Saturday, January 20, 2007

Mysteries of Choco Canyon

While watching the movie, and seeing the logical steps the archeologists took to make their conclusions, a thought came to me. Why is it that we assume that the most logical answer is the correct one? Simply because it makes sense to our minds does not guarantee that it is truly what happened. Yet, so often with theories it seems we try to justify the current theory when new information pops up by either adding to it or creating exceptions to the rule. We seem to refuse to question accepted ideas until it becomes conclusive that the accepted ideas cannot coexist with the new findings. Any thoughts on this, or examples of this in other aspects of society?


laughingcorpse said...

Well, to tell you the truth it just seems that it is just easier to go with the first, most logical theory and say that we are "right" but when we find errors with that "Truth" then we just change our theory to fit it.
It's the path with the least resistance.

Wolf Man Jack said...

See, this is exactly what I had brought up months ago about Egypt. Who says it wasn't aliens? What proof is there that it wasn't?
Just because we think we understand why something happens almost garrantees in mmy mind that that isn't what happened.
Besides, all those archeologists probably work for the CIA/FBI conglomerate too!

Ok, enough conspiracy theories. The reason we jump to the first logical conclusion is just because of that. It's the first. Just with my idea of the origins of science. Religion! What were the ancient religions but an explaination for what they could not possibly have an explaination for. Zues. The Greeks didn't think, "You know what'd be cool? A God who throws lightening!" No they more probably thought, "You know what causes lightening? No? Me neither. Maybe it's some way cool guy up there smiting people. If it is, we should worship him so he doesn't smite us."
Ok, so probably mor complcated than that. But the point remains. Religion, at least in "ancient" societies was their science. It explained things they couldn't possible understand. Just as we couldn't go back now and say lightening is caused by tiny invisble things that are so small they practically don't exist, one of them couldn't come here now and convince us that Zeus was up there smiting people with is bolts of wrathy-doom.
We decide to believe the first things that fit until we have some better idea of what might go there.
In the future a more logical explaination for Chaco Canyon may come along, but chances are we won't beleive it because it involves things we don't understand. We are, in a way, like the Ancient Greeks thinking of what causes lightening. Except ours may well never happen again, so it will be harder for us to find a better solution than what we are given by the archeologists.

A. Koss said...

Occam's razor doesn't say that the simplest explanation is always the correct one, it's that the simplest one tends to be the correct one. Probability-wise, simple explanations are more often correct. We have learned from experience to accept the simplest, most logical explanation.

I guess there's just a problem when our formerly simple explanation becomes complicated because of additions, exceptions, etc. People generally don't like getting rid of their hard work, so they hold onto the old explanation and try to convince themselves that the old theory is better.

This sort of thing is happening in physics all the time.