A prime example of the gullibility of the human race can be found in Richard Dawkin
s’ book: ”Unweaving the Rainbow.”
He cites the case of a young newspaper
reporter asked, by his editor
, to make up the daily astrological
advice. To relieve his boredom he wrote, under one sign:
All of the sorrows of yesteryear are nothing compared to what will befall you today.
Hundreds of panicked readers jammed the switchboard
of the newspaper
and the young reporter was fired as a consequence. As Dawkins
called it: “pathetic testimony to the simple faith people put in astrology
Such a ridiculous belief in something so obviously incorrect is befuddling. Horoscopes
are not only inaccurate
, in that they do not predict the future, but they are inconsistent
, they return varied results. They therefore fail both of the primary tests for the usefulness of a source of data
. Surely people realize that they are just vague predictions whose popularity is based upon how we remember the times when they are right, rather than when they are wrong. Despite the obvious nature of this revelation, people cling to them through illogical rationalizations. Some people even consider horoscopes
that are the exact opposite of what really happens to be accurate but ‘inverted’ or some such nonsense.
are testimony to the pathetic need that human beings have for faith
: be it in good luck charms
, rain dances
, or God
. I suppose that left, as we are, lost in a meaningless and cold world we are forced, by evolution
, to use mental trickery to escape the bleakness of our plight. This seems to suggest that despite all of our parading and intellectual superiority, we may still be little more than common beasts.
Interestingly, 'gullibility' is made reference to in the name 'Gulliver' from Jonathan Swift's masterful satire: "Gulliver's Travels". It is by the vehicle of Gulliver's ignorance and foolishness that Swift conveys his biting criticism of the social and political institutions of England.