The Idols Of The Tribe Essay

The Idols Of The Tribe Essay

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In the modern world new discoveries are constantly being made with scientific observations and people who are able to see the world differently. At times these observations are not always adapted by others because the discovery goes against what they already believe to be truth. One of the first people to notice this Francis Bacon. He realized that everyone had different perceptions of the world because of many different influences. These influences fell into four categories which Bacon called idols. “Bacon warned that if we begin our thinking with certainties, we end with questions, but if we begin with questions, we end with certainties. He insisted that we rid ourselves of four idols, which cloud our thinking” (Henson). Idols of the tribe develop in human nature when men begin to assume that their sense is the measure of things. The idols of the cave are the idols of the individual man that are influenced from individual perceptions. Next is the idols of the marketplace where the words of men obstruct basic understanding. The last idol is the idols of the theatre which are put into men’s minds through plays which represent philosophy and laws that are wrong. With all of these idols getting in the way of true understanding, it becomes very hard for a man to accept what he hears to be truth because it goes against what he already knows. One of these new ideas that was presented long ago was Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution. This theory states that nothing new can be created; animals, plants, and humans are what exists and that will never change. What will change is the way that they look, and how they live. These things change through natural selection. Through this process animals who are best fit will begin to adapt to sma...


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...cepting Darwin’s theory is the idols of the marketplace because they place a veil of opinions over the truth. It is very hard to convince people of the truth sometimes because there seem to be so many people who live for their opinion to be accepted as the truth. Darwin needed people to look at his theory with an open, unbiased mind, but for some this was very difficult because of the idols of the market place. At the center of all of Bacon’s idols that created problems for Darwin is the idols of the cave which prevent people from using their ability to evaluate evidence. When Darwin contradicted one of these things that they already knew, he had to make sure that his evidence reflected the truth so that he could ultimately change their minds. Changing the mind of the individual was probably the toughest task that Darwin had to overcome with his theory of evolution.

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