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Insignificant Proof

#13: Mar. - April 2004 (Non-Fiction)
Hestiasmissives

Insignificant Proof

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One of Mr. Shermer and his professor Richard Hardison's chief criticisms of Mr. Lindsey's book The Late Great Planet Earth was that Lindsey at the outset set up anyone who disagreed with him as misguided, so the denial of his position is impossible without proving oneself to be misguided. While it seemed funny in reference to The Late Great Planet Earth, Mr. Shermer sets out to the same thing in How We Believe. Mr. Shermer suggests the following:1. Humans are hard wired to search for patterns;2. The main reason people believe in God is their reason because they see patterns;3. People sometimes see patterns in random tests; and4. People's perception of God through patterns in their environment therefore cannot be trusted.We recognize everything through patterns: language, science, music, mathematics. No one would assert that interpretation of those patterns has no validity because of #3. Why is it different when the subject is God?I have not finished this book yet.
Hestiasmissives

Re: Insignificant Proof

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If you haven't read this book, you must. Dr. Shermer participated in an experiment wherein he placed his head in a contraption which zapped his head causing mini-seizures. He was attempting to recreate an out-of-body experience and thereby show that near-death experiences are related to magnetism and/or head trauma. Perhaps it is a good thing he was in Church during Dr. Leary's tenure. He might have tried to simulate religious experiences by broadening his mind through psychedelics. I can't wait to see what he does next.
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