Intelligent Design

10% of fanatics can sway a society? That might explain the persistence of Darwinism

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Scientists at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute have found that when just 10 percent of the population holds an unshakable belief, their belief will always be adopted by the majority of the society. The scientists, who are members of the Social Cognitive Networks Academic Research Center (SCNARC) at Rensselaer, used computational and analytical methods to discover the tipping point where a minority belief becomes the majority opinion. The finding has implications for the study and influence of societal interactions ranging from the spread of innovations to the movement of political ideals. “Minority Rules: Scientists Discover Tipping Point for the Spread of Ideas” July 25, 2011

Skepticism is warranted. Thoughts?

3 Replies to “10% of fanatics can sway a society? That might explain the persistence of Darwinism

  1. 1

    I remember in grad school hearing a talk on gonorrea, a disease to which humans never develop immunity, though they can cure it with penicillin–wherein the scientist asked the question “what percentage of infected people who never seek a cure will result in the incidence statistics we see today?” His conclusion was that it only takes something like 5-10% of the infected people who never seek a cure to keep the disease in circulation.

    There were similar arguments done for measles vaccinations. The argument being that if 10-15% of the population is not vaccinated, epidemics can still spread.

    All of these studies have mathematical models of “# contacts” and “% transmission”. One constructs a model network of how everyone is contacting the others, and then a model of how transmission occurs, and bingo–the size of the minimum influence group pops out.

    Of course, to make these models work for sociologists, they have to treat belief as a disease. But what if it is more like “truth”? What if “disbelief” is the disease? Maybe these models are all backwards?

    What did John say, “light has come into the world but the darkness could not overcome it.” Asking the question “How much light?” misses the point. The point instead is “How much darkness is sufficient to hide in?”

  2. 2

    A PPT presentation in PDF can be freely downloaded here:

    http://www.rpi.edu/dept/phys/s.....Sameet.pdf

  3. 3
    Robert Byers says:

    I have often thought this myself.
    It just couldn’t be that Roman civilization had a high number of Christians before it went cHristian.
    likewise protestantism could only of really been believed in by a small minority in nations that became protestant.
    Puritan/evangelical cHristianity was always small numbers but became influential.
    Aside from Gods will I see the minority passionate ones also becoming the more successful people in society and having a great influence over the leadership and ‘better’ folks.
    In short most people are apathetic about most things.
    So changing religion or anything is not a big intellectual deed.

    Thats why ID and YEC is well positioned to overthrow evolutionism etc.
    We are just fighting a small number of true believers.
    Everyone else goes along with perceived authority.

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