--- In FairfieldLife@yahoogroups.com, new_morning_blank_slate 
> Kurtz goes on, "It is only in recent human history that the species
> has gradually been able to overcome mythological explanations.
> Philosophy and metaphysics emerged, attempting to account for the
> world of change and flux in terms of rational explanations; modern
> science succeeded where pure speculation failed, by using powerful
> cognitive methods of experimental verification and mathematical
> inference. What had been shrouded in mystery was now explicable in
> terms of natural causes. Diseases did not have Satanic origins, but
> natural explanations and cures. The weather could be interpreted, 
> not as a product of divine wrath or favor, but in meteorological 
> terms. Nature could be accounted for by locating the natural causes 
> of phenomena. Astrology's heavenly omens and signs were replaced by 
> the regularities discernible by physics and astronomy. Science 
> abandons occult for material causes."

I don't think he's thought these points through
very well, or at least he isn't explaining them
clearly.  He seems to be saying, for example, that
the "magical thinking" of astrology was replaced
by scientific knowledge of the regularity of the
motions of the heavenly bodies, when in fact the
"omens and signs" of astrology are grounded in
very detailed and precise observation of that

Kurtz appears to believe that astrology could exist
only as long as folks thought the movements were
random, when in fact it exists *because* their
regularity had been observed and detailed records
of it kept.

Moreover, the still more detailed and precise
knowledge made possible by science doesn't *obviate*
astrology, it just gives astrology more precise and
detailed tools to make its predictions and identify
its omens and signs.

Likewise, weather can be interpreted in meteorological
terms, but that doesn't somehow negate the notion
that there are divine forces behind it.  Similarly
with disease.

"Magical thinking" of the type he's talking about
can easily adapt to greater scientific knowledge
of the phenomena it's concerned with.  Science
doesn't wipe it out or make it make it untenable.
If magical thinking is untenable, it isn't because
of science.

> All of these schrouds could be viewed broadly as cognitve biases and
> errors. And they have been dismantled in part by strong logical and
> reasoning.

Not the three examples he mentions.

> Kurtz adds, "Thus there has been a continuous retreat of magical
> thinking under the onslaught of cognitive inquiry. The same methods 
> of inquiry used so successfully in the natural sciences, were 
> extended to biology and the social sciences. Science thus continues 
> to make progress by using rigorous methods of naturalistic inquiry."
> And they can and should be applied to "subjective sciences"

I agree, but I very seriously doubt that Kurtz would.

I have to say, based on these excerpts, at least, that
Kurtz's thinking in this area is rather strikingly

 -- the
> realms of personal experience, where among other things, logic, the
> rooting out of interpretative and cognitive errors and biases, can
> lead to a much truer interpretation of subjective experience.

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