Big Think reported on the increasing non-scientific beliefs of the Millennial generation. The blog talked about the wonderful developments in the sciences over the centuries, especially the great minds and mathematicians such as Isaac Newton.
Although, he spent a long time trying to decode the Book of Revelations from the Bible. He also did foundational work in mathematics and physics, and so engineering too -- used to this day as far as we know.
Now, with the era of computers, Google, and the like, we, especially the younger generations such as the Millennials, can search the internet for more information. “Today, we have the entire wealth of human knowledge literally at our fingertips. You’d think that’d pave the way for a cultural renaissance of sorts that might eclipse our 15th-century Florentine forefathers,” the article opined. However, when it comes to the numbers of those in fringe informal disciplines long abandoned, the Millennial generation has begun to adhere to them more and more, including Astrology, flat Earth theories, and the denial of the moon landing. Why is this an increasingly common belief system among the Millennials? asks the article implicitly.
“Astrology as a system of belief has been around for thousands of years. It implies that the location of the stars and planets at the time of someone’s birth determines their personality and life course. Those astrologers dedicated to the process write horoscopes and claim that they can predict your fate and reveal your true nature through zodiac charts,” Big Think stated.
It amounts to an allure, a charm, and lure for the young and naïve, full of youthful vibrancy, who may excitedly grasp as bad explanation rather than no explanation. Younger generations identify less with formal religion and more with the pseudoscientific. It appears to have replaced the formal religious pseudo-explanations of the ways of the world.
After some commentary, the article continues to talk about the citation of a Finnish research study, where question sets were given “to people signed up for adult education classes, explains that those signed up for astrology courses were more prone to have recently experienced more crises in their life.”
Astrology and other beliefs, when people lose footing in their lives, become helpful for people to garner some sense of internal locus of control, internal order, in their own lives.
Big Think opined, “Astrology is arguably an inane and harmless belief. Aside from you wild Scorpios butting heads with a quick-tempered Aries, it’s safe to say that astrology isn’t that big of a problem. Rather, it’s the underlying mindset that leads to trouble.”
Another phenomenon among the young came in the form of superstitious thought and the idea of all-encompassing conspiracies about the world. The critical thought is important. However, excess skepticism in the wrong degree, applied to the incorrect areas, and not in the right way can lead to all-encompassing theories.
Mono-explanations for the nature of the world, even though no evidence exists or sufficient evidence does not exist for the conspiracy theory. “Challenging questionable status quos of history and scientific inquiry is good for the advancement of knowledge,” the article argues.
However, according to the opinion piece, “unfounded claims and arguments that we never landed on the moon and that Earth is flat have tired themselves out to any rational-minded person. There’s really no need anymore to defend against these ridiculous claims.”
The reason for these explanations about the world tend to be powerlessness over personal life. It makes one feel as if they have special knowledge not held by others too. More education leads people to feel more control and so less likely to believe or adhere to all-encompassing conspiracy theories.
“One reason for the pervasiveness of groundless ideas and theories is that they serve as a way to make sense of a chaotic world. People would rather believe that they’re ill-fated by a bum roll of the astrological dice or that a secret order is the reason they can’t get ahead in life,” Big Think explained.
If one can feel more agency in their life and have a greater and firmer knowledge about the world, then that someone can be less inclined to believe in or adhere to the conspiracy theories and pseudoscientific theories.
Photo Credits: Art 19