Um espelho que reflecte a vida, que passa por nós num segundo (espelho)

16
Dez 19

As Teorias da Conspiração − The Conversatiom (a ler)]

 

How belief is rooted in evolution

– not ignorance

(theconversation.com/13.12.2019)

 

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The flat Earth conspiracy is becoming increasingly popular

(Elena Schweitzer)

 

Despite creative efforts to tackle it, belief in conspiracy theories, alternative facts and fake news show no sign of abating. This is clearly a huge problem, as seen when it comes to climate change, vaccines and expertise in general – with anti-scientific attitudes increasingly influencing politics.

 

So why can’t we stop such views from spreading? My opinion is that we have failed to understand their root causes, often assuming it is down to ignorance. But new research, published in my book, Knowledge Resistance: How We Avoid Insight from Others, shows that the capacity to ignore valid facts has most likely had adaptive value throughout human evolution. Therefore, this capacity is in our genes today. Ultimately, realising this is our best bet to tackle the problem.

 

So far, public intellectuals have roughly made two core arguments about our post-truth world. The physician Hans Rosling and the psychologist Steven Pinker argue it has come about due to deficits in facts and reasoned thinking – and can therefore be sufficiently tackled with education.

 

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(Tyler Merbler/Flickr, CC BY-SA)

 

Meanwhile, Nobel Prize winner Richard Thaler and other behavioural economists have shown how the mere provision of more and better facts often lead already polarised groups to become even more polarised in their beliefs.

 

The conclusion of Thaler is that humans are deeply irrational, operating with harmful biases. The best way to tackle it is therefore nudging – tricking our irrational brains – for instance by changing measles vaccination from an opt-in to a less burdensome opt-out choice.

 

Such arguments have often resonated well with frustrated climate scientists, public health experts and agri-scientists (complaining about GMO-opposers). Still, their solutions clearly remain insufficient for dealing with a fact-resisting, polarised society.

 

(o artigo continua c/ Evolutionary pressures)

 

(texto/legendas/imagens: theconversation.com/conspiracy-theories-how-belief-is-rooted-in-evolution-not-ignorance-128803)

publicado por Produções Anormais - Albufeira às 17:06

18
Out 19

WE MIGHT BE THE ONLY INTELLIGENT LIFE IN THE UNIVERSE

(Nick Longrich/theconversation.com)

 

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Universo

 

  • Are We Alone in The Universe?

 

“The universe is astonishingly vast. The Milky Way has more than 100 billion stars, and there are over a trillion galaxies in the visible universe, the tiny fraction of the universe we can see. Even if habitable worlds are rare, their sheer number – there are as many planets as stars, maybe more – suggests lots of life is out there. So where is everyone? This is the Fermi paradox. The universe is large, and old, with time and room for intelligence to evolve, but there’s no evidence of it.” (Nick Longrich)

 

  • Could Intelligence Simply Be Unlikely to Evolve?

 

“Unfortunately, we can’t study extraterrestrial life to answer this question. But we can study some 4.5 billion years of Earth’s history, looking at where evolution repeats itself, or doesn’t.”

“Humans couldn’t evolve until fish evolved bones that let them crawl onto land. Bones couldn’t evolve until complex animals appeared. Complex animals needed complex cells, and complex cells needed oxygen, made by photosynthesis. None of this happens without the evolution of life, a singular event among singular events. All organisms come from a single ancestor; as far as we can tell, life only happened once.” (Nick Longrich)

 

  • Curiously, All This Takes A Surprisingly Long Time.

 

“Photosynthesis evolved 1.5 billion years after the Earth’s formation, complex cells after 2.7 billion years, complex animals after 4 billion years, and human intelligence 4.5 billion years after the Earth formed. That these innovations are so useful but took so long to evolve implies that they’re exceedingly improbable.” (Nick Longrich)

 

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Fotossíntese

 

  • An Unlikely Series of Events.

 

“These one-off innovations, critical flukes, may create a chain of evolutionary bottlenecks or filters. If so, our evolution wasn’t like winning the lottery. It was like winning the lottery again, and again, and again. On other worlds, these critical adaptations might have evolved too late for intelligence to emerge before their suns went nova, or not at all. Imagine that intelligence depends on a chain of seven unlikely innovations – the origin of life, photosynthesis, complex cells, sex, complex animals, skeletons and intelligence itself – each with a 10% chance of evolving. The odds of evolving intelligence become one in 10 million … (or) intelligence will evolve on just 1 in 100 trillion habitable worlds. (Nick Longrich)

 

  • And Yet, We’re Here.

 

“If evolution gets lucky one in 100 trillion times, what are the odds we happen to be on a planet where it happened? Actually, the odds of being on that improbable world are 100%, because we couldn’t have this conversation on a world where photosynthesis, complex cells, or animals didn’t evolve. That’s the anthropic principle: Earth’s history must have allowed intelligent life to evolve, or we wouldn’t be here to ponder it.” (Nick Longrich)

 

  • Earth’s History … (and) … Intelligent Life to Evolve.

 

“Intelligence seems to depend on a chain of improbable events. But given the vast number of planets, then like an infinite number of monkeys pounding on an infinite number of typewriters to write Hamlet, it’s bound to evolve somewhere. The improbable result was us.” (Nick Longrich)

 

[theconversation.com/evolution-tells-us-we-might-be-the-only-intelligent-life-in-the universe-124706]

 

(imagens e texto/extractos: Nick Longrich/Evolution tells us we might be the only intelligent life in the universe/October 18, 2019/theconversation.com)

publicado por Produções Anormais - Albufeira às 23:06

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