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Posted by Richard D. Stafford, Ph.D. on November 2, 2003 02:02:22 UTC


I am sorry but, though you see some things that elude others, you seem to make no effort at all to think. You ask, "is it fairy, DNA, or should we ask ourselves what is the use of all this nonsense?" It should be obvious to you, were you to think about it for a little while, that my answer is: "precisely what we believe is immaterial"; what is material is that, whatever that belief is, it must effectively coerce people into adopting genetically advantageous behavior or it will fail. We (human beings) have been around for quite a while and survival itself has led to behavior in accordance with that survival.

We are not that different from the other animals we find around us. Most all of our decisions are made in exactly the way all animals make decisions: our subconscious, our feelings, our urges, (whatever you want to call it) move us to behavior beneficial to our survival; just as most all animals make decisions beneficial to their survival. We just have an ability beyond theirs: we are capable of rationally thinking things out logically. (Capable does not mean we do it!)

So it is that I suggest we have two ways of making decisions. First there are what I call squirrel decisions: whenever the number of elements which must be considered vastly exceed what we can consciously think of and we must depend on our subconscious, our feelings, our urges (what we believe to be true) to provide direction. We then, like all the animals around us, do what "feels" like the best thing to do. For survival it is, without a doubt, the best choice which can be made! But you certainly can not prove it is correct! You have to depend on "belief" and exactly what it is believed in is fundamentally beyond comprehension.

The second way of making a decision is called a logical decision: whenever the number of significant elements are small enough that we can be aware of them on a conscious level, and we believe the elements are valid (notice the squirrel decision sneak in here) then we can make a logical decision. These circumstances are actually quite rare but when they occur, the results can be depended on to a much greater extent than "squirrel decisions". We can know that, if our beliefs are valid the decision is valid and the beliefs required are comprehensible.

What is important here is that the mechanisms of making the decisions are different, but they are not independent. In the absence of "squirrel decisions" we cannot even begin to think on a conscious aware level. My position is that, to worry about the validity of our "squirrel decisions" is a complete and pure waste of time. Life is far too short to even begin to take such things seriously. So one should always do what they really feel is the right thing to do and then accept the consequences whatever they might be. That is the way I have lived my life and I could not do otherwise.

Success is being able to look back and say, "given another chance, I would not change one iota of my life". That is what I mean when I say "have fun": if you consider all the possible outcomes you can think of and decide you will be truly happy with "your personal actions" no matter what the outcome, then you have done the right thing and you should waste no time worrying about it.

Follow your feelings; give your life over to squirrel decisions! But know they are squirrel decisions! They are very dependable for survival (we would not have survived if they weren't) however, there is no
proof that they are correct. I call them "squirrel decisions" as squirrels are very good examples of excellent dynamic decisions essential to survival; however, one often sees "poor squirrel decisions" spread on the pavement. Don't be surprised when some of your squirrel decisions yield consequences you dislike, just be sure that what you did what you thought was right. Logic has no place there for the problems are beyond your logic.

As opposed to this, logical decisions (where we are aware of each and every element going into the decision) can be defended as correct: i.e., if the elements upon which they are based are valid and the
logic is valid, then the decisions must be correct. However, the number of problems in our life which can be reduced to such a small number of important elements are so limited as to make the use of
logic almost a waste of time when it comes to any important decisions. Why do you think logic is derided by so many common people? I know many very successful people who have never made a logical decision in their whole life.

What bugs me is the great number of people who claim to be making logical decisions when they have no idea of either the place or the mechanism of logical thought. Modern scientists presume to discover knowledge about the real world by first visualizing physical interactions, and then attempting to prove themselves wrong with experiments. This is known as the "falsification" principle. If scientists cannot prove themselves wrong, then they presume they are right. That presumption is a squirrel decision!

In my presentation, I do something quite different. Logic functions in this way: "if all A are B and C is an A then C is also B" and it makes no difference at all what A and B are, the statement is always valid. In my work, I prove something very simple (it is just too bad that no one here can follow it). If reality can be referred to by a set of numerical labels (then my fundamental equation is a valid constraint on those labels). That is a logically valid statement. The fact that no one here can follow the argument does not make the argument invalid. As such, it forms a foundation for science which is not a squirrel decision; a significant breakthrough in human thought.

And lastly, it is of no less value than the deductions which can be made from it: modern science!

Have fun -- Dick

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