Thursday, May 14, 2015
Wired For God?
Cognitive scientists are becoming increasingly aware that a metaphysical outlook may be so deeply ingrained in human thought processes that it cannot be expunged.I find this story interesting and annoying. Annoying becasue of an utter lack of links, footnotes and virtually no attribution. At best I have to dig through "New Scientist" to get to the data as opposed t the conclusion.
While this idea may seem outlandish—after all, it seems easy to decide not to believe in God—evidence from several disciplines indicates that what you actually believe is not a decision you make for yourself. Your fundamental beliefs are decided by much deeper levels of consciousness, and some may well be more or less set in stone.
This line of thought has led to some scientists claiming that “atheism is psychologically impossible because of the way humans think,” says Graham Lawton, an avowed atheist himself, writing in the New Scientist. “They point to studies showing, for example, that even people who claim to be committed atheists tacitly hold religious beliefs, such as the existence of an immortal soul.”
It is also annoying becasue mind science is barely science. It is mostly an application of statistical tools to self-reported data - while the studier may be "objective" the data being studied simply cannot be. The most basic tenant of science is the data you collect should be the same regardless of who is measuring it. In this case how can we even be sure two people self-reporting the same thing are actually experiencing the same thing?
It is interesting to note that this study seems to support the basic thesis of Paul apologetic argument in Romans 1, which is simply we are born knowing of God on some level.
But I cannot help but wonder that if we are asking people to provide data on what goes on in their head to conclude there is a metaphysical of some sort, isn't that metaphysical data? OK, I've decided it's just annoying.
God annoyed science