ESSAY TITLE : Humans are pattern seeking animals and we are adept at finding patterns whether they exist or not" (adapted from Michael Shermer). Discuss knowledge questions raised by this idea in two areas of knowledge Since I can remember, I have started and ended each day with a prayer, such that it has become a daily pattern ingrained into my behavioral routine. I believe that the act of prayer gives me a sense of comfort because in my mind I associate a good day as the outcome of my prayers. Recently a friend shared his belief that if he wears a specific combination of clothes and watches a soccer match in a precise position, the team he supports will win the match. This demonstrates that both my friend and I associate our patterns to desired outcomes. According to Micheal Shermer, human beings are inclined to seek patterns where there is disorder and he terms this “patternicity” whereas the infusion of meaning into these patterns he terms “agenticity” (Shermer). Thus I understand patterns as the connections of unordered events which build a conceptualization by correlating two seemingly unconnected events and this forms the basis of our pattern seeking habit. Hence this allows me to agree with the idea that humans are pattern seeking animals and that we are adept at finding patterns whether they exist or not. I believe that there is a driving force behind the instinctive habit to seek and give meaning to patterns, whether this driving force is a biological creation of nature or a product of nurture is the basis of my enquiry. Therefore this leads me to question, In what ways do both the Human and Natural Sciences through nurture and nature shape our pattern seeking habits?
Nurture plays a central role in our pattern seeking habits by influencing the way we shape our patterns. The quote “action cures fear” by David Schwartz is a key idea in explaining our highly skilled pattern seeking abilities and it can be reasoned that fear is the driving emotion behind our pattern seeking habits. As a child, after my mother was diagnosed with cancer I started to pray everyday for her recovery, this was my attempted action to cure my fear because I believed that my prayers would protect the rest of my family from bad health and danger. The fear of any harm coming to the rest of my family drove me to my initial action of prayer, the primary result was that everyone was safe and healthy hence my day was good, because the outcome of my actions resulted in positive reinforcement my brain made an association between praying and the positive outcome. Thus it can be said that our faith plays a strong role in shaping the type of patterns that we form.