reconstructed and be the same (or more advanced) than today. Anyone who looks anywhere in the universe will find the same physical reality; but organizing beliefs can be arbitrary as long as they “ feel right ” to a brain. And hey, here ’ s an interesting tidbit: human believers in one myth often co-exist well with believers in a different myth, even if those myths are mutually contradictory. Yet both sets of believers will unite in opposition to non-believers who subscribe to no common myth. Your nation USA has elected a black president and nearly elected a female, but a non-theist would be inherently unelectable due to their perceived lack of belief in belief. Then again, it ’ s easier to fib about one ’ s adherence to myth than about one ’ s race or gender.
The Bottom Line: On the large scale, we humans are organized by the belief that the beliefs of others are entirely reliable.
Cognitive Biases: a Potpourri of Biases
Summary : Our ancestors survived because their brains and behaviors were ‘just good enough’ to navigate the hurdles of past ages. Our brains are not logical computers but function more akin to
“Rube Goldberg” machines following ‘fast and frugal’ rules of thumb 47 . These “rules of thumb” (heuristics) execute automatically, and their function is to aid survival, not to accurately represent the world. Fitness - enhancing “reality distortion” was built in as a feature because erring on the side of survival was the selection criterion. Seeing the face of an imaginary predator in the forest is a lot better than missing a REAL face that IS there.
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