February 29th, 2012

moon

Belief vs Skepticism

http://www.ted.com/talks/michael_shermer_the_pattern_behind_self_deception.html

This Ted Talk is about belief. It's a quick overview of the science on the subject and some conjecture about how we evolved to be this way. Michael Shermer says that our natural tendency to identify patterns is related to dopamine levels, and that a person who is "too skeptical" may not have enough dopamine. My doctor recently told me that I might benefit from a supplement intended to increase dopamine levels. I am a full bore skeptic. I wonder if it will make a difference. It occurs to me also that my friend B who has Asperger's takes Ritalin prior to attending social events. This is an interesting new association for this unbeliever to contemplate...