Beliefs As A Defense Against Complexity
Rebecca Costa explains why American refuse to believe certain truths like climate change:
[I]n program after program, [Bill] Maher asks why facts are becoming marginalized. The answer is right under his nose.
When Darwin discovered the slow pace of evolutionary change (millions of years), he also explained what happens to us when the complexity of our problems exceeds the capabilities our brains have evolved to this point. It’s simple: when facts become incomprehensible, we switch to beliefs. In other words, all societies eventually become irrational when confronted with problems that are too complex, too large, too messy to solve. ...
Until recently we haven’t been able to look under the skull and see what the brain does when a problem is highly complex. The good news? The brain has a secret weapon against complexity, a process neuroscientists are now calling “insight.” We are learning more everyday about insight’s ability to catch the brain up to complexitythe real antidote to reverting to beliefs as a default.