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Thursday, July 21, 2011

Is Dispassionate Science an Oxymoron?

Each side of the climate-change debate tends to think that if people would read more in the scientific literature, they’d take its side. In other words, each thinks people are on the other side are wrong because they aren’t scientifically literate enough.

Apparently that is not the case. Ron Bailey of Reason reports on a study showing that the more familiar people become with the scientific literature, the more firmly they hold the position they started with — no matter which position it is! And what tends to determine people’s position? Their general values orientation.

Confirmation bias is everywhere,” Bailey writes.

HT: Shikha Dalmia

  • Sheldon Richman is the former editor of The Freeman and a contributor to The Concise Encyclopedia of Economics. He is the author of Separating School and State: How to Liberate America's Families and thousands of articles.