22 April 2011

Friday Funny - Neural Circuits

Chris Mooney explains the biological mechanisms that have led experts to be able to protect their minds against the corrosive effects of ideology and politics:
I’m not saying anyone is capable of being 100 percent unbiased but I am saying that scientists evaluate scientific claims, and also claims about expertise, using the norms of their profession, precisely because they have neural circuits for doing so laid down by many years of experience. Which the other groups don’t have.
So when it is revealed that many scientists have partisan and ideological leanings this is not a function of their biases, but rather a reflection of truth. This is quite different than arguing that "Liberals have a reality bias."  You can follow the logic from there.