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← The real danger in Darwin is not evolution, but racism

Melomel's Avatar Jump to comment 277 by Melomel

There you go, with the reason again. There are some very basic unreasonable aspects of the way humans process information of a certain kind over time.

No, seriously. I wish I had the reference handy, a study about this was published in the last year - when somebody makes a public claim and others refute it, the original claim is remembered more strongly than the refutation. This is why, for example, people still think that Saddam Hussein had something to do with September 11th - the original claim is remember more than the refutation is.

Scary, isn't it? This helps to explain why our public debate is a matter of claim-counterclaim instead of claim-refutation. Reason is effective in dealing with the natural world, it's just not very effective in persuading most humans.

Douglas Adams got it right: people are a problem.

Thu, 24 Jan 2008 20:57:00 UTC | #110341