Tuesday, April 19, 2011
The Science of Why We Don't Believe Science | Mother Jones
Chris Mooney at Mother Jones magazine gives a good review in a long article of the research into why some reject out of hand science that contradicts their beliefs and cling to studies that give support. I would love to write that I am immune to this bias but I am not. That is why all of the evidence (or as much of it as possible) needs to be considered before a judgment can be made. Reconciling one's beliefs with scientific findings that are contrary is a painful process for anyone indeed.
Those who have a financial interest in keeping a large segment of the public in line with beliefs that are contrary to scientific findings, such as the petroleum industry and global warming, will often spend money to propaganda to maintain these beliefs. Mooney shows how easy this is to do and maintain. It's not necessary to persuade everyone to cling to these beliefs just enough to block effective action on these issues.