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Christianity &Islam &Science Johnson on 25 Feb 2009 12:18 am

Ignorance is Bliss

This is an older article, but it is relevant when talking about religion:

Among the Inept, Researchers Discover, Ignorance Is Bliss

In a series of studies, Dr. Kruger and Dr. Dunning tested their theory of incompetence. They found that subjects who scored in the lowest quartile on tests of logic, English grammar and humor were also the most likely to “grossly overestimate” how well they had performed.

This would explain a great many things about the religious. For example, it explains why someone who knows nothing about evolution would be supremely confident that evolution is wrong, and that God therefore created all life.

10 Responses to “Ignorance is Bliss”

  1. on 26 Feb 2009 at 12:19 pm 1.Hermes said …

    The study actual study covering the Dunning Kruger effect;

    “Unskilled and Unaware of It: How Difficulties in Recognizing One’s Own Incompetence Lead to Inflated Self-Assessments”. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology


    The first page is funny. The rest is disturbing for anyone with a touch of humility and the ability to asses themselves even a little.

  2. on 26 Feb 2009 at 1:17 pm 2.Jonathon said …

    One must also take into account the deep anti-intellectualism that is inherent to evangelical and fundamentalist movements.

    People who suffer from an inferiority complex will do anything to tear down those who they perceive as superior to them. Since most of the people in these movements are not well-educated, and feel threatened by people who are, it is tempting for them to assert that they have the real answers and that the “so-called intellectuals” really know the truth too but don’t want to admit it.

    They cannot handle anything other than a literal interpretation of scripture. There can be no nuance, no hidden meaning, no depth beyond what is obvious to them. Since science and intellectual pursuits require, nay demand that one look beyond the obvious, they can’t stand it and need an absolute truth to stand on. The notion that what we believe today will be supplanted by a new belief when more research is done and more is known and understood about a given subject. They need an unshifting, unchanging “truth” to cling to – even when clear evidence is staring them right in the face.

    That is why creationists are so stubborn in their assertions that the Biblical account of Genesis is literally true. Science tells them that what they believe about the origin of the universe is not consistent with the facts known. So, rather than re-evaluate their belief in the light of new evidence, they demonize science and dig their heels further into the ground.

    The universe is a much more interesting place than their scripture would lead them to believe. That they can’t see this as a sign that there is more to be known than what is contained in a book written 2,000-5,000 years ago is unbelievable.

    One does not have to sacrifice one’s belief in God in order to trust in science and the scientific method. However one cannot simultaneously assert a literal interpretation of scripture and be open to new truths.

    In essence, their god is dead and locked in the past.

  3. on 26 Feb 2009 at 1:29 pm 3.Hermes said …

    Jonathon, well said. The last 8 years in the USA we’ve paid for that anti-intellectual impulse. Unfortunately, it looks like we’re not done with the debt. What a waste that we are all paying for.

    That said, as humans gain knowledge it becomes impossible to know enough to cover every situation. I find myself constantly revising what I thought was true even on such mundane topics as nutrition and basic health. (For example, the old ‘drink 8 glasses of water a day’ turns out to be a mix of one study and a popular misconception as nearly all of that water comes to us through our food or other beverages. The old claim that water alone was necessary was wrong and would actually be somewhat harmful in some situations.) The web came in at just the right time, yet even it may not be enough.

  4. on 30 Sep 2009 at 8:01 pm 4.GeorgeRic said …

    A hundred and sixty-six years ago Edwin Abbott wrote ‘Flatland ‘ so that any logical person would understand that contiguous dimensional worlds allows any thinking person to geometrically know how Christianity’s’ spiritual world could be right beside ours. Now ‘Techie Worlds’ examines Christian phenomena: Trinity, Resurrection, Judgment, Soul, and finds that Abbott’s concept provides mechanistically for those phenomena. This is the approach science uses: establish understandings of the real world by testing facts in the context of the theory. With such logical understandings, thinking people can accept Christianity’s teachings without bending their intellectual integrity. ‘Techie Worlds’ gives pause to Moslems and pagans by showing how and why the Trinity is. It explains realities that profit all mankind.
    ‘Techie Worlds’ is available at http://www.amazon.com


  5. on 01 Oct 2009 at 2:09 am 5.Sinot said …

    Looks like a very interesting book. Txs

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