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← Interview: Richard Dawkins Celebrates Reason, Ridicules Faith

Peter Grant's Avatar Jump to comment 30 by Peter Grant

Comment 28 by katy Cordeth

Are most of us not, for want of a better word, guilty of faith-based thinking? I believe with almost absolute certainty in evolutiion, in an ancient universe, in the non-existence of any gods, but I don't have any actual evidence for these things. I could go back to school, study biology, astrophysics, metaphysics, what have you, examine the available evidence and then come to my own conclusions, but I have neither the inclination nor the time.

Evolution and the age of the universe are well defined concepts, God isn't. Biology and astrophysics are real subjects which describe real observations and make real, testable predictions. Theology and metaphysics are a waste of time.

Instead what I do is put my 'faith' in those people who have studied these things and whom I have come to trust and respect. But that's all it is: faith.

It's not faith if they can demonstrate that their science works.

Isn't the ability to put our faith in other people and trust them to do right by us an essential part of our species' evolutionary make-up? We're not solitary creatures; we've always lived together in large and complex hierarchical groups of people to whom we're not necessarily related and who have no genetic interest in keeping us alive and healthy.

Yes, and an important part of that process is deciding whom to trust.

I know that there is a big difference between religious faith and faith in one's fellow man. I just think that before we ridicule the beliefs of those we find contemptuous, we might want to consider just how we know what we think we know and whether it's based on our own empirical research or our own blind faith.

Trusting experts who have already demonstrated a real ability to explain observations and make predictions about the world is not blind faith, it's just rational.

Tue, 27 Mar 2012 20:57:44 UTC | #930820