Posted 21 декабря 2022, 10:28

Published 21 декабря 2022, 10:28

Modified 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

Updated 24 декабря 2022, 22:38

“Does your third eye put pressure on your brain?” The scientist answered the fortune-tellers by tarot cards

21 декабря 2022, 10:28
Фото: Соцсети
Adherents of pseudoscientific theories argue that scientists are unable to understand them, because the world is too complex and ambiguous.

The well-known Russian scientist and science journalist Alexander Panchin continues his fight against all sorts of anti-scientific, so-called esoteric theories, including divination and astrology. As a rule, their adherents put forward the same amusing argument that the world is so complicated that it is unreasonable to reject such teachings indiscriminately. As an example, Panchin cites the words of one of his correspondents, a lover of tarot fortune-telling Denis K., who claims that tarot is not a prediction of the future at all, but a subtle psychological work with the unconscious, with archetypes in the style of the theory of the great psychoanalyst Carl Jung:

“The fact that different nations have different predispositions and inclinations, regardless of upbringing, stupidly based on the microbiochemistry formed by the conditions, can be observed in many everyday examples, and this is real, people of different races and nations are different, no matter how tolerant people whine ...”

Panchin is surprised by the very fact of mixing tarot with fortune-telling by nationality, and nationality with races, but the main argument of the fortuneteller in favor of the scientific nature of tarot cards sounds like this

“But there are just normal people who do not consider the world so simple and unambiguous and do not climb to others with instructions and depreciation ...”

That is, the world of fortunetellers, astrologers, visionaries and others like them, according to Denis, is much more complicated than scientists themselves imagine!

“The paradox is,” Panchin writes, “that scientists will hardly argue with the thesis itself that the world is extremely complex. Cognition is given to us with difficulty. For example, the query “aging” (aging) can find more than 580 thousand scientific publications in the PubMed medical database and none of them claim to put an end to the question of what aging is and how to stop it.

Hundreds of years of complex research, the discovery of a DNA molecule and hundreds of genes associated with aging, mutations in them, thousands of experiments on the genetic engineering of flies, worms and mammals, dozens of model objects, hydras, naked mole rats, a bunch of theories, hypotheses, confirmations, refutations, discoveries … and still the work continues and is extremely far from complete. The world is indeed very complex, even if one question in biology can be studied for centuries.

What about tarot reading? There are a bunch of books on how to guess, what to guess, why guess, practical guides, textbooks, courses, millions of believers who talk about how tarot has changed their lives and are convinced that this method is working. But is there at least one scientific study out there? At least banal: what will happen if you give not the “correct” interpretation of the card, but the opposite, unsuspecting subject?

Lord obscurantists, you can, please, decide. Is the world complex or simple? And if it is complex, then why the hell do you learn it so easily?

You see, belief in the tarot does not require complex experimental tests, large sample sizes, statistical analysis, double-blindness, controls that take into account the Barnum effect and other cognitive distortions. It is enough to lay out the cards and see with your own eyes that everything converges! Everything is so simple! Oh, I meant to say difficult!


Doesn't it seem paradoxical that people who talk about how complex and ambiguous the world is to justify their anti-scientific beliefs consider the most primitive tools of cognition sufficient for cognition? Well, that is, just your eyes, ears and bold guesses - what comes into your head first. I look at the Earth - I see a plane. Fortune telling coincided - it means it works. Recovered after going to the healer, so it helps. Ignoring at the same time all the accumulated knowledge of mankind over the past few thousand years! As if nothing had changed, and there was nothing to learn for all this time.

Why do you have enough unripe mushrooms to become a revealed guru of wise quotes? Why is it enough to read one book to find out how to live correctly, and who will burn in hell? Or lay the cards down to discover the depths of human archetypes, instead of studying psychology for years and still doubting at the end of the day?

I note that all this esoteric pseudo-knowledge is achieved without the slightest cognitive work, without working on mistakes, without a single study, even at the level of a student's term paper of some biofaculty. So maybe you imagined yourself as infallible geniuses of knowledge, who only need to look at a couple of horoscopes to learn the greatest laws of the most complex (in your words!) world and start giving people (for sometimes immoderate pay) instructions on when they will have good days, When is the best time for them to stay at home? Maybe it just seems to you that the world is organized among scientists simply because you are not able to master even a couple of scientific publications to make sure that no one thinks so, but rather the opposite? Your third eye doesn't put much pressure on your brain?"