Some time ago I wrote an article (The girl with the X ray eyes) on a documentary how CSICOP (Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal) under the leadership of Prof. Richard Wiseman set out to discredit a Russian girl Natasha Demkina. The documentary was an attempt to debunk the claims but it was so far adrift from any proof that I wondered how the Discovery Channel could even have the gall to present it. At the end of the program, Richard Wiseman says (and I paraphrase, as its a while since I saw the program):
Of course we have to reject these claims. If we were to accept them then it would discredit our whole scientific approach to understanding the world.
This is nonsense. If we were to accept these claims (by doing objective scientific experiments) it doesn’t discredit science. We can still fly rockets to outer space, use GPS , etc. I see the analogy as being similar to how Einstein’s Special Theory of Relativity didn’t overthrow Newton’s theory of gravity, it simply showed that Newton’s theory of gravity was a special case of a more extensive theory. Similarly, when we see strange phenomena we should examine them and if they seem to be true then they are special cases within our scientific theories.
However, Richard Wiseman is not alone in rejecting ideas that don’t fit with his preconceived way of seeing the world. In fact, I would say this mindset is the rule rather than the exception.
I’ve written many articles on a different way of seeing our universe as a 3½ dimensional slice of a multi-dimensional universe. What we are aware of in our human perception is a special case of a much bigger picture. What limits our understanding is that we get stuck in an ideology and fail to accept what is invariably staring us in the face.
This came to my attention recently when I wrote an article on Covid. I’ve written many such articles on Medium and I’m invariably dismayed at how people are not interested in viewing the facts (which are in plain sight) but prefer to go with so-called ‘experts’ who have hijacked the media and politicians but distort the true nature of the disease. But what took me by surprise was a comment that I was just a stupid Trump supporter and I should keep my racist views to myself.
I hadn’t mentioned Trump or politics or anything that could be construed as being racist. I’m not even in the USA so I have no investment into the local politics there. So where was this individual coming from? And I realised that they had such an ideological view of the world that it was not about facts. It was very simple: you are either an intelligent, fair minded Democrat (presumably Biden supporter), or you are an ignorant, racist Republican (presumably Trump supporter). Intelligent people (Democrats) accept that Covid is a potential mass killer and that we have to be protected by taking precautions; stupid and selfish republicans are against wearing masks and social distancing because these unselfish measures are designed to help others. Facts are irrelevant.
And I realised that is the sorry state of much of the USA now. People have lost the ability to think rationally, they simply accept certain ideologies. The world is seen as binary: right/wrong, good/bad, liberal/racist. It’s true that both sides are unwilling (actually unable) to listen to the other side.