Saturday, March 8, 2008

The Science of Intuition: Let's give it a shot!

Photo Credit: Intuition by Ankher on Flickr.

The Science of Intuition, it's almost an oxymoron. But I have a gut feeling that it is worth pondering upon. This article caught my attention: Intuition is Not Pseudoscience, Say Researchers. Below are some important snippets:

"intuition is a real psychological phenomenon which needs further study to help us harness its potential."

"the researchers concluded that intuition is the brain quickly drawing on past experiences and external cues to make a decision on a non-conscious level. In other words, it happens so fast that we’re not aware that the intuition actually stemmed from a supercharged burst of logical thinking."

"Humans clearly need both conscious and non-conscious thought processes...But it’s likely that neither is intrinsically ‘better’ than the other."

The story of the race-car driver whose life was saved by following his "gut feeling" to step on the brakes on the curve is interesting. But in the process of trying to understand the mysteries of life where science falls short, does it also make sense to tap the hidden potential of human intuition?
My answer is a resounding yes. Intuition is one of the good tools in the process to understand the meaning behind patterns, of what I call as "archetyping".
By scanning through this archetyper blog, you may have probably hinted that this is like a science blog, yet at the same time it borders between speculations, musings and sci-fi-like thinking. This is because I am striving to strike that balance between science and mystery. Just like the beautiful complexity that lies between Order and Chaos, there are wonders that fall in between the facts that what we know and the mysteries that we can only glimpse.
After all, we have two brain hemispheres to make sense of this world, perhaps we can integrate the two modes of thought to make intuitive insights about life and the cosmos.
Einstein said that the only real valuable thing is let's give it a shot:

What does your gut say when you ask yourself, "Is there a God?"

What does your gut say when you ask yourself, "Will I live again after I die?"

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