As Michael Egnor tells us, scientism is not a cure for stupidity. But never mind, quite a few science savants have rushed in fearlessly:
Evolutionary biologist David Krakauer, President of the Santa Fe Institute, told Nautilus, “Stupidity is using a rule where adding more data doesn’t improve your chances of getting [a problem] right. In fact, it makes it more likely you’ll get it wrong.” I won’t contradict an evolutionary biologist on the topic of stupidity. In any event, Italian economic historian Carlo M. Cipolla (1922–2000) argued that “A stupid person is a person who causes losses to another person or to a group of persons while himself deriving no gain and even possibly incurring losses” (his Third Basic Law of Stupidity). Harming another, with no benefit to oneself, would be stupid. Where would we be without professors of economic history? It turns out that there is academic research on stupidity, including one team of researchers that sought a common definition based on having a group rate apparently stupid actions …
One cure for stupidity is said to be a scientific way of thinking, with Carl Sagan (1934–1996), a noted opponent of intelligent design, offered as a prime example. Dr. Egnor notes,
Sagan was so sure of this that, an opponent of intelligent design, he wrote Contact, a fine novel obliviously extolling… intelligent design. Possibly a classic in “Confident ignorance” rooting out prudence “like a garden weed.” More.
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Michael Egnor is a neurosurgeon, professor of Neurological Surgery and Pediatrics and Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, Neurological Surgery, Stonybrook School of Medicine
Also by Michael Egnor: > The Real Reason Why Only Human Beings Speak Language is a tool for abstract thinking—a necessary tool for abstraction—and humans are the only animals who think abstractly.
How is human language different from animal signals?