Creationism and other doctrines. Was Mindforth

Bernd Paysan bernd.paysan at
Sat Dec 28 13:31:50 EST 2002

William Tanksley Google wrote:
> Many committers of fraud use beliefs in scientism to do their work --
> consider the Laundry Beads or Magnetic Cures. Because a scientist said
> it, it must be true

This works very good in a society where people put a divide between them and 
scientists*, and use scientific "results" just the same way as they use 
their traditional sources of superstition. Then, Lem's rule ("any 
sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguisable from magic") works the 
reverse way.

Once again: You don't have to believe anything a scientist tells you. That's 
the whole point, *not* believing in stuff. You can reach your own 
conclusions. You have to train your critical mind to work in a scientific 
world. Science is not something you can let other people (specialists) 
handle for you, while you can be completely ignorant. This won't really 
work - you can't reach your own conclusions then, and have to treat 
scientific methods as "black box". You probably get angry at my footer.

BTW: "Materialism" as "ism", i.e. as set of beliefs is something different 
from not believing in inmaterial things. It is connected with a certain 
"ethical" mindset (i.e. only what you own counts). I don't need to belief 
in the chair I sit on, or in the food I eat, because they don't care. If 
God was something that really worked, it would be the same.

IMHO, cults and religions originate from a deliberately human behaviour (as 
social animal): to treat others as yourself. People start asking killed 
animals for forgiveness, and put little gifts into a spring. This all works 
without belief, because you (as human) feel better that way (it's not 
scientific either, since neither the dead animal nor the spring really care 
about what you do). These behaviours don't start becoming real and powerful 
beliefs until people want them as widespread as possible - and this won't 
start until there's a large organization. Given how successfully churches 
work with their belief as business case, I think they are pretty 
materialistic organizations (in the "belief in money" sense); they are 
still dwarfed by people who sell more than just promises (though the 
richest man on world is on the borderline: Bill Gates. He sells a lot of 
promises, which eventually make it to a not-quite material product ;-).

*) perhaps the real reason behind the confusing fact that while many Nobel 
price laureats work in the USA, they are often recent immigrants.

Bernd Paysan
"If you want it done right, you have to do it yourself"

More information about the Neur-sci mailing list