Not all fairy tales have happy endings. Just think of Little Red Riding Hood devoured by a wolf. Or poor Dale MacKay, who recently shuttered his two Vancouver restaurants a year after winning the first Top Chef Canada contest.
But let me tell you the story of a new eatery called Fable that’s off to an exceptionally promising start.
There once was a young cook named Trevor Bird. After travelling all over the world (from Truffert in Montreal to an NGO in Peru), he still yearned for a place to call home. As our true reality TV tale begins, he is working as chef de partie at Vancouver’s Shangri-La hotel, a corporate environment that makes him very unhappy because he can’t exercise his creativity. Or at least this is how he keeps explaining his situation on Top Chef Canada, Season 2.
In the show’s early weeks, Mr. Bird appears to be the least confident contender. In one episode, he famously loses his cool when a teammate sends a bowl of macaron batter flying across the studio kitchen. “Why are you still cooking?” he cries, down on his knees, mopping the floor. “And why am I cleaning up your mess?”
Sure enough, it doesn’t take many challenges for Mr. Bird to stretch his proverbial wings. After a couple of bright successes – pork-rind-coated chicken drumsticks here, a “wicked” plate of deconstructed spaghetti-and-meatballs there – his fellow contestants begin referring to him as the “dark horse” to watch out for.
Scientists have revealed one of the reasons why some folks are less religious than others: They think more analytically, rather than going with their gut. And thinking analytically can cause religious belief to wane — for skeptics and true believers alike.
The cognitive origins of belief — and disbelief — traditionally haven’t been explored with academic rigor, said lead author Will Gervais, a social psychologist at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver, Canada.
“There’s been a long-standing intellectual tradition of treating science as one thing and religion as separate, and never the twain shall meet,” he said. But in recent years, he added, there has been a push “to understand religion and why our species has the capacity for religion.”
According to one theory of human thinking, the brain processes information using two systems. The first relies on mental shortcuts by using intuitive responses — a gut instinct, if you will — to quickly arrive at a conclusion. The other employs deliberative analysis, which uses reason to arrive at a conclusion.
Both systems are useful and can run in parallel, the theory goes. But when called upon, analytic thinking can override intuition.
Studies suggest that religious beliefs are rooted in this intuitive processing, Gervais said. So, he wondered, would thinking analytically undermine religious belief as it overrides intuitive thought?
Strange Random Thinking Quote:
“As you begin changing your thinking, start immediately to change your behaviour. Begin to act the part of the person you would like to become. Take action on your behaviour. Too many people want to feel, then take action. This never works.” John Maxwell (American Author and motivational speaker)
- Article: Analytic Thinking Can Promote Atheism (ashishbiswas.wordpress.com)
- Analysis reduces religious belief. Intuition enhances: UBC study (blogs.vancouversun.com)
- Religion and Reason (my.psychologytoday.com)
- Analytic thinking can decrease religious belief: UBC study (eurekalert.org)
- Scientists claim the way a person answers simple math problem is a good predictor of their belief in a religion (boingboing.net)
- Analytical thinking erodes belief in God (newscientist.com)
- Study: Critical Thinkers Less Likely to Believe in God (usnews.com)
- Brain Atrophy Responsible For Religious Belief? (wmbriggs.com)
- Religious people are more likely to be leftwing, says thinktank Demos (guardian.co.uk)