This research supports Spinoza’s conjecture that most people have a low tolerance for ambiguity and that belief comes quickly and naturally, whereas skepticism is slow and unnatural. The scientific principle of the null hypothesis—that a claim is untrue unless proved otherwise—runs counter to our natural tendency to accept as true what we can comprehend quickly. Given the chance, most of us would like to invoke Adam’s Maxim because it is faster and feels better. Thus, it is that we should reward skepticism and disbelief and champion those willing to change their mind in the teeth of new evidence.
This article was originally published with the title Adam's Maxim and Spinoza's Conjecture.