Archives for category: life

My short answer, anyhow…

We need to explicate the “intelligent” in intelligent design. Why focus on the intelligence behind the design?

Here’s why … So the ID proponents could put some sort of “entity with intelligence” there. Otherwise intelligence logically wouldn’t be necessary for a natural process of creation that perpetually repeats itself.

There is no “brain” or other mechanism for intelligence necessary for a seed to grow into whatever plant it would produce. Plus, the seed is created by the plant itself to regrow.

There is no intelligence, that is simply a natural process that is recursive (the seed grows the plant which produces the seed which grows the plant etc.).

So, intelligent design fails because of the needed “insertion” of intelligence by its proponents, in processes where intelligence isn’t necessary at all.

In an evolutionary sense, we could not “insert” anything into a creation process, we simply need to explain the process itself and the results of that process.

I will be going on a Twitter sabbatical for awhile.

I have not determined for how long, and it may result in deleting Twitter permanently.

The value of Twitter is becoming questionable at best, and this platform is less and less valuable as time goes on.  The 2016 election process highlighted this lack of value.

EDIT 11/23:  I’m going to change how I use Twitter instead of the deleting / sabbatical approach.  Here’s to getting the value that I can out of this service.

I loved the “Cognitive bias cheat sheet” recently posted to Medium by Buster Benson. You should go read that, over and over again.

Maybe even get the poster he organized for the biases he addressed.

It’s a great start to a very deep phenomenon known as critical thinking. It organizes our “thinking kryptonite” (which also acts as our “thinking sunlight” when naturally applied to the correct situation) into more manageable categories.

I can’t recommend it highly enough.

The only critique I will offer is the number of variables that exist inside the semantic description of “critical thinking” (both discovered and undiscovered) being a challenge that we might not solve. The problem these variables are a part of is the attainment of “total knowledge” with the faulty (yet completely amazing) system of human cognition.

My point is we may not be aware of the total number of biases we have within the category of critical thinking. We know a good number of them, but when dealing with a complex (and again, amazing) system like human cognition … we could not claim to know all of them.

So I hope this poster sells 100 million copies, because it’s a great start to further examination of biases … a feature and bug of human cognition.

To me, biases are paradoxical … they allow us to explore our world in a way that makes progress in the blink of a cosmic timescale…

… while at the same time preventing us from exploring that world completely, and to an infinite degree (I’m afraid).

But then again, I suffer from the same biases that Buster presented in such an eloquent way. 🙂

NOTE:  The above portion also posted on Medium.

EDIT:  In response to a good question “What about the scientific method?” (NOT posed as a question on Medium, I rephrased a comment into that question)…

If “scientific method + peer review” were computer code that had no viruses (as an analogy), then I might start agreeing with this statement.

But still, you have biased humans inside this process (especially in peer review) plus the interlocking financial and political pressures and influence outside of this process. These are the “viruses” that help to guide some (not all) of the outcomes of “The Scientific Method.”

So no, it isn’t our best way to account for cognitive biases, because of the interlocked bias you cannot account for.

Does that mean the method isn’t good? No, it does not … for this method has allowed for our greatest human discoveries (in sum total, not just the big ones publicized in the media from cosmology and physics).

But when you think from a probabilistic standpoint, and from a complexity standpoint … the influence of other interlocking systems (grants, politics, biases, etc…) will have a certain percentage of impact on any “method” we might come up with to account for our biases.

So yes, the scientific method is well-developed and can even eliminate some biases, but I don’t think it replaces what Buster put together here.