A middle-aged man dreaming of the day when he can stop begging for scraps and write for a living.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Appeal to Confirmation Bias

Debating online as I do I'm frequently presented with an argument that begins with some variation of this: "What seems more likely?"

I have a problem with this question.

Lots of things that "make sense" to us have turned out to be false. It used to make sense that it was impossible to fly. It used to make sense that order could not arise from chaos. It used to make sense that things couldn't spawn out of nothing. However, we have verifiable evidence that the reality is different from what made sense to us. There are ways for us to fly. Order can come from chaos. Quantum mechanics have produced something from nothing. These assertions were all based on our personal bias, not because we actually know the answers. That's why we have to check our assumptions and avoid relying on our gut when making proclamations when deciding what is or isn't preposterous. Reality is always the final judge.

No comments: