Dr Chris French

Tuesday, April 3 2012 at 7:30PM

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54 Canal Street,
NG1 7EH.

Dr Chris French

What's the talk about?

One of the greatest strengths of the human species from an evolutionary
perspective is our ability to perceive meaningful patterns and cause and
effect relationships in our surroundings. Our cognitive systems have
evolved to allow us to make relatively quick decisions that are right most
of the time as opposed to slower, more reflective, decisions that are
right slightly more often. In terms of the evolutionary cost-benefit
analysis, our cognitive systems are optimised for biological survival not
for apprehending “Truth”.  One consequence of our evolutionary history is
that we are prone to a number of cognitive biases that may well underlie
our predisposition towards supernatural and paranormal beliefs. Because we
are poor at recognising randomness and often see meaning and significance
where there is none, it is not surprising that such beliefs are so
prevalent and persistent.