3 worst brain-fails that keep us stupid

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3 worst brain-fails that keep us stupid


Humans have learned so much. We have fascinating knowledge about the universe, the earth and life itself. We are able to send remote controlled cars to another planet and to access almost any information within seconds with the help of tiny computers that everyone carries around.
So it is ridiculous that we still disagree on very easy questions. With all this knowledge it should be common ground that astrology, homeopathy, ghost healing and similar foolish ideas just don’t work – all this is proven beyond reasonable doubt. But we still are waisting time discussing such topics. This is sad but also somewhat fascinating – of course there are explanations for this dilemma, many explanations, however I just want to present to you the three major brain-fails, that keep us stupid:

The brain trusts its own experience

The oldest and most direct way to learn something is, to learn it first hand – through experience. When you touch a flame you learn that it burns and and inflicts pain upon you. You will never forget that (video). Thats a very effective way to avoid dangerous things (http://www.diewahrheit.at/video/das-hirn-die-dumme-alarmanlage) . Your life depends on these kind of experiences and so you have to trust them. But sadly this is not an effective way to learn how the world works, it gives you warnings, but no insights.

Just one example concerning health: You’re sick, you take medicine, you get better. So you have the first hand experience that the medicine worked. No, you have not. You just have the experience, that you were sick and got well again. You can not know if the medicine worked or if you got better anyway. But it is a first hand experience and you will defend this medicine for the rest of your life, no matter what arguments will speak against it.

Your Brain believes what your social bubble believes

You’re a human being, which means, you are a very sociable monkey. To be able to live in larger groups you have to fit in. Your beliefs, your ethics, your point of view on nearly everything is not shaped by your rational thoughts, it is shaped by the views of your social group. Otherwise it would not be possible to live together in social harmony. To get along with those around you is more important than knowing the truth. Its hard to be a skeptic, when all your friends are homeopathic converts. Its even harder to be a atheist in a muslim country. This could even see you dead. The first example will only lead you to another social bubble.

Your Brain works best with simple analogies

The rhino horn is good for your erection and when the moon is decreasing its a good time to lose weight. These are simple analogies and thats what our brains like. The principle of homeopathy is „like cures like“ – that is more or less bullshit, but it sounds so reasonable because our brain loves simple analogies. It is the easiest way to think. We love to believe stuff like this, it gives us the illusion that the world is simple and we are clever – clever enough to understand a simple world.


Analogies, our own experiences and the beliefs of our friends are a much older and much more emotional way of getting knowledge then any rational argument ever can be. So we trust this mechanism in a our daily life – and that keeps us stupid. Very stupid indeed.

Thanks to Michael Heislbetz (Camera, Editing)

Quelle: Affenbild:Muhammad Mahdi Karim (original photograph), Papa Lima Whiskey (derivative edit); https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Soziale_Körperpflege#/media/File:Grooming_monkeys_PLW_edit.jpg

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