on call today, so I am about to go in to the hospital for a full day of
work. But while drinking my coffee I encountered an article
that I need to get back to. Maybe some of you could take a
look at it too, if you have subscriber or academic access to Science.
Origins of Adult Resistance to Science
Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg
Science 18 May 2007:
Vol. 316. no. 5827, pp. 996 – 997
Resistance to certain scientific ideas derives in large
part from assumptions and biases that can be demonstrated
experimentally in young children and that may persist into adulthood.
In particular, both adults and children resist acquiring scientific
information that clashes with common-sense intuitions about the
physical and psychological domains. Additionally, when learning
information from other people, both adults and children are sensitive
to the trustworthiness of the source of that information. Resistance to
science, then, is particularly exaggerated in societies where
nonscientific ideologies have the advantages of being both grounded in
common sense and transmitted by trustworthy sources.
Department of Psychology, Yale University, New Haven, CT 06520, USA.
Being ever so cynical, it occurs to me that such findings could be used
intentionally to foster a disbelief in rational thought in general, and
to science in particular.