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How Critical Thinkers Lose Their Faith in God - Comments

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 1 by QuestioningKat

Hmm, I have this gut feeling that this article is familiar.

Wait, no it's deja vu.

Wait, no again. My intuition was tricking me, there is more information this time.

Again. Could someone please define INTUITION? Really, what exactly is it? By not defining "intuition" it gets away with being a legitimate state of woo.

Thu, 03 May 2012 00:42:58 UTC | #939209

RobertJames's Avatar Comment 2 by RobertJames

I think we've had something like this before..

I suspect it is true though, Intuition itself seems a little hazy if not supernatural by it's own definition so it doesn't surprise me that the two might go hand in hand.

Thu, 03 May 2012 00:59:10 UTC | #939215

alf1200's Avatar Comment 3 by alf1200

You can't think analytically if you have low iq. These people are having enough problems balancing themselves.

Thu, 03 May 2012 01:03:48 UTC | #939217

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 4 by QuestioningKat

We just had this article last week, but there is more information.

Behavioral and economic theories have long maintained that actions are chosen so as to minimize demands for exertion or work, a principle sometimes referred to as the law of less work. The data supporting this idea pertain almost entirely to demands for physical effort. However, the same minimization principle has often been assumed also to apply to cognitive demand.

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Together, the results of these experiments revealed a bias in favor of the less demanding course of action.

Just as we suspected. 100,100,100

The law of less work - Now there is a spiritual principle if I ever heard one. It could be added to the law of attraction, law of abundance, and laws of prosperity. It will sell really big in new age circles. They are already saying something similar so they can now justify their sales of books, DVDs and other materials.

Anyone willing to buy the results? At this point this article doesn't clear up some of the concerns we had about number of people tested, etc.

Thu, 03 May 2012 01:07:43 UTC | #939220

ZenDruid's Avatar Comment 5 by ZenDruid

Come on people, it's simple enough: people think on the one hand, and imagine on the other. Thinking produces results and imagination produces - um well, excluding the nice things - gods, goblins and zombies. It's easy enough to spot the people who say they are thinking, but are actually just imagining things to embellish their little stories with.

QK:

The law of less work - Now there is a spiritual principle if I ever heard one. It could be added to the law of attraction, law of abundance, and laws of prosperity. It will sell really big in new age circles.

It's called Slack. Brought to you by "Bob".

Thu, 03 May 2012 01:39:15 UTC | #939230

AtheistEgbert's Avatar Comment 6 by AtheistEgbert

Again. Could someone please define INTUITION?

I would say that it's a sensory system that works below the conscious level, rather like a pattern recognition system. It's there as a survival mechanism. It's almost like a supersense.

J. Anderson Thomson Jr wrote a book Why we Believe In god(s) which is advertised on this very website on the right of this page, which explains many of these survival mechanisms from a neuroscientific perspective. Well now we have the psychological perspective--it's our intuition.

It's important to understand that we all have intuition, but if we didn't have a rational or scientific understanding of the world, then we would naturally come up with superstitious and supernatural ideas to explain how we sense the world, as do primitive tribal communities.

Thu, 03 May 2012 01:46:12 UTC | #939233

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 7 by QuestioningKat

Comment 3 by alf1200 :

You can't think analytically if you have low iq. These people are having enough problems balancing themselves.

I think it's important to realize that people may have excellent analytical skills in different areas.

Comment 3 by alf1200 :

You can't think analytically if you have low iq. These people are having enough problems balancing themselves.

I'm not sure we can make that big of a jump. Perhaps it is combination of taking the road of least effort; intentionally avoiding challenges; desire to maintain the familiar; fear of trying something new; the inability to overcome a set expectation or schema; expecting quick rewards; lack of awareness; wanting to experience success as frequently as possible; wanting to avoid failure or looking bad in a social situation. ??

Consider the work of Dan Dennett. I'm a highly observant person. I can draw technically if required, yet I overlooked the missing jet engine!

I used to teach drawing (to every age group.) People tend to have a set schema and/or expectations in their mind based upon past experiences. When looking at a cup and saucer placed at a distance on a table, they will draw the top edge of a cup as a circle even though the illusion of an oval or ellipse is created in space. Scott Burdick (who has featured a few videos here) has said something similar. Even though someone's face is turned at a 3/4 pose for a portrait, unskilled artists will draw a full frontal portrait.

To successfully achieve a likeness to the subject matter, someone must: be able to correctly perceive the subject, bet your not even reading this, analyze and compare all the relationships (of form, light, etc.) within the subject, be skilled in executing the subject in all aspects, be able to constantly judge and assess their progress, and know when to stop. This is a complex process to say the least. No wonder many artists throw away the skill of drawing and pursue more post-modern artforms. (sorry just my jab here.) Yet, if you look at someone who excels in a particular area, you will see not only passion, enthusiasm, dedication of time, skill, but constant reflection, self-awareness, tweaking of the details, destroying and then rebuilding, editing, and other tasks that can severely hurt an ego that is disillusioned into thinking that it is correct, talented, intelligent, etc.

Thu, 03 May 2012 01:59:50 UTC | #939237

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 8 by QuestioningKat

It's called Slack. Brought to you by "Bob".

That is so funny! Bob is so funny! I can see a whole line of spoofs and comics around the idea of "jumping-to-conclusions, "slack" and Law of least effort.

Come on people, it's simple enough: people think on the one hand, and imagine on the other.

Hey Hey, I think and imagine! Lots of artists and designers do this...and we are not all believers...although creative people do tend to lean towards the "nones"/spiritually inclined/non-traditional beliefs.

Thu, 03 May 2012 02:07:30 UTC | #939239

dandelion fluff's Avatar Comment 9 by dandelion fluff

bet your not even reading this

Am so, and spotted the grammar mistake.

Thu, 03 May 2012 03:31:18 UTC | #939245

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 10 by Premiseless

Maybe more accurately:

How critical thinkers lose their faith in their own emotions having universal agency.

How do you suppress your own emotions so as not to influence your own reasons for and against what might benefit or antagonise you?

Thu, 03 May 2012 03:49:00 UTC | #939247

xmaseveeve's Avatar Comment 11 by xmaseveeve

Intuition tends to be retrospective. You don't recount the times when you were wrong. But often it's knowing things you have not consciously registered or connected. Intuition is knowing that which you don't know you know - a cognitive echo, a leaking of the unconscious into the conscious mind. Sometimes you 'just know' when it's time to trust it.

'Imagination is an excess of memory'. (Stephen Spender.)

Thu, 03 May 2012 05:57:07 UTC | #939258

theGreatFuzzy's Avatar Comment 12 by theGreatFuzzy

Isn't it that intuition tells you the Sun and Moon orbit the earth. That's quite a good start. Of course, when you spot that Mars and the other planets don't do quite as expected you then need to think about what's going on. Even then it's usually the subconscious that solves the problem, and comes up with a model of what may be going on. The conscious mind just seems to be an observer, although it often needs to refine the model thrown up by the subconscious . At least that seems to my experience.

Thu, 03 May 2012 07:15:49 UTC | #939265

aroundtown's Avatar Comment 13 by aroundtown

Religion is the gift that keeps punishing irrespective of the society that lives under it's boot. It's shit today, tomorrow and everyday after that. You cannot relegate it to minimal relevance because the shitty aspects keep floating to the surface time and time again. Unfortunately it is the excrement that will not flush.

Thu, 03 May 2012 07:32:19 UTC | #939271

Son of Mathonwy's Avatar Comment 14 by Son of Mathonwy

Comment 7 by QuestioningKat :

No wonder many artists throw away the skill of drawing and pursue more post-modern artforms. (sorry just my jab here.).

I hear you. Unfortunately they've used analytical thinking to realise that:

a) there's more money in it, b) there's more kudos in it, c) it's much easier.

Ergo Damien Hirst

Thu, 03 May 2012 09:00:29 UTC | #939282

Marcus Small's Avatar Comment 15 by Marcus Small

Intuition is just raw instinct, gut feeling, hunch. It is not useless, 'My instinct, tells me to wary of the moving grass. My intuition says it might be panther. Critical analysis of the moving grass may reveal its movement to be nothing more than the action of the wind.'

Problem is that curiosity could get me killed by the cat. My intuition spares me from dangers phantom and real.

Thu, 03 May 2012 10:34:13 UTC | #939301

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 16 by QuestioningKat

Comment 10 by Premiseless :

Maybe more accurately:

How critical thinkers lose their faith in their own emotions having universal agency.

Are emotions being discussed in this study? Perhaps to a certain extent. I would think that this study has more to do with habits or doing what is easiest.

How do you suppress your own emotions so as not to influence your own reasons for and against what might benefit or antagonise you?

This is a good question for an atheist on a diet.

Regarding the intuition definition: Any legitimate thought processes that fall under the descriptive word of "intuition" need to have a separate word. Intuition has too many woo definitions.

Am so, and spotted the grammar mistake.

Lots of grammar and punctuation mistakes in that post. I assume it's easier for you to focus on the fatty parts even though there is a perfectly good cut of meat on the table.

comment 14: Did you see Hirst's realism? He has shown that he has skill, but the work is baaad.
There is actually more money in realism, for more people. You can actually make a good middle-classed to upper middle-classed income. Getting to the level of "superstar" with all the perks, is easier to achieve taking Hirst's road rather than the Richard Schmid road.

Thu, 03 May 2012 11:25:26 UTC | #939311

strangebrew's Avatar Comment 17 by strangebrew

This is the reason that critical thought and analytical introspection is not and never will be welcomed in any church or mosque in the world.

In fact churches and their equivalents expressly forbid it by a severe lack of encouragement, by lies and blatant bullying and not so subtle innuendo that to undertake such 'dangerous' action automatically condemns the undertaker to hell...or worse!

Unfortunately the brain dead that seem to gravitate towards positions of power reinforce that tactic. Making asinine comments about 'evil little things' just reinforces the 'dangers' of following your own conscience. It was fucking bestial and unforgivable comment from a so called civic leader and it does not get much better with what those neighbourly 'good' xian cretins did, and probably still doing, to Jessica Ahlquist who is a prime example of how to exercise critical thought.

Thu, 03 May 2012 12:12:04 UTC | #939325

pinball's Avatar Comment 18 by pinball

comment one by QCAT Again. Could someone please define INTUITION? Really, what exactly is it? By not defining "intuition" it gets away with being a legitimate state of woo

I think this is just what we think we know about a person or situation without direct evidence. An emotional response rather than data response

Can one completely separate critical thinking from emotional intuitive thinking?

Imagine you are reviewing two articles one written by a famous scientist and one by someone you have never heard of.

You may have good reason to be primed to be impressed before you open the paper on the famous scientist, previous papers you have read or interviews you have seen them in but your feelings before you look at the detail should not come into it.

I read an article by RD on juries , I disagreed on some of the points but felt strange about it – my intuitive response was “You are going to agree with this article because RD wrote it.”

I think you have really train yourself to divorce the two mindsets/ thinking sets

Thu, 03 May 2012 13:15:15 UTC | #939339

crookedshoes's Avatar Comment 19 by crookedshoes

I think that we all use a blend of the two types of thought and we apply them situationally. Now, someone like me uses the analytical much much more than the intuition. A woman that sits at my lunch table at work is just the opposite.

Consequently my world is full of facts and rationale; her's is full of "belief" in things (like a god that controls everything, ghosts, spirits... etc) This article sheds light on how different people arrive at their respective belief systems.

It also (I think) shows why it is so important to the wooists to get into children's minds as early as they are allowed. The indoctrination is not just about kid's learning of the dogma of the religion, but rather implanting the seeds of this type of "intuitive thought"....

Thu, 03 May 2012 14:02:17 UTC | #939354

Alan4discussion's Avatar Comment 20 by Alan4discussion

Comment 19 by crookedshoes

The indoctrination is not just about kid's learning of the dogma of the religion, but rather implanting the seeds of this type of "intuitive thought"...

Not to mention trying to suppress the development of rational critical thinking by denigrating "doubt" and holding up blind faith as a virtue!

Thu, 03 May 2012 14:58:32 UTC | #939374

Premiseless's Avatar Comment 21 by Premiseless

Comment 16 by QuestioningKat :

Comment 10 by Premiseless :

Maybe more accurately:

How critical thinkers lose their faith in their own emotions having universal agency.

Are emotions being discussed in this study? Perhaps to a certain extent. I would think that this study has more to do with habits or doing what is easiest.

Many studies are , I think , close to bullshit dressed up as enlightenment. They beat about the bush till the next batch of funding comes along for which they then negotiate lemmings to perform responses to.

Often far more incisive summaries can already be arrived at due massive empirical evidence we are already surrounded by and have experienced amongst our day to day lives. In this sense there is much exploitation as privy to many studies, that could far more easily be done and dusted via less academia hungry ways , but hey what are we humans about if not get ahead and get a life? It all adds up to that in the end, no?

Take this example:

Boy aged 17, attempting A levels, also working every weekend (by mothers demands which ultimately ends up mothers funds) and renovating house since mother is in dire straights of having house repossessed and levies this at son to deal with. Son is quiet, never answers back and keeps shoulder to the grindstone. Mother is a heavily superstitious believer and relies on suspicion as key in how she maintains control of lifes variables. Mother frequently shouts daily, about very little, as if she is going mad and overreacts to sons hesitant and cautious communications suggesting he has evil in his eyes when looking back at her. Words such as him saying "Actually", "In fact...", "Despite what you say" .. are banned from his vocabulary under pain of a kitchen knife, pressed harsh, into his neck. This has happened before except this time an added, "Don't you think I won't!" accompanies the blood vessels in her eyes fully displaying their intent. His lists of regular words are being gradually removed from him. His response is silent abandonment of his own thinking, as it has been through years of her insistence. An utterly passive existential, probably unsustainable in most human existentials.

This young individual still possesses the social skills of a minor amidst the thinking skills trained to excel those of anyone around him.

Does he rely on reason or beseech external agency in his isolation? Where does his mind go from here?

The question is less about what works and more about the only thing he has access to.

Pleeeaaaase, give me something that has a bit more meat before requesting I consider it critical thinking?

How do you suppress your own emotions so as not to influence your own reasons for and against what might benefit or antagonise you?

This is a good question for an atheist on a diet.

Anyone, atheist or theist. Global problem!!! If you argue reason is king, do you "feel it" or reason it as superior? If you get pissed off at any point in a discourse, it might be argued you are feeling your reason etc.. Hopefully we all know what we mean by common sense, however take a look around you in any room full of humans, right now, and I'd beg to differ.

Also, how healthy is it to suppress your own emotions when those employed around and dominating you are utterly corrupted? Indeed would it be more catastrophic to do so?

Thu, 03 May 2012 15:26:15 UTC | #939380

aquilacane's Avatar Comment 22 by aquilacane

I can imagine intuition being the naturally occurring, thoughtless, hypothesis that immediately results from the limited information available at the time the initial opinion was formed. It is an unavoidable survival skill and purely out of our control.

I would liken it to the options provided by Microsoft word when using the dictionary. None may be correct but all are naturally related in some way to the incorrectly spelled word being checked. If it fits a pattern that pattern will be considered.

It isn’t until the luxury of analytical scrutiny that we are able to override the natural response for a more involved and educated consideration. I would expect that we often lose a great deal of authority under analytical scrutiny, as well. To change our opinion is to agree we don’t know what we are talking about all the time.

So the immediate, pattern based, intuitive dictionary response to a query on the word phreedum may suggest presume, puréed, precede, phrased and prefund as options; whereas a more analytical view of the word in question might call into question the entire context of the word, how it is used, what it sounds like and not just the spelling. The phrase “You cannot be free without phreedum” might reveal more information not privileged to intuition.

I would guess intuition is the result of not enough time and too little information but an underlying drive to form an opinion while appearing to be right and in control. Sticking to your intuition is a natural form of self-defense as well as play for dominance. If I admit I don’t know, you’ll not ask me again. If I tell you something that sounds right, I may win you over. If I ask for more time to be sure, I may lose the opportunity.

Intuition appears to me to be a desperate survival skill that may or may not be useful based on the situation and is most likely not achieved through the scrutiny of adequate information. It’s a sort of faith.

If we look at a scenario akin to a survival reality show, the person who reacts fast on their intuition with the appearance of knowledge and control of the situation will probably have more control and say over the rest of the group regardless of whether their intuition is correct. The common phrase “At least they did something” is often the excuse when intuition is wrong. “I didn’t know what to do but I had to do something so I just poured my shit on the wound.” Would get better praise than. “I didn’t know what to do so I did nothing until I figured out what to do.”

I have many clients who want an answer, now! They have no concept of what it takes to have an idea. They see a headline as something that should technically be written in a few seconds. How can it cost so much!

If I can type 60 words per minute, a six word headline should take about six seconds to write, why do I pay so much and why do you need days in which to do it (it was once weeks and months, now it’s closer to days and hours)? Technology has sped everything up, just not my brain. I can’t write copy any faster today than they could 100 years ago and you’re buying my idea not my time; time and money are not synonymous.

of course, I have no idea.

Thu, 03 May 2012 18:25:12 UTC | #939413

Starcrash's Avatar Comment 23 by Starcrash

Fascinating study... though the conclusion is hardly surprising. People who think harder come to the right conclusion? Who saw that coming?

Thu, 03 May 2012 21:55:58 UTC | #939449

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 24 by Zeuglodon

Comment 22 by aquilacane

Intuition appears to me to be a desperate survival skill that may or may not be useful based on the situation and is most likely not achieved through the scrutiny of adequate information. It’s a sort of faith.

To the individual organism, yes, but I think of it like this: those intuitions originate from the configuration of a person's brain, and from the brains of their fellow species members and their ancestors. Once, this configuration would have fitted into the environment in such a way as to be finely-tuned to deal with what was available. What we call paranoia in the big city, for example, might have been well-calibrated in the predator-filled savannah and ambush-friendly forests of Ethiopia during the time of australopithecines. Intuition evolved not as an alternative to analytic thinking but as built-in, context-sensitive, heuristic-reliant analytic thinking that required little to no conscious thought at all. In fact, intuition is simply analytic thinking done over millions of years. This would at least explain why it can go so wrong in particular situations.

Take, for example, "(malicious agent) detection devices". I can sit down and reason that predators will want to eat me when they're hungry, but I have the luxury of consulting books, TV programs, and the internet for information. I could describe the "predatory" technology in, say, a lion's body systems (stomach for digesting meat, sharp teeth for killing, powerful muscles for wrestling prey to the ground), but all I would need to know when facing one is that it wants to eat me and will have a chance to do so if I let my guard down. In other words, I need only suspect that there are malicious agents about.

In my 200,000-greats ancestors, fearing the environment in case of predatory ambushes is a rational built-in mechanism that has emerged by natural selection "debugging" the original designs over nearly countless generations. This mechanism makes sense in a context where lions and their kind exist and will use ambushes. Natural selection tailored our ancestors towards being appropriately frightened of their surroundings here. We would have been afraid of snakes and spiders for the same reasons or for similar reasons (they can ambush you, they're common enough to be encountered frequently, and their venom is dangerous).

However, within a few thousand years, cities have emerged and many old dangers have vanished. It is pointless being afraid of creatures like lions, spiders, and snakes in most cities, yet arachnophobia is more prevalent than the actual risks (as posed by most spiders) can justify, whereas city-goers are not "phobic" of guns, smoking, electric sockets, or cars on busy streets, which have a much greater chance of killing them.

This also means that our tendency to be paranoid about our environment can lead to us suspecting motives for bad things happening when no such motives exist. Most of us will never come across a cataclysmic meteor impact like the one in Siberia that took out an entire forest. Natural selection simply can't prepare us well for such rare events. So when they happen, some might fall back on intuitive processes and describe the meteor in terms more usually reserved for malicious predators. Even in fiction, a surprising number of monsters exist and cause trouble for no better reason than pure malice - possibly these creatures are the author's intuitions being projected onto the page, and made successful by their resonating with the audience's own intuitive understandings of threats and predators.

I think the principle of outdated miscalibrations can be applied to many seemingly "stupid" behaviours. What looks like lousy reasoning in one place may well have been excellent context-dependent insight in another. We may mock a gambler who thinks heads is due after three tails have landed, but once the same intuition might have told him that the rains would have to end after a few weeks, since clouds aren't randomly produced day by day and are dependent upon what's gone on before.

The other problem is that human evolution has opened up possibilities, and this species can create environments that it itself cannot adapt to, at least not quickly enough. It's like a strange runaway process caused by evolved human minds making it possible to do things that feed back into those same human minds, who respond according to evolved intuitions. So human ingenuity lead to many people creating cities that the human citizens then were born into and that the citizens treated according to their own intuitions! At the very extreme, we've created machines to get us into space, a place which our bodies are totally unprepared for.

As for the OP...

The results certainly look interesting, though I'm not committing to them yet. While "intuition" isn't enough to discredit the scientific merit of an idea, it is surprising when someone advances introspection (i.e. consulting intuition) in a debate about supernatural phenomena and apparently seems satisfied with this sole justification. Why does an answer popping up in the brain, and a conviction, have any bearing on what's actually going on outside? Yes, yes, I answered my question above, but I mean why do people apply it, consciously and deliberately, in places where it conspicuously doesn't belong? Cosmology, for example.

I can see why stopping to think about things would make some people hesitant, at least briefly. Most people seem satisfied with an explanation, especially when the phenomenon doesn't affect their lives much or doesn't have any particular urgency in it. Merely stopping to pay more attention to it would give the mind more time to get a grip on it, and even to chew it over.

Sorry for the long post. I'm in a chatty mood today.

Thu, 03 May 2012 22:36:10 UTC | #939459

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 25 by QuestioningKat

I was listening to an old podcast today and guess what topic covered? Daniel Kahneman was brought up in the discussion and his book Thinking Fast & Slow was mentioned by the guest Robert Carroll.

System 1 thinking: is described as instinctual, immediate, needing little stimulus

System 2 thinking: reflective and critical.

Yes Premisless, this study is more like meatloaf and not steak, but it is worth pursuing further.

This is a good question for an atheist on a diet.

Anyone, atheist or theist. Global problem!!!

Yes exactly my point. To be disillusioned into thinking we are more rational at all times is an empty game.

The other problem is that human evolution has opened up possibilities, and this species can create environments that it itself cannot adapt to, at least not quickly enough.

Agree. Personal relationships alone are challenging enough.

Thu, 03 May 2012 23:04:36 UTC | #939462

mmurray's Avatar Comment 26 by mmurray

Comment 24 by Zeuglodon :

However, within a few thousand years, cities have emerged and many old dangers have vanished. It is pointless being afraid of creatures like lions, spiders, and snakes in most cities, yet arachnophobia is more prevalent than the actual risks (as posed by most spiders) can justify, whereas city-goers are not "phobic" of guns, smoking, electric sockets, or cars on busy streets, which have a much greater chance of killing them.

A little off-topic but there are many cities in Australia where you can quite easily encounter a deadly snake. Deadly spiders such as funnel webs are common on the eastern seaboard. By deadly I mean something that is going to kill you quite rapidly if medical assistance is not obtained very quickly. Where I live there are some spiders which won't kill an adult but whose bite can cause quite significant loss tissue requiring grafts to repair. I saw one of these in the garden just last weekend.

Michael

Thu, 03 May 2012 23:18:23 UTC | #939466

oeditor's Avatar Comment 27 by oeditor

I'm not so sure about difficult font = critical thinking. By that reckoning, anyone who could read in the Middle Ages would have automatically become an atheist. Conversely, anyone using Comic Sans would end up being mocked on Pharyngula!

Thu, 03 May 2012 23:22:40 UTC | #939469

Zeuglodon's Avatar Comment 28 by Zeuglodon

Comment 26 by mmurray

That's why I said most cities. When your city-building species covers most of the world, it's not hard to see why at least some cities would contain dangerous snakes and spiders. But then far more cities contain disease-spreading rats and dangerous dogs as well. In any case, our African ancestors didn't evolve arachnophobia in case it came in handy in Australia.

Thu, 03 May 2012 23:27:45 UTC | #939472

JHJEFFERY's Avatar Comment 29 by JHJEFFERY

Comment 25 by QuestioningKat

Indeed. I think I posted this on another thread. I recently finished Kahneman's book and it should be required reading for, well, everyone. It's a lot deeper than that podcast probably made it seem but still eminently readable. It will make a mess of what you think are your reasoning abilities.

Buy it.

Fri, 04 May 2012 00:17:25 UTC | #939480

QuestioningKat's Avatar Comment 30 by QuestioningKat

Comment 27 by oeditor :

I'm not so sure about difficult font = critical thinking. By that reckoning, anyone who could read in the Middle Ages would have automatically become an atheist. Conversely, anyone using Comic Sans would end up being mocked on Pharyngula!

It is not difficult font = critical thinking. It is difficult font = slowed reading. Uncial is not as complex as you think. There are plenty more elaborate fonts today. Long ago, if people were limited to a small handful of font styles, they would easily recognize the letter form. I asked someone Chinese how she could read (without bifocals or a magnifying glass) a tiny Chinese character which had several small and very thin lines. She responded that it was basic recognition of the form. We do the same thing whether we realize it or not.

Where I live there are some spiders which won't kill an adult but whose bite can cause quite significant loss tissue requiring grafts to repair. I saw one of these in the garden just last weekend.

Brown recluse? I love spiders, except this one I fear.

comment 29: Sounds good. I need to add it to my list.

Fri, 04 May 2012 03:02:08 UTC | #939522