Monday, March 15, 2010

Woo Enthymemes #7: "My Imagination is Superior!"

This particular entry was inspired in part by Chopra Fan, Rachael Good, who vomited up a great deal of hate on Skeptico.

As was pointed out later in that comment thread, woos often act as if they have a monopoly on imagination. As if it's impossible to be scientifically minded and have imagination. The problem with this, of course, is that imagination was required to come up with all the theories we take for granted, and still is needed to make advances in the various fields.

In my view, the whole act is a temper tantrum: Their imagination was wrong, therefore they have the right to shit all over everything their opponents have done. That's what woo is often about, after all. Hell, whenever a skeptic imagines a non-supernatural explanation for something, they lash out against the very notion of creativity. They think creativity is destructive because it expands outside their tiny, gray box.

Creativity shouldn't be contained by preexisting ideology. Ideas should be treated fairly: Those with merit, those that agree with the evidence and make new predictions should be held in higher regard. Those that contradict the evidence or fail to say anything useful should be dismissed until they can correct those failings. The marketplace of ideas is supposed to be a meritocracy, and science is the best method we have for determining an idea's merit.

2 comments:

Jason said...

"Those (ideas) that contradict the evidence or fail to say anything useful should be dismissed until they can correct those failings."

...and the people who hold these ideas should have the humility and the integrity to dismiss them.

Margaret said...

It is more than just that the woos don't have monopoly on imagination, I think it's more that they have a paucity of imagination.

I liked your observation that "... they lash out against the very notion of creativity. They think creativity is destructive ..." It made me think of "No, no, no! My god is a little god, and I want him to stay that way." (I thought that was Richard Dawkins, because that's who I heard it from, but googling tells me it is from Carl Sagan.) (Great minds -- you're in good company.)