Zephyr 98 Archive

What Have You Changed Your Mind About?

Posted on: May 4, 2009

In 2008, the World Question Center (at The Edge) asked scientists, writers, and other thinkers:

The Annual Question — 2008

When thinking changes your mind, that’s philosophy.
When God changes your mind, that’s faith.
When facts change your mind, that’s science.

WHAT HAVE YOU CHANGED YOUR MIND ABOUT? WHY?

Science is based on evidence. What happens when the data change? How have scientific findings or arguments changed your mind?”

165 contributors; 112,600 words

Answers from the first two pages include:

  • We are the only intelligent species in the universe, for all practical (and ethical) purposes
  • Your memory about something is only as good as your last memory about it
  • The Internet really didn’t change everything
  • The same explanation can be used for radically different insights (a fairly subtle statement)
  • Individuals have separate intelligences instead of one comprehensive intelligence
  • Evolution does not favor a matchup between perception and reality
  • Robots can see God (the reply is from Rudy Rucker, not Ronald Moore)

There’s no need to agree with the respondents, but if you’re looking for a little intellectual provocation, browse their answers. Better yet, answer the question for yourself. (I’ll do the same.)

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