Blog:2013-01-13: Disbeliefs Ranked

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On the odd occasion that people actually open up about some belief about the world I am typically puzzled about how the came to hold it and retain it given the significant counter-evidence against them. There are lots of examples from believing that: a person's zodiac sign is predictive, people have eternal souls, people do not share an ancestor with the other apes, supernatural agents exist, human violence is increasing, etc. Why do people believe myths? What myths do I believe?

A belief ranking service would be helpful here. The service would rank each erperson's elicited beliefs. The user would then spot some of their weak beliefs (so it would really be a disbelief ranking service). A fun challenge of the service would be to keep up with discoveries (such as the recently debunked scientifically supported beliefs that overweight people live shorter lives than normal weight people).

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