Do superstitions have any scientific basis ?

What is superstition?


What is superstition? It is a belief or practice that is not confirmed by fact but is merely based upon fear or ignorance of the unknown.

How did superstition start? Many superstitions originated from the religious customs and beliefs of pagans who had accumulated a plurality of gods and goddesses.


ANY SCIENTIFIC BASIS FOR SUPERSTITIONS ?

Take the case of amulets. Many people wear such material objects nowadays to protect them from disease, danger, demons, or evil magic. These objects are supposed to bring good luck and good fortune.

In the early days, primitive tribes also carried amulets to ward off evil spirits. These charm objects were also called fetishes and talismans.

In a study conducted by a US marketing agency a few years ago, it was found out that women are the biggest buyers of charms, voodoo, pendants and other superstition paraphernalia. The study revealed that “some 86,000 women mail order buyers paid $8.40 each for a genie-in-the bottle good luck pendant, a mystical talisman. One US department store had a record of 92,976 buyers of amulets, zodiac medallion, occult necklaces, bracelets, rings, earring, pyramids and ankhs. These items cost $12 on the average. Again, most of the buyers were women!

Have you noticed that elevators in some building skip from the 12th to the 14th floor? Many people are uneasy with number 13. They believe the number brings bad luck. Some feel it is bad luck for 13 people to have a group picture or to dine together. One of them, the superstition goes – will get sick or die. How did number 13 get its bad reputation?

Omens play a critical roles in the lives of superstitious people. An omen is an object or an event that foretells the future happening of a disaster, calamity, or misfortune. For example, there are many people who feel that meeting a cross-eyed person or a black cat spells bad luck.

What do we mean when we use the word “superstition”? We are superstitious when we wrongly identify the cause of a particular effect, especially when we invoke a supernatural belief or myth in that estimation.


The difference between “wrong” and “superstitious” essentially comes down to how sensible we are in our guesses and judgments.

Our superstitious styles of thinking are grounded in a long evolutionary history of problem-solving.

Most superstitions were formulated based on coincidental events. When one event occurred during or after another event for some 2 to 3 times consecutively, people might conclude that both events are related. After one comes to such conclusion, it is hard to see the true nature of randomness between these two events as the superstition has already spread across the land and also people would not want to hurt the ego of the man (head of village or something) who formulated it

Superstitious beliefs have been shown to help promote a positive mental attitude. But they can lead to irrational decisions, such as trusting in the merits of good luck and destiny rather than sound decision making.

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Carrying charms, wearing certain clothes, visiting places associated with good fortune, preferring specific colors, and using particular numbers are all elements of superstition. And although these behaviors and actions can appear trivial, for some people, they can often affect choices made in the real world.
There are also some acts of superstition that can be explained scientifically. ... a majority of superstitious practices that have no scientific basis.

"Everything – from how you should sit, stand and eat – was designed according to what is best for human wellbeing" says Sadguru



Source: Various sites


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