It would seem that expecting people to be convinced by the facts flies in the face of, you know, the facts.
Chris Mooney offered up a veritable briar patch of stochastic possibilities with his recent article, The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science, at Mother Jones.
This is not a new topic for the Open Left crowd. Some topics, however, may benefit from being repeated. There’s a lot of “motivated reasoning”, I think, in the deference so many on the leftish end of the US political spectrum show toward Obama and the Democratic Party in general. This is not a novel idea. It has been hashed over by others.
There is much to be discussed about the motivations that beget the kind of rational use of the irrational that underlies this phenomenon. Or is it, the irrational use of rationality? Ivy League lawyer, Dan Kahan, sums it up:
The study subjects weren’t “anti-science”—not in their own minds, anyway. It’s just that “science” was whatever they wanted it to be.
Maybe you’ve already seen the story, or maybe you’ll get caught up in the hype tomorrow.
Sounds pretty cool, huh? Microfossils of cyanobacteria in very rare meteorites that “prove” life exists “somewhere else” in the universe than on this planet.
Not so fast, says PZ Meyers and David Dobbs. But the lesson here is deeper than understanding that this is a controversial finding. Pay attention to the reasons why Meyers and Dobbs doubt the validity of the claim. Then think back to my running dispute with metamars about the “science” behind climate change denial.