Monday, May 17, 2010

Bacon Sandwich in hand vs. Logic

The web article Science, Reason, Critical Thinking, and Bacon Butties is an entertaining read. More importantly, it highlights how even those of us who try to lead lives according to values we've established through reason and critical thinking can fall short, especially when the smell of bacon hovers in the air like the promise of ambrosia.

I too "ate the bacon sandwich" for severals years after knowing the rational arguments why I shouldn't. But over time, eventually, I finally made the switch to a veggie lifestyle, with only a few falls from the wagon since.

On the other hand, I only did so because the argument took on an emotional component, one that appealed to my heart instead of my brain, or at least both in equal measure. So I'm afraid I still don't know that if in the face of a bacon, lettuce, tomato, and mayo sandwich, purely rational arguments alone would have finally swayed me.

Anyhow, upon reading the article, it looks like the author is going to come down like a hammer on people who refuse to accept overwhelming evidence (in the initial case, on evolution). But keep reading . . .

A snippet:
[...] I came across an anecdote about an educated, seemingly rational person who simply refused to accept Jerry’s overwhelming evidence for why evolution is true.

Living in a country where evolution is only a controversy amongst the hard lined religious fundamentalists, who do their best to stir up a controversy, it’s hard to understand why so many people can reject such solid science.

And so on.

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