Friday, April 30, 2004

The Mind of Man as an Enchanted Glass : Michael Shermer : The Four Idols of Francis Bacon - LexiLine Journal 273

I posted a long article about "suppressed science" in a previous posting.

Along the same lines of thinking, but from a different perspective, is "The Enchanted Glass", Michael Shermer's article of April 26, 2004 in Scientific American:

Shermer cites to Sir Francis Bacon's Novum Organum and his listing of four idols which serve as cognitive barriers to keep people from thinking clearly and objectively. These idols of course apply across the board to all of us in some degree, but in my opinion are inexcusably prevalent in mainstream science:

These four idols are:
  1. idols of the cave (individual peculiarities)
  2. idols of the marketplace (limits of language)
  3. idols of the theater (preexisting beliefs) and
  4. idols of the tribe (inherited foibles of human thought).
Shermer quotes Bacon as follows:

"For the mind of man is far from the nature of a clear and equal glass, wherein the beams of things should reflect according to their true incidence; nay, it is rather like an enchanted glass, full of superstition and imposture, if it be not delivered and reduced."

The function of LexiLine is not to destroy that enchanted glass, but rather to clear it up and to remove the murky waters with which it is currently filled.

I found this article through the blog Follow Me Here at
to which I was directed by the following downloadable program superKickstart
which I found through an article in the PC World GeekTech by Alexandra Krasne at,aid,115803,00.asp
as referred to by Genie Tyburski in The Virtual Chase's "tvcalert" at
which is linked to at my law blog at

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