Lewis Wolpert on “Beliefs”

July 21, 2006

six.jpg“Beliefs, once acquired, have a kind of inertia in that there is a preference to alter them as little as possible. There is a tendency to reject evidence or ideas that are inconsistent with current beliefs, particularly if they undermine central beliefs; this is known as the principle of conservatism.”

[from “Six Impossible Things before Breakfast: The Evolutionary Origins of Belief” by Lewis Wolpert; (2006) Faber & Faber, London.

Isn’t it this unfortunate stubbornness that has killed so many people in the name of belief?

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