Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Mike Bara wrong on pareidolia

From Mike Bara's blog, 17th October 2013:

"According to the debunker crowd, pareidolia is a supposed human tendency to recognize facial patterns where none actually exist. This mythical, made-up tendency has no basis in fact, has never been written up or published in any scientific or medical journal, and has failed to meet even the most basic standards of a true medical or psychological disorder."

"It is nothing but  a phony, pseudo-scientific term invented in 1994 by a UFO debunker named Steven Goldstein in the June 22nd, 1994 edition of Skeptical Inquirer magazine."

Result of a search of the literature by the Google Ngram Viewer:

More detail here. I wonder why Mike Bara is looking for citations that treat pareidolia as a disorder. On the contrary, it's a normal and adaptive skill. Not a bug but a feature, Mike. Get it?


Chew said...

I left a comment on Bara's post. All it said was:


Let's see if he approves it.

Chris said...

Baradolia n. A psychological phenomenon in which absolute utter rubbish is perceived as meaningful and "looking a bit sciency" by third-rate writers.

Chris Lopes said...

I doubt he'll even get it.

That Mike is even still arguing about this natural (and useful) adaptation just shows how lost he is in the BS forest. To deny what any 6 year old has observed is complete nonsense. I'm not sure if he really is that stupid or just believes his audience to be. With Mike, the line between stupidity and lying is a thin one indeed.

Unknown said...

Speaking of Pareidolia, does anyone see the stone head floating in the sky in these pictures? Is there a face on Phobos that NASA is not telling us about?
This is a job for the detective agency of Hoagland and Bara.



Trekker said...

I wonder what Mike would think of this? http://www.flickr.com/photos/49167815@N03/4837117225/

Trekker said...

Well the photo I posted above seems to have vanished. Try this version instead: