jeudi 8 décembre 2016

Is Wikipedia Losing the Grip? And what about cognitive bias and guilt by association?

Often enough, it links to sources supposed to be more credible than itself.

However, when it links to Nathalia Gjersoe, one can start to doubt that!

Actually links to:

The Guardian : World Toilet Day
Thursday 20 November 2014 15.46 GMT | Nathalia Gjersoe

And then

Links to:

Dogs: an uncomplicated relationship
Monday 23 September 2013 15.48 BST | Nathalia Gjersoe

Now, what is wrong with Nathalia Gjersoe? If linking to her can be even considered as potentially wrong, there must be sth wrong about her, right?

  • She's a psychologist.
  • She believes psychological biasses should be countered.

The latter meaning, for instance, countering the bias for creationism by indoctrinating into Evolution even earlier.

See here:

Evolution makes scientific sense. So why do many people reject it?
Thursday 31 March 2016 07.45 BST | Nathalia Gjersoe

So why, despite formal scientific education, does intelligent design remain so intuitively plausible and evolution so intuitively opaque? And what can we do about it?

Developmental psychologists have identified two cognitive biases in very young children that help to explain the popularity of intelligent design. The first is a belief that species are defined by an internal quality that cannot be changed (psychological essentialism). The second is that all things are designed for a purpose (promiscuous teleology). These biases interact with cultural beliefs such as religion but are just as prevalent in children raised in secular societies.

When countering "cognitive biasses" passes for "science", as can be seen with the rest of her article, there is sth wrong about how science is defined.

On the other hand, one can say that wikipedia has (so far, I might be giving someone a tip) not cited Nathalia Gjersoe on this deplorable subject.

One can say that demonising wikipedia because she is cited (despite this deplorable third article!) on two other articles, is what is known as "guilt by association".

So far, I am not ditching wikipedia, just because two articles cite one Gjersoe on aspects irrelevant to her more deplorable views.

Meanwhile, when psychology is into countering "cognitive biasses" (as they are defined these days) it is really undermining science, since undermining philosophy of which Natural Sciences is one department.

Philosophy is done by using a double starting point : a) innate principles, such as are universal to all of mankind, b) external experience, in the light of these innate universal principles.

And what philosophy has since Plato called "innate universal principles" and what psychologists call "cognitive biasses" are very difficult to keep separate, unless you add to the latter "culture specific". She at least had the clarity to tell us that the cognitive bias in favour of creationism is not so.

Seeing cats and dogs as fundamentally different and seeing them as serving a purpose (perhaps in our lives) is an innate universal principle. Unlike seeing a "drunkard" in every homeless man who drinks some wine in the street*, which is a very culture specific "cognitive bias" or in other words, a very sectarian "principle". Not to mention her own obvious cognitive bias in seeing as sensible whatever a small group of men styled scientists claims makes sense to them.**

Hans Georg Lundahl
Nanterre UL
Feast of Our Lady's
Immaculate Conception

PS. Hat tip to Evolutionising the young, by Dominic Statham on CMI today.

PPS. Sorry for examples given of her writing, especially first one, on this Holy Day. But that is what I could find./HGL

* Last time I was in Clichy, one man gave me a half bottle of wine, I ate some soup and fries before touching it, and took water along with it. Even so, another man frowned, as if he had caught me red handed in an act of drunkenness. Unfortunately, detecting and curing the very culture specific cognitive bias of that man is not as paying as detecting and making gross political comment on that of children. See Chesterton's magisterial essay The Tyranny Of Bad Journalism. ** Obviously culture specific, since sometimes clashing with the universal one for creationism.

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