The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths - Chapter 13: Geographies of Belief Summary & Analysis

Michael Shermer
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Chapter 13: Geographies of Belief Summary and Analysis

How do we tell the difference between the true and false patterns that we develop and tell the difference between real agents and the imaginary ones? When Ptolemy wrote "terra Australis" at the bottom of a second-century world map, it declared to the world that undiscovered worlds were out there and led to the age of exploration and discovery.

Ptolemy's note gave credence to the existence of new lands yet undiscovered. It provided something for explorers to believe in. Columbus' belief that there were new worlds across the Atlantic led to the discovery of the Americas. However, when Columbus first landed in the New World he thought it was Asia. Marco Polo's reports of Asian lands were sketchy and there was no knowledge of a land mass between Western Europe and Asia. Therefore, Columbus used...

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This section contains 582 words
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Buy The Believing Brain: From Ghosts and Gods to Politics and Conspiracies---How We Construct Beliefs and Reinforce Them as Truths Study Guide
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