Bamboozling ourselves with borderline beliefs (classic Carl Sagan)

Bamboozling ourselves with borderline beliefs (classic Carl Sagan)In the fifth century B.C., Ionian philosopher Heraclitus (pictured above) said practitioners of pseudoscience were "night-walkers, magicians, priests of Bacchus, priestesses of the wine-vat, mystery-mongers."

Carl Sagan on borderline beliefs:

"In many such cases we are not unbiased observers. We have an emotional stake in the outcomeperhaps merely because the borderline belief-system, if true, makes the world a more interesting place; but perhaps because there is something there that strikes more deeply into the human psyche…

…But the fact that these propositions charm or stir us does not guarantee their truth. Their truth depends only on whether the evidence is compelling; and my own, and sometimes reluctant, judgment is that compelling evidence for these and many similar propositions simply does not (at least as yet) exist."

From Broca’s Brain (1979) by Carl Sagan.

Excerpt at the Committee for Skeptical Inquiry>>

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