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Human Beliefs Gee Whiz Facts

Nobel Prize winner Richard Feynman once said, “Why nature is mathematical is a mystery. The fact that there are rules at all is a kind of miracle.”

Approximately 80% of all humans believe in a god or a supreme being, even though scientific proof does not exist one way or the other.

“Allow me to make the superstitions of a nation, and I care not who makes its laws or its songs either.” (Mark Twain)

Humans tend to worry more about low-probability really serious events than about higher-probability so-so serious events, e.g., dying in a plane crash vs being injured in a car crash ... even though air travel is about 100 times safer per passenger mile.

Many people believe that it is good luck to find a four-leaf clover, but that it is bad luck to have a black cat run across the path in front of them.

The earliest art showed no evidence of violence but, in time, the introduction of war-god beliefs (after humans invented language and constructed male-dominated religions) led to the honor of war and killing, foolishly persisting to this day. (Jim Walker, March 1997)

Human beliefs are largely influenced by dominant memes (idea units which become “viruses of the mind”) such as religion, fear-based patriotism, money, laws, punishment, what´s cool, political correctness (much of which is absurd), sex, etc.

Romans once tossed coins into a fountain to ask aquatic deities for favors ... so we still do so to this day when making a wish.

“Red sky at night, sailor´s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor´s warning.” There is some truth to this. Even Shakespeare said, “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, sorrow to the shepherds, woe to the birds, gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.”

If your right ear itches, someone is speaking well of you. If your left ear itches, someone is speaking ill of you.

“Pseudo-science and superstition will seem year by year more tempting, the siren song of unreason more sonorous and attractive.” (Carl Sagan)