Wednesday, September 06, 2006

The Inescapable Clutches Of Evolution Somehow Let This Guy Slip Through

Mark Shea:

What a superbly arrogant specimen of scientism!

You could hardly write a parody that would be funnier:

The human brain is hard-wired to be susceptible to supernatural beliefs as a result of tens of thousands of years of evolution, a British psychologist said today.

Religion and other forms of magical thinking continue to thrive, in spite of a lack of evidence and the advance of science, because people are naturally biased to accept a role for the irrational in their daily lives, according to Bruce Hood, Professor of Experimental Psychology at the University of Bristol.

This evolved credulity suggests that it will be impossible to root out belief in ideas such as creationism and paranormal phenomena, even though they have been refuted by evidence and are held as a matter of faith alone.

People ultimately believe in them for the same reasons as they attach sentimental value to inanimate objects like wedding rings or teddy bears, and recoil from artefacts linked to evil, as if they are pervaded by a physical "essence".

Scientists have not yet figured out why Bruce Hood's brain attaches sentimental value to books full of atheistic materialism, nor why Bruce Hood's brain thinks a three pound lump of meat between Bruce Hood's ears is an infallibly reliable guide to the nature of the universe. Science also has yet to answer the question of why evolution would create a species that is incorrigibly driven to seek supernatural meaning to the universe, nor what "survival value" this bit of brain wiring has, nor why people who discover it seem to invariably have evolved past this primitive phase and become "brights". Also unanswered is the question of whether "Brights" have reached the Next Phase in Evolution or are, contrarily, throwbacks who cannot appreciate a supernatural dimension their normal fellow homo sapiens can see. Perhaps the problem, in other words, is that Bruce Hood's brain is closer to that of a cow than that of the Superman.

Evidence of bovine reasoning ability includes the inability to realize that disproof of some supernatural claims does not constitute disproof of all supernatural claims. Other evidence includes a congenital inability to understand why a wedding ring could matter to somebody. Some authorities suspect that this basic sociopathic inability to relate to simple emotions comes from early exposure to Trek Conventions and other socially maladjusting influences. This, plus a grandiose notion of superiority could account for a great deal of what passes for "scientific research" on the human person.

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