Tuesday, May 15, 2007

And don't forget JFK assassins!

The fact of the matter is, this cartoon applies not only to conspiratorialists, but also to anyone who selectively applies data to suport a pet theory, not just young earth creationists, but atheist secularists, anthropogenic global warming-ists, etc.

We all have pet theories or mental models about the world in which causation is often ambiguous. I wonder, though -- is the goal for a good thinker to be right as much as being open to understanding why one might be wrong? I don't think the two have to be mutually exclusive, but an attitude of humility would seem to dictate that the latter rather than the former takes a higher precedence. It would seem, at least, that the two should exist in some tension.

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