This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

Comment

← Why We Don't Believe in Science

Alan4discussion's Avatar Jump to comment 2 by Alan4discussion

@OP - A new study in Cognition, led by Andrew Shtulman at Occidental College, helps explain the stubbornness of our ignorance. As Shtulman notes, people are not blank slates, eager to assimilate the latest experiments into their world view. Rather, we come equipped with all sorts of naïve intuitions about the world, many of which are untrue. For instance, people naturally believe that heat is a kind of substance, and that the sun revolves around the earth. And then there’s the irony of evolution: our views about our own development don’t seem to be evolving.

No we don't! Babies and infants and infants pick up all sorts of casually absorbed information from those around them.

This means that science education is not simply a matter of learning new theories. Rather, it also requires that students unlearn their instincts, shedding false beliefs the way a snake sheds its old skin.

There is a consistent misuse of the biological/psychological term " instincts" in this passage.

These misunderstood concepts may be simplistic observations, intuitive guesses, or nonsensical memes, copied in early childhood from ignorant role-models, but they are not "instincts" or "natural beliefs"!

The author clearly has no idea about this subject matter!

instinct
An inherited tendency of an organism to behave in a certain way, usually in reaction to its environment and for the purpose of fulfilling a specific need. The development and performance of instinctive behavior does not depend upon the specific details of an individual's learning experiences. Instead, instinctive behavior develops in the same way for all individuals of the same species or of the same sex of a species. For example, birds will build the form of nest typical of their species although they may never have seen such a nest being built before. - http://www.thefreedictionary.com/instinct

Until we understand why some people believe in science we will never understand why most people don’t.

The answer is in this text! If they are relying on "belief" rather than understanding of science, it is very easy to know why!
As for "most people don't", that is specific to the background of asserted ignorance in some cultures, but this author is just rambling around in his own ignorance!

Fri, 08 Jun 2012 11:21:28 UTC | #946306