The tendency to falsely link cause to effect – a superstition – is occasionally beneficial, says Kevin Foster, an evolutionary biologist at Harvard University.
These are the stories we tell around the campfires, that sort of thing? Maybe there's not so much of it these days.
"Once you get to things like avoiding ladders and cats crossing the road, it's clear that culture and modern life have had an influence on many of these things," says Foster.
"My guess would be that in modern life, the general tendency to believe in things where we don't have scientific evidence is less beneficial than it used to be," he adds.
I wonder whether AOL.com is like “The CBS Evening News” — an icon from another age that serves an aging and declining audience, despite regular efforts at remodeling.
Asks the NYT.