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Casey Christofaris

Owner, CS3 Inc

TEDCRED 10+

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Is evolution/religion/everything a self fulfilling prophecy?

What separates us from the rest of species? Recognition of self right? Some will want to argue that there are other species that can recognize self. But then you need to ask well do they recognize self do to our experiments and what we have defined as self recognition or is it innately in them? So is it that we recognize self because of them through evolution or do they recognize self do to us? A bird called the magpie is self aware using the mirror test. It’s easy now to look in a mirror and say yep that’s me, but it’s a million times harder to say that this is just a visual representation of trillions of moving, living, self-replicating entities.

This is the principles that I would like to use in defining self fulfilling prophecy:
Robert Merton's concept of the self-fulfilling prophecy stems from the Thomas theorem, which states that "If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences."[2] According to Thomas, people react not only to the situations they are in, but also, and often primarily, to the way they perceive the situations and to the meaning they assign to these perceptions. This causes people to have negative viewpoints. Therefore, their behavior is determined in part by their perception and the meaning they ascribe to the situations they are in, rather than by the situations themselves. Once people convince themselves that a situation really has a certain meaning, regardless of whether it actually does, they will take very real actions in consequence.

So we are just a bunch of self replicating entities that have evolved in to a self recognizing being. Will history keep repeating its "self"?

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  • Nov 5 2012: So your point is that acceptance of evolution (as a biological concept) is subject to being a self fulfilling prophecy (a social concept - Robert Merton) which results in ultimate outcomes that are injurious because there is a price to be paid for subscribing to something that is false (evolution).

    I have no problem with the social concept. It makes sense. Some of us have learned of this insight the hard way, usually as we age and look back more objectively about something we believed about someone or some thing and realized we were wrong. That belief had a price because it caused adjustments in our subsequent behavior which initiated a self fulfilling prophecy and all the result of believing something that was untrue.

    Obviously this self fulfilling prophecy can be applied to other world views. For example, a better question from my point of view would be...

    Is religion a self fulfilling prophecy?

    I like this question even more than yours, especially since there are so many different religions available in which to subscribe. They can't all be right can they?
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      Nov 7 2012: Good day Dan,

      I would suggest that if everything is of the mind and the mind makes it real, then not only is religion self fulfilling but so is everything else. And I do mean everything
      • Nov 8 2012: Hi Casey,

        Oops, I misinterpreted your question in the text and got going on my own self fulfilling prophecy.

        This may be too esoteric for me.
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          Nov 8 2012: Good day Dan,

          I don't know sounds like you got it, its just really hard to wrap the brain around :)

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