Monday, December 06, 2010
I'm a bit of a Dilbert fan, so click on the picture to get to the comic I wanted to use with this post (I didn't want to pay the licensing fees). What I thought was interesting about this comic is that it shows how worldviews clash in most of our minds. Worldviews are comprehensive systems of understanding about the world, ourselves and our role(s) in the world. They are very much the metanarratives by which we navigate our world. They are also fairly fluid constructs unique to the individual (for example, there is no such thing as a Christian worldview, but there are Christian worldviews). But they are often unexamined. Here Dogbert challenges the basis for Dilbert's claim, because that claim is integral to Dilbert's own worldview, the claim functions as a belief rather than a hypothesis, and our first response when a belief is challenged is to defend it. What is hilarious, to me, is that when Dilbert goes to defend his belief he appeals to a pre-modern epistemology! The modern turn was a shift away from understanding conveyed through authority - people realized that they didn't need to let the institutions think for them but could use the might power of human reason to emancipate themselves from authority. This only proves that his claim comes from an unexamined worldview that is striving for internal coherence. Of course I'm not commenting on the content of his worldview - I actually think he has the claim formulated a bit wrong. He should say that evolution is the best explanation for he data we have at hand, which is how a theory rightly functions within the scientific method.