Dan Kahan - The Great Ideological Asymmetry Debate

February 13, 2012

Host: Chris Mooney

So who's right, factually, about politics and science? Who speaks truth, and who's just spinning?

It's kind of the million dollar question. If we could actually answer it, we'd have turned political debate itself into a... well, a science.

And is such an answer possible? What does the scientific evidence suggest?

In this episode of Point of Inquiry, Chris Mooney brought back a popular guest from last year, Yale's Dan Kahan, to discuss this very question-one that they've been emailing about pretty much continually ever since Kahan appeared on the show.

In the episode, Kahan and Mooney not only review but debate the evidence on whether "motivated" ideological biases are the same on both sides of the political aisle—or alternatively, whether they're actually "asymmetrical."

Dan Kahan is the Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at the Yale Law School. He's also the Eli Goldston Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School. His research focuses on "cultural cognition"—how our social and political group affiliations affect our views of what's true in contested areas like global warming and nuclear power—and motivated reasoning. Before then, he served as a law clerk to Justice Thurgood Marshall, of the U.S. Supreme Court (1990-91) and to Judge Harry Edwards of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit (1989-90).

Comments from the CFI Forums

If you would like to leave a comment about this episode of Point of Inquiry please visit the related thread on the CFI discussion forums

After hearing several times during this podcast your worry about people sleeping or turning off the podcast I wanted to comment.  I have been listening to the show for several months now and while I enjoy it, I never actually felt the need to comment.  In light of your apparent worries I wanted to make my feelings clear.  I enjoyed this episode immensely and was not bored or tired of the conversation and cannot wait for follow up on this topic.

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 2:31pm by cleardale Comment #1

Wow. thank you. I haven’t shown up in these forums much, but I’ll show up for this comment! thank you thank you for listening and I’m so glad you feel that way

Posted on Feb 14, 2012 at 6:50pm by CMooney Comment #2

I am a new listener and just want to reaffirm cleardale’s post. Phenomenal program, if anything it wasn’t long enough. More like this please. I look forward to your book.

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 at 6:36pm by Richie Comment #3

Nice episode. There are some awfully important concepts in there for those of us who are concerned with the science-acceptance problem.

Posted on Feb 15, 2012 at 9:44pm by TromboneAndrew Comment #4

Way too hot and heavy on the jargon in this episode.  There were large stretches in which Dan and Chris forgot they had an audience and dropped into geek mode, sort of like Robert Price tended to do with his guests.  This is particularly surprising given that they admitted planning out the episode.  Any time you have to apologize to the audience for boring them, it’s a sure sign you’ve messed up the presentation.

Posted on Feb 16, 2012 at 7:42pm by Taylor Comment #5

I haven’t even finished the episode but I have to go. But what myopia. Are you guys even aware of the Boyle-Hobbes debate. Hobbes observed in the 17th century that when their passions and interests are at stake, men will NEVER agree. Save yourself a few centuries of ink and breath here guys. No correlation of evolutionary denialism on the left? For god’s sake what about the denial of the aggressive and malicious intent, and the brutality and deliberate deceptions of the Soviet Union? What about labor union violence, blackmail, and coercion? What about the actual economic effects of minimum wage, federal deficits, and “stimulus” spending? The underlying difference is the overt rejection of truth by the left, considering it a bourgeois weakness or vice in an ends-justifies-the-means Global Revution. For the most part, the right isn’t aware of that. They can’t conceive of so many consistently brazenly dishonest people, but they have realized they can’t trust you. And speaking of denialism - now you can’t imagine why the people who hate you because you hate and mock them as a life mission and lie to them as a deliberate policy, won’t believe you when you think you are telling the truth?

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:01am by rg21 Comment #6

Oh boy, as if to underscore the truth within that interview.

As for the left being guiltless…
ok, ok, so it’s universal.

As for rg21‘s angry rant, I could feel the steam coming out of his ears

For god’s sake what about the denial of the aggressive and malicious intent, and the brutality and deliberate deceptions of the Soviet Union?

Yea, yea and what about McCarthyism and the manufactured paranoia?
Or the stupid counter productive way Cuba was dealt with from the beginning?

What about labor union violence, blackmail, and coercion?


Right, right and child labor, 12hour/6day weeks, no on job safety, no after job support or benefits, no legal standing and incidentally slavery were all wonderful.  eh?

What about the actual economic effects of minimum wage, federal deficits, and “stimulus” spending?


And what’s wrong with minimum wage?
“Federal Deficits” gag me with a spoon and look at what Reagan and the Bush’s did to our deficits.
Not to mention the insane road Bush/Cheney set the world on!
“Stimulus” spending, don’t know about that but what about Corporate Welfare?

For the most part, the right isn’t aware of that. They can’t conceive of so many consistently brazenly dishonest people, but they have realized they can’t trust you. And speaking of denialism - now you can’t imagine why the people who hate you because you hate and mock them as a life mission and lie to them as a deliberate policy, won’t believe you when you think you are telling the truth?

This one is really precious… why not consider the ruthlessness and manufactored crazy making of the likes Marshall Institute, CATO, SPPI, Heartland, Koch and who lordie only knows how many others.


:roll:

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:50am by citizenschallenge.pm Comment #7

As for the interview I found it quite interesting and worth digging some gems out of
though I know it’ll take a couple more listens before those gems soak into me lil head.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:52am by citizenschallenge.pm Comment #8

For god’s sake what about the denial of the aggressive and malicious intent, and the brutality and deliberate deceptions of the Soviet Union? [...] The underlying difference is the overt rejection of truth by the left, considering it a bourgeois weakness or vice in an ends-justifies-the-means Global Revution. For the most part, the right isn’t aware of that. They can’t conceive of so many consistently brazenly dishonest people, but they have realized they can’t trust you.

Your observation about stakes was very apropos. Your rant is a demonstration of that observation.

You speak of left denial when in fact US communists were shattered by revelations of Stalin’s crimes, for example. So it appears you exaggerate left denial all the while ignoring the crimes of the self and profit-oriented.  The right is not aware of “bourgeois weakness” or “vice” (which are now in abundant evidence)? How can that be, hmm?

Your straw conception—“so many consistently brazenly dishonest people”—is a caricature of the left’s explanation of how so many people have been consistently betrayed by profit orientation. Now why would you want to caricature that analysis, hmm?

Getting hot in your world?

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 at 7:54am by DEareckson Comment #9

When scientists appear to be studying rhetoric with intent to manipulate, it makes me very uneasy.

Why not organize a science strike for sane climate policy? I think you will find some very interesting biases in the scientists’ rejections there.

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 at 8:11am by DEareckson Comment #10

One of the questions I have is:  am I wrong in thinking that the progressives were energized and focused in the late 1800s and early 1900s? What changed?

Posted on Feb 17, 2012 at 4:54pm by Roy Comment #11

Taylor,
I’ll take that under advisement. I knew that was a risk with this show.
cm

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 at 4:46am by CMooney Comment #12

Denying the humanity of unborn babies
Denying the brutal tyranny and oppressiveness of Cuba and Castro
Denying the raw repugnant filthiness of sodomy
Denial that anti-white racism is widely institutionalized and practiced and is racism
Denying the net benevolence of modern Christianity, Creationism notwithstanding
Denying the relevance and danger of virulent Islamism
Denying their own blatant bias in response to and treatment of these two religions
Denying the definitional homosexuality of men abusing boys, calling it somehow heterosexual
Denying that exposing women to pain, crippling, mutilation, capture, torture, insult, rape, and death in combat is barbaric.
Denying the obscene stupidity of marketing this as “opportunity” and equality.
A couple of generations of liberals who persisted in denying the stupidity, much less the horror of their youthful (at a minimum) infatuation with communism.
All the anti-McCarthy breast beating denying the existence, much less the seriousness of the Communist and Soviet threats.
Some liberals denying the blatant, increasingly undisguised bias of the national news and entertainment media.
Denying the measured and documented greater generosity, responsibility, and compassion of the average individual conservative in terms of money, time, blood, anything anyone has measured, as compared to the typical liberal.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 at 6:26am by rg21 Comment #13

Ironically, or should I say apropos, I’m in an airport terminal right now with a little kid incoherently screaming at the top of their lungs and the parents seemingly incapable of doing anything about it.

Some sort of cosmic poetry going on there.

At least I know the kid will eventually run out of steam.

PS. this is a discussion thread, not a Time-Out room.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 at 12:58pm by citizenschallenge.pm Comment #14

rg21,

I doubt the 21 stands for your birthyear so I’ll assume it is your actual age. In any case, you have a lot to learn.  Critical thinking is an acquired skill, which you do not yet seem to possess.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 at 3:03pm by Write4U Comment #15

Liberals tend to deny science in areas where the mass of scientists dare not tread, such as evolutionary psychology, psychometrics, and genetics. They think that anything that could be used to justify racism and sexism is wrong to even look into. Such attempts spell career suicide for many scientists.  They will pass around a single study about the “stereotype threat” and ignore the dozens of solid studies about IQ, race, sex differences, and the genetic basis of intelligence.

They assume that all these studies have been debunked. They tend to avoid whole fields because other liberals told them that the whole field is debunked. They pass around myths that spread so fast that by the time they are debunked, they already have moved onto something else. 

For example, the “fact” promoted by Steven J. Gould that in the early 20th century, immigrant Jews had a recorded IQ in the low 80’s. If you try to google this you’ll find no substantiation for such a claim, anywhere.

Gould also claimed that there was no correlation between cranium size and IQ and that this was based on a debunked study. He was wrong, recent studies involving MRI-scans show a correlation of 0.4 between cranium size and IQ.

No one escapes from confirmation bias.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 at 6:41pm by Lysenko Comment #16

Tests in the early 20th century?

By whom and in what language?

Was Steven Gould a liberal?

Did Einstein have a low IQ?

We know whales are intelligent. If cranium size alone would be an indication of IQ then whales are smarter than humans?

Men are smarter than women?

How do you objectively measure IQ?

You are going have to do a lot better than your sweeping observations without any links to reliable and credible studies.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 at 7:54pm by Write4U Comment #17

Liberals tend to deny science in areas where the mass of scientists dare not tread, such as evolutionary psychology, psychometrics, and genetics. They think that anything that could be used to justify racism and sexism is wrong to even look into. Such attempts spell career suicide for many scientists.  They will pass around a single study about the “stereotype threat” and ignore the dozens of solid studies about IQ, race, sex differences, and the genetic basis of intelligence.

They assume that all these studies have been debunked. They tend to avoid whole fields because other liberals told them that the whole field is debunked. They pass around myths that spread so fast that by the time they are debunked, they already have moved onto something else. 

For example, the “fact” promoted by Steven J. Gould that in the early 20th century, immigrant Jews had a recorded IQ in the low 80’s. If you try to google this you’ll find no substantiation for such a claim, anywhere.

Gould also claimed that there was no correlation between cranium size and IQ and that this was based on a debunked study. He was wrong, recent studies involving MRI-scans show a correlation of 0.4 between cranium size and IQ.

No one escapes from confirmation bias.

Why on earth would you pick that screen name?  :-) Love your post, BTW. I hope you stick around.

Posted on Feb 18, 2012 at 9:21pm by George Comment #18

this demonstrates exactly why the scientific community has credibility problems.  the interviewer is claiming that scientific evidence is indisputable fact.  at one point (24:50-25:10) he goes on to say the following


one side may  “have staked out ground that they cant defend, it seems to me that if you have just staked out ground that you cant defend, for example you put your self in conflict with the scientific community then you probably need to be reasonably motivated more because your wrong.  in other words if you keep taking this stance then your going to getting wacked for it.”

this is far from believing that scientific evidence is disputable.  their perception that science cannot be challenged while religion and other thoughts of belief can be picked apart destroys any creditability they would have.  science has been wrong in the past, and thats ok.  what is not ok is saying that todays scientific facts should justify a complete rework of society and allocation of resources.

i really wish both sides would simply say that they are using the information they have to form the best OPINION that they can.  until that day, neither side is worth buying into.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 7:23am by scienceisreligion Comment #19

The point is that scientific claims are based upon objectively verifiable, repeatable evidence, and religious claims are not. Certainly scientific claims can be disputed, but only by providing further evidence that shows those claims to be false. They are not disputable, for example, by reading stories from old books of fables that disagree with them.

And science is not religion, by any reasonable definition.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 7:30am by dougsmith Comment #20

Liberals tend to deny science in areas where the mass of scientists dare not tread, such as evolutionary psychology, psychometrics, and genetics. They think that anything that could be used to justify racism and sexism is wrong to even look into.

Seems to me pretty obvious that things which can be used to justify racism and sexism should be problematic. 19th and 20th century racist theories of eugenics were used as justification for frankly immoral programs such as forced sterilization, removing children from parents, etc. And of course much of Nazi ideology was based on twisted notions of racial purity that stemmed directly from the eugenics movement.

If you are unaware of this history, I would suggest looking, for example, at the Wiki page on eugenics.

That said, you are right to note that recently there have been more responsible scientists who have looked into some of these matters and found genetic differences between human sub-groups. They have at times been pilloried for their work. Steven Pinker talks about this in great detail in his recent book The Blank Slate.

What is clear, I think, is that this kind of work should be carried out responsibly, which is to say with extreme care, given its historical baggage. Partly that means being careful not to overstate the genetic differences between human sub-groups, and partly that means being explicit that this is not aimed at the racist or sexist ends of degrading or abusing one or another human sub-group, simply in virtue of their being born with a certain genetic makeup.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 7:41am by dougsmith Comment #21

*

Your quote is not evidence for your conclusion, so your conflation of science/religion or theory/opinion or fact/anecdote may be due to bad judgment.

I can’t imagine you see this forum as a grandstand for propaganda; yes or no, you really can’t be taken seriously.

Try again,  if you really want to continue exposing yourself.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 7:49am by DEareckson Comment #22

So if something at present day cannot be verified then it simply does not exist.  By this logic, there are no extra terrestrial life because we dont have “objective verifiable, repeatable evidence” that they do.  We simply cannot, and may never be able to explain much of our world.  It would be nice if science would simply admit that there are things we cannot explain and the thing we can are not carved in stone.  I am curious who gets to define “objective” as well. 

religion: a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.  This sounds quite like science to me….

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 7:51am by scienceisreligion Comment #23

@ DEareckson

he says if you dispute scientific evidence then you are wrong.  i am saying science is disputable.  you are correct i do not provide evidence but i am sure you will find plenty of disputed scientific evidence even within your own community. 


p.s.  This forum is nothing but propaganda.  pretending otherwise is simply fooling yourself.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 7:57am by scienceisreligion Comment #24

So if something at present day cannot be verified then it simply does not exist.  By this logic, there are no extra terrestrial life because we dont have “objective verifiable, repeatable evidence” that they do.  We simply cannot, and may never be able to explain much of our world.  It would be nice if science would simply admit that there are things we cannot explain and the thing we can are not carved in stone.  I am curious who gets to define “objective” as well. 

You’re confounding epistemology with metaphysics. Extraterrestrial life may well exist, but we have no reason to believe it does at this time.

OTOH we have good reason to believe that, for example, prayer doesn’t heal, since we have experimental evidence that it does not.

religion: a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects.  This sounds quite like science to me….

That’s an absurdly broad definition of religion. It would, for example, make democracy into a religion. It would make sports into religions. It would make serious hobbies into religions.

Google defines religion better: “The belief in and worship of a superhuman controlling power, esp. a personal God or gods.”

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:05am by dougsmith Comment #25

this kind of work should be carried out responsibly, which is to say with extreme care

The impact of science on society, IOW the uses of science is a troubling moral question for scientists in particular. New understanding is abused by the powerful. Pure mathematicians are grateful for the liberation from public understanding but scientists must be on guard against the abuse of their work.

Reticence to engage in this work is entirely understandable and intense criticism is healthy. Were society not so full of sick motives, this inhibition would not be so necessary.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:09am by DEareckson Comment #26

he says if you dispute scientific evidence then you are wrong.

I wonder why you dropped your quote. He says no such thing there.

This forum is nothing but propaganda.

propaganda - Information, esp. of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote or publicize a particular political cause or point of view.

You may be accurate in using the uncommon denotation, but, given your tendency to slur meaning, no. The term applies to your nonsense.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:22am by DEareckson Comment #27

You said it best, “we have a good reason to believe.”  I ask you dont get defensive on that point and feel the need to explain it off.  Therein lies my point, much of science is belief, as is religion.  Granted, there is more empirical evidence to science, but much of it should not be set forth as fact. 

At this point I would like to emphasize, I take an equal credence into science and religion.  I believe they both hold some truth, are good for society, and neither should make up any individuals complete perspective of life.  There is too much we dont know and never will.  The more we pretend to know, the more foolish we look when we are “proven” wrong.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:28am by scienceisreligion Comment #28

Liberals tend to deny science in areas where the mass of scientists dare not tread, such as evolutionary psychology, psychometrics, and genetics. They think that anything that could be used to justify racism and sexism is wrong to even look into.

Seems to me pretty obvious that things which can be used to justify racism and sexism should be problematic.

Lysenko never said that the research potentially allowing to justify racism and sexism is not problematic. I think you’re reading something that is not there.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:29am by George Comment #29

@ DEareckson

he does say it, its in the quotes originally and in the podcast.  please go back and listen again to the minutes (24:50-25:10)

it is easy to dismiss my statements as nonsense and slurred meanings but harder to really look at what is being posted on this forum.  it is good discussion, but much of it is misleading in nature and used to promote an agenda.  not just what you or I are writing (and yes we BOTH fall in these categories) but much of what is written here on both sides (progressive and conservative).  i dont understand how an intelligent individual like yourself could be so self unaware.  either your bias is soo strong that you believe your opinions are truth, or you simply do not want to believe it.  Deareckson, in all sincerity, you are smarter than that.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 8:39am by scienceisreligion Comment #30

much of science is belief, as is religion. [...] much of it should not be set forth as fact.

Scientists do trade beliefs or provisional theory founded on evidence. That evidence is fact (or falsification) and those beliefs are to be rigorously defended by fact.

Religion, in its rhetorical trickery, banishes evidence.

I believe [science and religion] both hold some truth, are good for society [...] There is too much we dont know and never will.

The God of the gaps continues to shrink. Humans operate on beliefs and religion exploits that vulnerability. Some unwittingly think that fanciful stories are good for society and some are, unfortunately for the rest of us, convinced. Ultimately, religion is irresponsible.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:16am by DEareckson Comment #31

its in the quotes originally

Where?

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 9:19am by DEareckson Comment #32

Liberals tend to deny science in areas where the mass of scientists dare not tread, such as evolutionary psychology, psychometrics, and genetics. They think that anything that could be used to justify racism and sexism is wrong to even look into.

Seems to me pretty obvious that things which can be used to justify racism and sexism should be problematic.

Lysenko never said that the research potentially allowing to justify racism and sexism is not problematic. I think you’re reading something that is not there.

I didn’t say Lysenko said that the research wasn’t problematic. I think you’re reading something that is not there.

;-)

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:24am by dougsmith Comment #33

No, you didn’t explicitly say that, but I know what you’re doing here.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:30am by George Comment #34

No, you didn’t explicitly say that, but I know what you’re doing here.

Oh you do? And what exactly are you doing here, then?

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 10:37am by dougsmith Comment #35

Excuse me for trotting on old ground, doing some catching up here. . .

[#19] This demonstrates exactly why the scientific community has credibility problems.  The interviewer is claiming that scientific evidence is indisputable fact.

It’s this sort of distortion that screws up the whole dialogue.

I dare say you couldn’t find a single serious scientist or student that thinks that. 
Science is all about disputing evidence - but disputing it with more solid evidence.
Uncertainties don’t make something wrong. 
Further evidence often refines knowledge, rather than upturning it.
Although enough further solid evidence can and does upturn scientific tenets.

For example with the Plate Tectonic Revolution, Wagner is often brought up.  Many times with a head shake that he was ‘so wrongly’ rebuffed by the geological community. 
Well actually, the stodgy scientific community was right to demand extraordinary proof for his extraordinary claims.  He was a visionary on the right track, but it takes more than being a visionary on the right.  His vision left too much unexplained so was rejected.  Evidence and proofs were needed.  So it took a few more decades for that stuff to accumulate and for his vision to be vindicated.  So it should be.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

I’ve found that one of the worst problems with the general public appreciating science is how badly it gets misinterpreted and with claims being made that never came out of the literature to begin with.  I see this constantly in the AGW (global warming), evolution debate and many others.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 11:50am by citizenschallenge.pm Comment #36

I find it interesting that the podcast was about scientific evidence gaining acceptance throughout the general community, and whether the barriers to new ideas are greater on one side or symmetrical, but when I try to introduce my own skepticism I am written off because it is not the answer that is being sought after.  Is this not what the podcast is about?  Instead of simply dismissing me, would it not be better to address my concern? Think of me as a very small sampling (I know that large samples are needed but its a start), and use this input to find the real problem with communicating scientific ideas.  When you dismiss me as a know nothing (and when it comes to much of science I am) then you are turning your back on those very people you claim to want to communicate with.  Maybe the arguments between the right and left are more symmetrical than the interviewer believes after all.
Uncertainties do not make things wrong, they make them uncertain!  This is all I am saying, We don’t know.  Science doesn’t explain everything.  Science like religion wants to pretend to have all the answers and in many cases can look foolish in the process.  There are countless “truths” that have later been found to be false.  What is worse is when these “facts” are used to build other “facts.”  Why not simply disseminate the information as current scientific beliefs.  I don’t think this would have add anything negativity to the ideas and at the same time might garner more acceptance with us “general public” folk.
Citizenschallange: I just don’t why the scientific community needs to feel like everything they produce is fact.  Why are you saying I am misrepresenting science, I am not representing anything.
DE: “The God of the gaps continues to shrink. Humans operate on beliefs and religion exploits that vulnerability. Some unwittingly think that fanciful stories are good for society and some are, unfortunately for the rest of us, convinced. Ultimately, religion is irresponsible.”
Religion is not irresponsible.  Thou shall not kill is irresponsible?  Thou shall not steal is irresponsible?  Most religions are based on peace and well being.  Just because you don’t want to believe there is a super human being looking over us does not mean you should turn a blind eye to all the good religion brings such as schools, hospitals, and orphanages.  Casting away these would be irresponsible. 
I find it almost amusing that the scientific community would like to completely abolish the theory of God but at the same time would like to be God.

Posted on Feb 19, 2012 at 6:43pm by scienceisreligion Comment #37

but when I try to introduce my own skepticism I am written off because it is not the answer that is being sought after.  Is this not what the podcast is about?  Instead of simply dismissing me, would it not be better to address my concern?

That doesn’t seem fair.
You’ve been answered in a civil constructive manner, including straight-forward honesty. . . . . . . we’re all big kids, no offense intended.

Uncertainties do not make things wrong, they make them uncertain!  This is all I am saying, We don’t know.  Science doesn’t explain everything.  Science like religion wants to pretend to have all the answers and in many cases can look foolish in the process.*  There are countless “truths” that have later been found to be false. 

*No it doesn’t!
Religion has a dogma that must be accepted… doubts to that dogma are not tolerated - instead replaced by the demand of faith, even when that faith requires
Willfully Ignoring the full spectrum of evidence… of life.

Science is build on the premise all knowledge is provisional, open to re-review., retesting.  Of course science is also a human endeavor and there are examples of… accepted wisdom becoming too entrenched, much too much, beyond supportable underpinning.  But, the science ethic itself comes to the rescue because within her is a set of ground-rules that enable new eyes to challenge and superimpose better understanding upon older, lessor understanding.

After all it is a pageant, not a machine.  ;-)

Whereas seems to me all religion has to offer is endless repetition,
a horizon from which the beauty of discovery has been banished…

... actually thinking on it just now, sort of is like a machine

What is worse is when these “facts” are used to build other “facts.”

 
Where’s that dramatic flourish come from?  Can you explain it?  Support it?

Why not simply disseminate the information as current scientific beliefs?

What do you mean?  Searching our scientific information and coming up to speed on the knowledge and debate of the moment, it’s not that tough to do. Keeping up with it once you’ve found it, that test is a bitch.

So tell us ‘scienceisreligion’ what information do you believe is not being disseminated?
List some of your “countless (banished) truths” ?
Can you offer details?
What specific part(s) of science is giving you a problem?
It’d be interesting looking into the rest of story

Citizenschallange: I just don’t (see) why the scientific community needs to feel like everything they produce is fact. 

Why are you saying I am misrepresenting science, I am not representing anything.

Look at what you write.  You’re bias burns.
Your characterizations of science/scientists have nothing to do with what actual science is about.

I find it almost amusing that the scientific community would like to completely abolish the theory of God but at the same time would like to be God.

There you go again, projecting your obsesses and baggage into your own story. 
Keep in mind simply because you misunderstand & misrepresent what “science is or believes” doesn’t make it so.

          ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

incidentally regarding

This forum is nothing but propaganda.  pretending otherwise is simply fooling yourself.

Who’s fooling whom
What does that mean? 

This is an open forum - there’s nothing here but individuals having a few discussions
We’re a gathering of totally disparate individuals. 

We got one thing in common, we can talk/write about common interests in a convivial atmosphere; 
That and all the participants are quite interesting folks in their own right.
This is a discussion community, one of high caliber at that, yet in your imagination you’ve morphed it into some “propaganda machine.” 
Then you sound stunned when some take a swipe at you.

:cheese:


But, I like your posts, at least you’re having a discussion as opposed to pure rant.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 at 5:21pm by citizenschallenge.pm Comment #38

citizenschallange: I dont have the time to address everything at the moment, but I did want to write a few quick comments.

“That doesn’t seem fair.
You’ve been answered in a civil constructive manner, including straight-forward honesty. . . . . . . we’re all big kids, no offense intended.”

I have been answered in constructive manner on certain things, other things have just been disregarded with semi-personal attacks.

“So tell us ‘scienceisreligion’ what information do you believe is not being disseminated?”
I am not saying things have not been disseminated, logically, that would be almost impossible to prove anyway.  What i am saying is the way it is disseminated.  In other words, it should be expressed as “what is currently believed” or “current studies suggest” etc.  Not presented to the general public as fact. 

“Look at what you write.  You’re bias burns.”
yes i am, i have stated this previously, and will not deny it now.  Can you do the same?

“Religion has a dogma that must be accepted… doubts to that dogma are not tolerated - instead replaced by the demand of faith, even when that faith requires
Willfully Ignoring the full spectrum of evidence… of life.”
I have my problems with religion as well, but I express those issues with people of faith (different boards).  There would be no point in discussing the problems with religion here or the problems with science there.  I HATE group think!

“Who’s fooling whom”
this was in response to someone claiming my writings were propaganda. 

Lastly, I like the fact that this is an open forum and my posts are not only left up, but responded to.  I am very happy a friend of mine lead me here as I believe this site, its podcasts, and boards will be very informative to me.  I have a much thicker skin than you may think, and enjoy spirited (pun intended) discussions haha.

p.s.  I need time to answer some of your more thoughtful questions, obviously my answer will be scrutinized (and I am ok with that) so I dont want to post rushed, unthoughtful (researched) garbage.

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 at 7:23pm by scienceisreligion Comment #39

p.s.  I need time to answer some of your more thoughtful questions, obviously my answer will be scrutinized (and I am ok with that) so I don’t want to post rushed, unthoughtful (researched) garbage.

As will mine and so it should be.

welcome

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 at 7:47pm by citizenschallenge.pm Comment #40

SR,
I have my problems with religion as well, but I express those issues with people of faith (different boards).  There would be no point in discussing the problems with religion here or the problems with science there.  I HATE group think!

I disagree with that observation. It is Fora like CFI which allow for free expression without automatic rejection. Yes you will find vigorous debate but you are allowed to post and defend your position. The very diversity on this forum prevents “group think”. Group think is only found in those other group boards you cite. An atheist or scientist is not even allowed to post and present their viewpoint on those sites. They are automatically excluded by the Group.

Beware bias!

Posted on Feb 20, 2012 at 8:10pm by Write4U Comment #41

I tend to agree there is nothing quite like the almost total denial that climate is an issue that we see in the Republican Party in the Democratic Party.  Part of my assessment on this has to do with how serious I take climate change to be.  But because I see nuclear power as a potential game changing solution to the problem of how to replace the fossil fuels, I think the anti nuke tendency that is widespread in the “left” has similarities, as noted on your show.  But nuclear power isn’t the only issue connected with climate change the “left” has blinders on about. 

One way to experience first hand how hard and fast denial on “the left” is is to take a position in a comment submitted to a “left” website.  Eg:  at Joe Romm’s site under this post where he discussed his position on carbon capture and storage I submitted a comment that linked to a Public Radio International piece describing that according to American Electric Power’s CEO Mike Morris, their carbon capture technology is ready to deploy at full scale now and what caused them to abandon their plan to deploy it at their Mountaineer plant in Virginia was the fact that because there is no carbon price in the US their regulator would not allow them to recover one dime of the cost from their customers.  Morris stated a new coal plant fitted with his company’s CCS process would produce low carbon power cheaper than new nuclear, solar or wind.  I commented to Romm:  “But of course the mantra here is CCS doesn’t exist, and can’t be part of any mitigation effort.  No wonder ‘progressives’ are dismissed as dispensing propaganda by many who would like to pretend that climate change is not happening”. 

For this, the name I was using to comment, i.e. Joe Bftsplk, found himself permanently banned from Romm’s site.  Any further comments I submitted under that name didn’t even make it into the moderation queue. 

You can get the same treatment if you say the wrong thing about nuclear power.  The reason I have to use made up names to comment on Romm’s site is because I have made comments on nuclear in the past and had my I.P. address or email address or username or all three identified and banned. 

Many on the “left” pretend they don’t oppose nuclear power or carbon capture but they do.  Romm claims his main objection to nukes is they are not cost effective.  Why is China putting in so many nukes that they will be producing the greatest share of its low carbon kW/hr going forward?  Romm delights in publicizing cost overruns on nukes in the developed world, i.e. Finland, but ignores reactor construction going on in China as he declares nukes are too expensive for anyone to use.  When solar panel construction moves to China Romm cheers at the prospect for low cost panels no matter what that situation does to his mantra of climate action will produce millions of green jobs.  But when reactor construction moves to China he pretends it isn’t happening.  Australian power producers expect to be able to order turnkey nukes from China after the Chinese get the process of building them down pat after a few dozen.  Perhaps the US will be in that position as well, unable to compete with China building modular small breeders that the entire world will be demanding as the impacts of climate change set in.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 at 9:15am by David Lewis Comment #42

I tend to agree there is nothing quite like the almost total denial that climate is an issue that we see in the Republican Party in the Democratic Party.  But when reactor construction moves to China he pretends it isn’t happening.  Australian power producers expect to be able to order turnkey nukes from China after the Chinese get the process of building them down pat after a few dozen.  Perhaps the US will be in that position as well, unable to compete with China building modular small breeders that the entire world will be demanding as the impacts of climate change set in.

Wait a minute, where did that come from, think Non Sequitur.  What’s this got to do with pondering bias when evaluating information… a little maybe but seems like a derailment.

Why not start a fresh thread of your own. 
define it a bit better and you got a conversation getter. 

Links that support claims are also welcome.

Posted on Feb 22, 2012 at 12:23pm by citizenschallenge.pm Comment #43

For issues where the left exhibits motivated reasoning, there are a few good examples in the second half of Joseph Heath’s _Economics without Illusions_, which is about economic myths of the right and left.  (BTW, rg21 should certainly read the first half of that book…)  Economics seems to be an area where there are at least equally bad arguments on both sides of the right-left political spectrum.

Posted on Feb 25, 2012 at 11:01am by Jim Lippard Comment #44

For issues where the left exhibits motivated reasoning, there are a few good examples in the second half of Joseph Heath’s _Economics without Illusions_, which is about economic myths of the right and left.  (BTW, rg21 should certainly read the first half of that book…)  Economics seems to be an area where there are at least equally bad arguments on both sides of the right-left political spectrum.

Have any examples to share?

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 at 8:53am by citizenschallenge.pm Comment #45

For issues where the left exhibits motivated reasoning, there are a few good examples in the second half of Joseph Heath’s _Economics without Illusions_, which is about economic myths of the right and left.  (BTW, rg21 should certainly read the first half of that book…)  Economics seems to be an area where there are at least equally bad arguments on both sides of the right-left political spectrum.

Have any examples to share?

You can hear Heath talk about a few of them himself on the Rationally Speaking podcast from January 10:

  http://rationallyspeaking.blogspot.com/2012/01/new-rationally-speaking-podcast-joseph.html

A few examples of fallacies of the right include misunderstanding moral hazard and incentives, incorrectly assuming that approximation to the Invisible Hand Theorem is good enough (and failing to account for the Second Best Theorem), treating government as though it is a consumer of wealth, and assuming that capitalism is “natural.”  A few examples of fallacies of the left include mistaken notions of a “just price,” using “education” as a universal panacea where there are incentive problems (and timing-of-incentive problems), and thinking that capitalism is a system on the verge of collapse.

Posted on Feb 26, 2012 at 12:45pm by Jim Lippard Comment #46