Humans Are Pattern Seeking Primates Hunting for Habits

Recognizing patterns is a way of ordering, or seeing order in, the world. Spotting patterns can be a way of perceiving meaning, although we must remain aware that where there is a pattern there is not always meaning. Maintaining a rational open-minded stance or avoiding the satisfying jump to conclusions can be surprisingly hard to do. Humans have evolved to notice patterns and ascribe, if not meaning, then at least significance, to them. English philosopher and scientist Francis Bacon said that humanity has a proclivity to “suppose the existence of more order and regularity in the world than it finds.”

Dryburgh Coat of Arms on Tartan

The tartan is a pattern without meaning (other than denoting clan) while the patterns on the coat of arms are heraldic and loaded with meaning. (Photo:

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