All political movements are like this -- we are in the right, everyone else is in the wrong. The people on our own side who disagree with us are heretics, and they start becoming enemies. With it comes an absolute conviction of your own moral superiority. There's oversimplification in everything, and a terror of flexibility.
At the end of the 30 Years War then, Europe broadly decided to separate the sacred from the secular in its political culture. I know that is an oversimplification, but it is instructive, and it led to a growth in religious tolerance that has characterized the best of Western life since.
The theoretical fruits of deliberate oversimplification through idealization are not to be denied... Reality in all its messy particularity is too complicated to theorize about, taken straight. The issue is, rather (since every idealization is a strategic choice), which idealizations might really shed some light... which will just land us... diverting fairy tales.
With an absurd oversimplification, the 'invention' of the calculus is sometimes ascribed to two men, Newton and Leibniz. In reality, the calculus is the product of a long evolution that was neither initiated nor terminated by Newton and Leibniz, but in which both played a decisive part.
A large number of well-trained scientists outside of evolutionary biology and paleontology have unfortunately gotten the idea that the fossil record is far more Darwinian than it is. This probably comes from the oversimplification inevitable in secondary sources: low-level textbooks semipopular articles, and so on. Also, there is probably some wishful thinking involved. In the years after Darwin, his advocates hoped to find predictable progressions. In general. these have not been found-yet the optimism has died hard and some pure fantasy has crept into textbooks.
David M. Raup
Poetry leads us to the unstructured sources of our beings, to the unknown, and returns us to our rational, structured selves refreshed. Having once experienced the mystery, plenitude, contradiction, and composure of a work of art, we afterward have a built-in resistance to the slogans and propaganda of oversimplification that have often contributed to the destruction of human life. Poetry is a verbal means to a nonverbal source. It is a motion to no-motion, to the still point of contemplation and deep realization.
The 'environmental crisis' has happened because the human household or economy is in conflict at almost every point with the household of nature. We have built our household on the assumption that the natural household is simple and can be simply used. We have assumed increasingly over the last five hundred years that nature is merely a supply of 'raw materials,' and that we may safely possess those materials by taking them.... And so we will be wrong if we attempt to correct what we perceive as 'environmental' problems without correcting the economic oversimplification that caused them.
Complex organisms cannot be construed as the sum of their genes, nor do genes alone build particular items of anatomy or behavior by themselves. Most genes influence several aspects of anatomy and behavior as they operate through complex interactions with other genes and their products, and with environmental factors both within and outside the developing organism. We fall into a deep error, not just a harmful oversimplification, when we speak of genes "for" particular items of anatomy or behavior.
Stephen Jay Gould