Overconfidence

I just watched the QI show on Intelligence wherein was mentioned the Dunning-Kruger effect. The effect is that someone who isn’t very good at something will assume to be quite good at it because they know so little about it they can’t estimate properly how little they know about it.

This applies to anyone who believes in God!

The 1 thing they all seem to have in common is that they take their information from very few sources. Like, if they want to know about geology, they don’t look to geologists, but to their holy book or their church’s home page. If they want to know about astronomy they look to their holy book or their pastors instead of in a telescope. If they want to know about the soul they don’t read a bunch of different philosophers, they look in their holy book. I could go on forever here. A creationist reading a creationist’s opinion on the theory of evolution will erroneously think he/she knows what the theory of evolution is, strengthening the false sense of confidence in knowing what it is all about and adding to the Dunning-Kruger effect. Intentional biased misinformation is strengthening the Dunning-Kruger effect as the biased misinformers will intentionally make it appear as if they are experts and make it appear as if their information is comprehensive. Not only will you think you’ve gotten a comprehensive understanding of the subject, but also the idea that the other side is deluded, which triples the strength of the effect.

The way to avoid this is to in general accept that you need to look for the one side’s best argumentation (best argument and best presentation of that argument) like a fair journalist should aim to do and weigh it against the other side’s best argumentation and compare them before making a judgement, as opposed to taking both sides’ arguments from a single, biased source (all sources are more or less biased).

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