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

Infuriating result of lack of critical thinking

As a lone skeptic in my family, it is obviously annoying to have to deal with my family’s (particularly my parents') condescending, senseless ramblings.

However, what is infuriating is what I see as a spinoff of their total lack of critical thinking: the multitude of ludicrous stories they (force) feed me that don't even began to make sense.

One example is the "fact" that crows don't build nests on the first day of spring, if that day happens to fall on a Sunday. Their evidence? Two friends went out to disprove this tale on Sunday 1 March (there is no point in arguing that Winter to Spring is a gradual, varying change, not an overnight one). They couldn't find any crows building nests. Therefore it must be true. That's all the proof they needed! I'd argue that I have never seen a badger digging a sett with its claws; therefore they must use a spade. Nothing.

Another depressingly ridiculous story my father told me concerns some old ruins near a local monastery. One wall is leaning to one side, seemingly close to collapse. He says that it would collapse if seven people stood beside it. Why? Because that’s what the myth says. Not because of any extra weight or pressure, but because seven just happens to be the unlucky number!

If humans are supposed to be, by far, the most intelligent creatures on the planet, how can some of us be so naive?

Does anybody else have similarly far-fetched stories told to them as fact?

TAGGED: CRITICAL THINKING, IRRATIONALITY


Comments

Comment RSS Feed

Please sign in or register to comment