Randomness and the brain's search for patterns

"The world is a confusing place. Correlation looks like causation; the signal sounds like the noise; randomness is everywhere. This raises the obvious question: How does the human brain cope with such an epistemic mess? How do we deal with the helter-skelter of reality? One approach would be to ground all of our beliefs in modesty and uncertainty, to recognize that we know so little and understand even less. Needless to say, that's not what we do. Instead of grappling with the problem of induction, we believe in God. Instead of applying Bayesian logic, we slip into rigid ideologies, which lead us to neglect all sorts of salient facts.

A new paper by psychologists at the University of Waterloo explores the connection between the presence of randomness and our belief in the supernatural." Jonah Lehrer writes in his blogpost last week, (love him).