Human Pattern-Finding Ability
Post Reply
 
Thread Rating:
  • 0 Votes - 0 Average
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
28-02-2013, 02:54 PM
Human Pattern-Finding Ability
Of course pattern-finding has been a useful adaptation in human evolution: learning which kinds of berries will make you sick, being able to interpret the weather for agriculture, and so on. But in the past the human pattern-finding instinct was also used in ways that we now consider superstitious and erroneous: personal misfortune was thought to be caused by offending the gods and had to be atoned for, or divination methods were thought to be able to uncover hidden truth.

My question is, are modern science and methods of rationalism based on the same basic pattern-finding instincts that were at the root of primitive superstition, only more enlightened? Is some other thought process involved in scientific thinking compared to what we consider "superstitious" thinking, or do we just have more information and understanding now to enable us to make sound conclusions? (Is the difference more qualitative, quantitative, or something else?)

"Know that we own minds that could devour the sun/And what we've done will remain although it's gone" - Scar Symmetry
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2013, 05:15 PM
RE: Human Pattern-Finding Ability
(28-02-2013 02:54 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  Of course pattern-finding has been a useful adaptation in human evolution: learning which kinds of berries will make you sick, being able to interpret the weather for agriculture, and so on. But in the past the human pattern-finding instinct was also used in ways that we now consider superstitious and erroneous: personal misfortune was thought to be caused by offending the gods and had to be atoned for, or divination methods were thought to be able to uncover hidden truth.

My question is, are modern science and methods of rationalism based on the same basic pattern-finding instincts that were at the root of primitive superstition, only more enlightened? Is some other thought process involved in scientific thinking compared to what we consider "superstitious" thinking, or do we just have more information and understanding now to enable us to make sound conclusions? (Is the difference more qualitative, quantitative, or something else?)


The scientific method is a formalization of those abilities and capabilities. Evidence is evaluated, error checking and error correction are applied.

The curiosity and the insight are the same.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2013, 05:22 PM
RE: Human Pattern-Finding Ability
(28-02-2013 05:15 PM)Chas Wrote:  The scientific method is a formalization of those abilities and capabilities. Evidence is evaluated, error checking and error correction are applied.

The curiosity and the insight are the same.
So you would say the difference is in level of formality, or rigor?

"Know that we own minds that could devour the sun/And what we've done will remain although it's gone" - Scar Symmetry
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2013, 05:28 PM
RE: Human Pattern-Finding Ability
The proposed pattern is now called an "hypothesis".
It's then tested.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2013, 05:28 PM (This post was last modified: 28-02-2013 05:32 PM by Chas.)
RE: Human Pattern-Finding Ability
(28-02-2013 05:22 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  
(28-02-2013 05:15 PM)Chas Wrote:  The scientific method is a formalization of those abilities and capabilities. Evidence is evaluated, error checking and error correction are applied.

The curiosity and the insight are the same.
So you would say the difference is in level of formality, or rigor?

Yes.

For a dissenting opinion, there is Julian Jaynes and his Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

Skepticism is not a position; it is an approach to claims.
Science is not a subject, but a method.
[Image: flagstiny%206.gif]
Visit this user's website Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
28-02-2013, 05:55 PM
RE: Human Pattern-Finding Ability
(28-02-2013 05:28 PM)Chas Wrote:  
(28-02-2013 05:22 PM)DarthMarth Wrote:  So you would say the difference is in level of formality, or rigor?

Yes.

For a dissenting opinion, there is Julian Jaynes and his Origin of Consciousness in the Breakdown of the Bicameral Mind.

Then there are all the current Cognitive Neuro-Psych people who describe a "war", most of it subconscious, going on in the brain. See Eagleman et all, (from Texas).

Insufferable know-it-all.Einstein Certified Ancient Astronaut Theorist
Isaiah 45:7 "I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the LORD do all these things" (KJV)

Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
01-03-2013, 09:03 AM
RE: Human Pattern-Finding Ability
(28-02-2013 05:28 PM)Bucky Ball Wrote:  The proposed pattern is now called an "hypothesis".
It's then tested.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientific_method
Is the presence (or sufficiency) of this testing what separates the scientific method from superstition, then? (e.g. if you get sick and someone says "the rain god must me mad at you!", you reject the hypothesis because it can't be tested)

"Know that we own minds that could devour the sun/And what we've done will remain although it's gone" - Scar Symmetry
Find all posts by this user
Like Post Quote this message in a reply
Post Reply
Forum Jump: