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Links With Your Coffee - Thursday

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Overall, scientists have found, people and other animals will often change their original preferences when presented with a third choice.

what's irrational about that?

re: maher getting the dawkins award

intellectual incest! no, seriously:

I do not think much of Bill Maher. Oh, sure, I find him occasionally somewhat amusing.

hey, i don't think much of maher either, but i'd give him credit for being more than occasionally "somewhat amusing". that was just uncharitable.

I'm going to jump the gun here without reading the full article... I must be completely brain dead. I can not figure out what is irrational about the choice of choosing the big kitchen over the small kitchen with the third choice of (I'm guessing - is the large kitchen equal in size to the big kitchen?) large kitchen?

I'm thinking of going to the atheist-fest here in LA where Maher is gonna receive the RD award, whatever that means. Dawkins and Maher are going to speak, but also Lawrence Krauss, Carolyn Porco, Dan Dennett, Eugenie Scott, and Jerry Coyne. I wonder if Coyne and Scott will go at it!

atheist-fest here in LA

one shudders to think.

I'll save you some cake.

Send norm a t-shirt to give away.

BTW PZ Myers is going to be there too, it seems, but in the audience, I guess.

I think the Bill Maher article may be a bit unfair. While I by no means support any of his anti-vaccination or anti-germ claims, I have witnessed the man change his opinion over time.

I do recall him conceding the existence of God a few years ago on Real Time, but he has since then taken a much stronger stance and mocked the very notion of the existence of God.

Similarly, with the swine flu outbreak, he took the opportunity to point out germ mutation as an example of micro-evolution. This flies right into the face of any anti-germ notions he supposeldy adopts.

No one can be right about everything from the get go, but so long as they correct their ideas of the world to correleate with truth and science, what does it matter? I think Bill Maher has since proven himself more worthy than Respectful Insolence cares to consider. After all, you could take a lot of absurd things I said as a child, but it would be silly to suppose I think any of those things now. As Bertrand Russell once said when he was asked why he changes his mind so often, "What do you do when you're wrong?"

You mean an option to Dem vs. GOP would be a bad, irrational thing? Well just dip me in chocolate and eat me, then!

RE: Ask an ant.

Here's why it's illogical:

You have two choices: A and B. There's no real preference between the two, so we'll just pick A.

Now choice C gets thrown in and we now decide that we like B better.

C is irrelevant to how A and B compare, yet it has caused us to change our preference between the two. Hence, our change of preference is illogical.

At the very least, I think it is a bad analogy. Humans don't have the same reasons for picking features for their homes as ants (survival) and the two human factors don't carry the same weight (you don't find many homes with no kitchens and a big yard).

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