"If you weren’t bright enough to do science, you could go into politics," Michael Crichton quipped in an "AEI-Brooks Institution speech awhile back. "I also come from an older and tougher tradition that regards science as the business of testing theories with measured data from the outside world. Untestable hypotheses are not science but rather something else." The left's oxymoronic scientific "consensus" on anthropogenic global warming comes to mind. When people who ARE bright enough to do science -- like Dr. Frank J. Sulloway (posing above with Galápagos Giant Tortoise), who has "published extensively on the life and theories of Charles Darwin," including "Why Darwin Rejected Intelligent Design" -- "join in the political fray, where they really don't belong" and "where they do it really badly," observes Crichton, "they are damaging science as an enterprise."
"The tendency of conservatives to block distracting information could be a good thing depending on the situation," an LA Times reporter paraphrases David Amodio, lead author of an electroencephalograph-based study that purports to demonstrate that "liberals tolerate ambiguity and conflict better than conservatives because of how their brains work":
Previous psychological studies have found that conservatives tend to be more structured and persistent in their judgments.
Well, yes. They stick to their principles.
. . . whereas liberals are more open to new experiences . . . "There is ample data from the history of science showing that social and political liberals indeed do tend to support major revolutions in science," said [Frank J.] Sulloway [a researcher not connected to the study], who has written about the history of science and has studied behavioral differences between conservatives and liberals.
Yah, like liberals' support of voice-in-the-wilderness challenges by global-warming "deniers" in the human-induced-climate-change "debate." Or their openness to giving General Petraeus a chance to speak at his hearing this afternoon before "running a full-page advertisement in the New York Times under the headline: 'General Petraeus or General Betray us? Cooking the books for the White House,'" as The Weekly Standard reports:
MoveOn.org has been working closely with the Democratic congressional leadership -- as an article in today's Sunday New York Times Magazine makes clear. And consider this comment by a Democratic senator from Friday's Politico: "'No one wants to call [Petraeus] a liar on national TV,' noted one Democratic senator, who spoke on the condition on anonymity. 'The expectation is that the outside groups will do this for us.'"
More extrapolations from that brain study:
Sulloway said the results could explain why President Bush demonstrated a single-minded commitment to the Iraq war and why some people perceived Sen. John F. Kerry, the liberal Massachusetts Democrat who opposed Bush in the 2004 presidential race, as a "flip-flopper" for changing his mind about the conflict.
You're projecting again, Dr. Sulloway. Since you and your fellow liberals are so "open to new experiences," how about this one: Maybe the President's "single-minded commitment to the Iraq war" is a sign of character, while John Waffles Kerry's "perceived" flip-flopping betrays a complementary lack of character. As John McCain and Joe Lieberman ask rhetorically in today's Opinion Journal, "The president had the courage to change course on Iraq. Does Congress?"
Update: Dr. Helen links (click on "number" in the first sentence), commenting wryly,
In yet another of their "objective" studies, New York University professors draw conclusions that make liberals look good and conservatives look bad.
The good Doctor is celebrating her second blogiversary this week:
Two years ago in September of 2005, I decided to start blogging so that I would quit yelling at the television, newspaper and anyone else who would listen.
The television's and newspaper's loss is our gain.