Reading the tea leaves

The merest straw in the wind, but interesting nonetheless: Religious people have superior visual perception. It seems that Dutch Calvinist university students recognize embedded visual patterns faster than their atheist classmates.

The study reminds me of one Christopher Alexander reports in his Nature of Order that showed that children were generally very good at recognizing visual patterns, Radcliffe students notably bad (this was before Radcliffe got merged into Harvard). The Cliffies’ problem was that they insisted on reading patterns the way you read English text, left to right then top to bottom. The habit was deeply ingrained, and it took some doing to get them to snap out of it.

To my mind it’s all evidence that modern education is really re-education designed to inculcate a technocratic way of functioning that makes people incompetent in normal life (you can’t do anything unless you’re an expert!) and leads to other results like atheism and the Radcliffe Institute.

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