faithiness'. We have a perfectly good old word that describes anyone who simply believes authority figures. Gullibility.
skeptic
Coral
Coral
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:44 am
Location: New Zealand

Postby canalon » Thu Mar 24, 2011 12:23 am

And another point is heritability is faithiness or as pointed by skeptic, gullibility, heritable? Because if not then no evolutionary pressure can be applied to it.

So before you can go on wild guess about the value of suchand such psychological trait you need quite a lot of work defining what you are doing. Or it is not science, it is just pulling things out your ass to reinforce your prjudice. And a lot of evolutionary psychology do appear to belong to that category TBH.
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
User avatar
canalon
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:46 pm
Location: Canada

Postby Darby » Thu Mar 24, 2011 10:01 pm

canalon, you really need to be shown evidence that there is a tendency in humans to follow emotional, non-rational leaders and make decisions that are not logic-based? Haven't you met any human beings? You actually make the point that rationale tends to be layered over the base cognition.

And you misunderstand Myers, who is specifically criticizing papers presented as evidence when there is no evidence. What makes a lot of evolutionary psychology annoying is that they stop at the "just so" stories instead of designing tests for them. What we're doing here is proposing hypotheses that might possibly be testable, and they're being presented as possible explanations, not rigorously-tested hypotheses.

And I haven't gotten the feeling that most of the people in this discussion are having trouble grasping what we mean by the term "blind faith."
Darby
Viper
Viper
 
Posts: 1262
Joined: Thu Mar 02, 2006 5:29 pm
Location: New York, USA

Re:

Postby canalon » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:20 pm

Darby wrote:canalon, you really need to be shown evidence that there is a tendency in humans to follow emotional, non-rational leaders and make decisions that are not logic-based? Haven't you met any human beings? You actually make the point that rationale tends to be layered over the base cognition.


No. I do not need such evidence, but I am pointing that faith is actually a rather nebulous and ill defined concept. And that it is in essence just an extension of some very basic function of our brain. We all need some faith, even if it is only in our sense, to be able to function. And where does the rational thinking ends up and faith begin in this continuum? Not withstanding the fact that the human psyche is a complex system and that rational behaviour in some field can happily coexist with massive irationality (case in point, Francis Collins and Luc Montagnier).

Darby wrote:And you misunderstand Myers, who is specifically criticizing papers presented as evidence when there is no evidence. What makes a lot of evolutionary psychology annoying is that they stop at the "just so" stories instead of designing tests for them. What we're doing here is proposing hypotheses that might possibly be testable, and they're being presented as possible explanations, not rigorously-tested hypotheses.


I perfectly understood Myers, thanks. But my criticism here is that what I have seen is an ill-defined concept, some just-so story that are plausible and that is it. Would you care to point an offered testable hypothesis in this discussion? I fail to see any.

Darby"And I haven't gotten the feeling that most of the people in this discussion are having trouble grasping what we mean by the term "blind faith."[/quote]
I sure do have that feeling in fact.
Is it:
[quote="Darby wrote:
a tendency in humans to follow emotional, non-rational leaders and make decisions that are not logic-based?

or
BDDVM wrote:is the tendency/ability to believe things that are counter to evidence because an authority figure said so.

Which are quite different thing. Or is it just
BDDVM wrote:to be on the right(still alive) side of the killing ,tribe wide or individually. Generally it's better to agree with the king even when he's wrong. Better to scream "burn the witch" than to be the witch. Better to attack than defend.

Which is yet different, does not encompass the notion of faith, as people will follow a leader for many reason even if they are fully rational and the leader is not. Like you know because shutting it up will guarantee your survival, or because there is power to be gained, or whatever twisted reason you might come up with.
And many faith are professing non violence to a large extent. So according to the tetsable hypothesis, those people should be dead by now.
Or is it gullibility as offered by skeptic, which covers again quite a wide array of very different behaviour. One can buy homeopathic remedies without being ready to kill his neighbour just because the president told him so.
So yes it is a very clean and define notion, fully understood by everyone on this thread and that allow nice hypothesis to be offered and tested :roll:
Do you see what I mean now?
Patrick

Science has proof without any certainty. Creationists have certainty without
any proof. (Ashley Montague)
User avatar
canalon
Inland Taipan
Inland Taipan
 
Posts: 3909
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:46 pm
Location: Canada

Re: Blind faith

Postby Zenithar66 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 7:54 pm

skeptic wrote:We do not need to invent a new word 'faithiness'. We have a perfectly good old word that describes anyone who simply believes authority figures. Gullibility.


You mean like beliveing scientists without doing your own research to see if what they are saying is plausible... happens all the time.
Zenithar66
Garter
Garter
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:29 pm

Re: Blind faith

Postby skeptic » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:16 pm

Zenithar

In many cases you are right.
The situations where it is OK to tentatively believe what other scientists have done, is when they have published in reputable and peer reviewed journals. Even there, allow for errors.
skeptic
Coral
Coral
 
Posts: 119
Joined: Tue Apr 14, 2009 2:44 am
Location: New Zealand

Re: Blind faith

Postby Zenithar66 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 8:33 pm

skeptic wrote:Zenithar

In many cases you are right.
The situations where it is OK to tentatively believe what other scientists have done, is when they have published in reputable and peer reviewed journals. Even there, allow for errors.



that is your view, and I respectively disagree, this is an authority complex.(not you, in general) Just becuase these people are wearing white coats and have published in a journal does not mean they do not have there own agendas, or anwering to anothers. There have been many cases of altered scientific results to propound a particular world view.(if you want i can go through my notes and list a few "good" ones)

its all about your own self discovering your own truth and not taking someones word for it, otherwise you will be led by the ear into someone elses view of the world, and it may not be pretty!
Zenithar66
Garter
Garter
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:29 pm

Postby BDDVM » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:21 pm

Faith in authority figures, a variable, somewhat hereditary trait that effects survival/reproduction. Something that colors our perception and must be consciously compensated for ( the scientific method is handy for this). It's an inherited bias that must be born in mind if your goal is understanding the universe rather than just reproducing better than the rest.
BDDVM
Death Adder
Death Adder
 
Posts: 76
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 3:24 am

Re:

Postby Zenithar66 » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:36 pm

BDDVM wrote:Faith in authority figures, a variable, somewhat hereditary trait that effects survival/reproduction. Something that colors our perception and must be consciously compensated for ( the scientific method is handy for this). It's an inherited bias that must be born in mind if your goal is understanding the universe rather than just reproducing better than the rest.


I agree, although all this talk about hereditary traits kind of erks me sometimes, one does not hate somethign or love somethign, or prefer something because of their genes, rather, their unique life experience colours their characteristics.
ever here of epiginetics, if not, you should check it out..
Zenithar66
Garter
Garter
 
Posts: 20
Joined: Mon Apr 04, 2011 6:29 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Evolution

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 4 guests