Chris Lakin

We’re biased towards explanations, and away from randomness.

Apophenia is a common phenomena, though the word is rare. Apophenia is seeing sense in nonsense, seeing patterns in random noise. Seeing faces in clouds; many superstitions; “Coincidence?! I think not!”…

I believe apophenia occurs when we fail to acknowledge the possibility of random, causeless influences.

I think we’re biased towards cause and effect. Though this is usually a useful bias—sometimes things do just happen. Not all events have clear, transparent causes.

Believe in randomness.

Heart in the clouds. Apophenia.

Apophenia is also part of my theory for how religion culturally evolved. It’s a very human thing to freely confabulate explanations, nevermind that many of these explanations will be incorrect. I believe religion came about (independently, several times) partly as a way to explain randomness.

This isn’t to say, however, that religion can’t be useful for some people.


2020 September 9 (posted) - 2020 September 29 (updated)