Getting my beliefs challenged
I own the extended DVD set of "What the #$*! Do We (K)now!?", also known as "Down the Rabbit Hole". I can't remember now how my browsing the internet today started, but I ended up learning a lot about the science in "What the Bleep": It's terribly inaccurate. There are other inaccuracies or downright errors, but for the most part quantum mechanics only work on quantum levels, not at sizes like a basketball or a universe or even a mere atom.
And that spoils all New Age claims that it is quantum physics that explain the Law of Attraction or any other woo-woo belief, like spontaneous healing, psychic phenomenon or near-death experiences. Dang. I was so hoping science could explain these things by now.
My surfing has brought me to The Committee for Skeptical Inquiry. There I have found good writing, and proper skepticism. Not the finger-pointing pooh-poohing of beliefs, but rather a behind-the-scenes look at some claims and what's factually wrong with them. Articles here not only debunk stuff, but also discuss skeptical deists…
"We always say, “skeptics say ‘show me the evidence,’” don’t we? Skeptics are not merely cynics; skeptics don’t say “I don’t believe it!” They say “what is the evidence for it?” and if there is sufficient evidence, they change their belief. This is why […] it is not at all difficult to allow for skeptical deists."
…and the necessity of beliefs that don't change in the face of facts:
"When data and belief come into conflict, the brain does not automatically give preference to data. […] The brain doesn't care whether or not the belief matches the data. It cares whether the belief is helpful for survival.").
This reading diet has made me question once again my own beliefs. I find that that, this time around, it doesn't worry me. The natural state for a healthy human being is to be curious and to be curious means to question and explore and to accept that the conclusion may not be what one had hoped for. But I'm finding that to be the fun part. At this rate, I may have to start labeling myself as an agnostic.
I wonder how my next viewing of "Down the Rabbit Hole" will be after all this skeptical reading. The movie/documentary has its share of mad hatters; I refuse to endorse this one although I find it very cool that I share a birthday with this one.