Saturday, May 11, 2013

What do conspiracy theories, religious beliefs and detoxifying proteins have in common?

What do conspiracy theories, religious beliefs and detoxifying proteins have in common?: [caption id="attachment_1225" align="alignleft" width="240" caption="People who believe in conspiracy theories display the classic symptoms of patternicity and agenticity (Image: Caffeinated Thoughts)"] [/caption]Why do people believe in God, ghosts, goblins, spirits, the afterlife and conspiracy theories? Two common threads running through these belief systems are what skeptic Michael Shermer in his insightful book " The Believing Brain " calls " patternicity " and " agenticity ". As the names indicate, patternicity refers to seeing meaningful patterns in meaningless noise. Agenticity refers to seeing mysterious but palpable causal 'agents', puppet masters who pull the strings and bring about unexplained phenomena. God is probably the perfect example of an agent. [More]