Dan Kahan, Upton Sinclair, Lloyd discussed on Stuff To Blow Your Mind

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They come out to tell you that the scientists are wrong. But anyway, given evidence that has emerged in recent years. I think maybe later on episode. We should come back and try to do an updated version of this Upton Sinclair, quote, because I think that the scope of this quote is actually to limited but just focusing on the salaries, so so we'll come. Back to this. But today, we're going to be talking about a form of motivated reasoning form of motivated reasoning called motivated numeracy. And specifically how that relates to the idea of identity, protective cognition, and this is come up on the show before we talked about it in an episode while back called science communication breakdown. I think that was like a year and a half ago or so I believe so. Yeah. But it was based on when you had gone to the world science festival and seen talk that included the work of the Yale psychologist, Dan Kahan. Who is he does a lot of really interesting research about biases and motivated reasoning and the ways in which our brains failed to be rational in one way, sometimes by being sort of subversively rational in another way. Yeah. Isn't it? Interesting. How we sometimes as seem to outsmart ourselves these matters. Yeah. So I want to start by thinking about two different kinds of disagreements that come up when people talk about politics. Obviously, lots of different ways. People can disagree about politics here, two different kinds of currently politically, relevant statements. One is somebody who says the government shouldn't have a right to tax my income. Right. You might talk to a libertarian who says. And then here's a different politically relevant statement human activity is the primary driver of global climate change. Now people have political arguments over statements like both of these to all the time. But these are not at all the same kind of statement one big difference is that the first statement is a statement about values like you can't do a bunch of empirical experiments to determine if it's correct or not that the government should be allowed to tax people. That's just a question about what you believe should be the case, what about values and priorities and about the priorities of the person making the statement. Right. It's it's a it's a commentary on how you think or how one group thinks politics should work or how government should work rather? And we shouldn't be confused by the idea of political science political science, though, a serious field is a different matter compared to the natural sciences. Well, it's certainly true that with questions about like whether. Not you should tax income. You can approach that question from the point of optimizing for certain goals like you specify goal, and you compare different methods of achieving that goal then you can do that. But like absent all of that kind of framework. That's just a statement about values on the other hand that you've got the human activity is the primary driver of global climate change that statement is not like that. There simply is a fact of the matter either human activity is the primary cause of global climate change or it, isn't and you can do empirical experiments to test this hypothesis. And of course, the answer is. Yes, we now know that it is the primary driver of global climate change with like a, you know, ninety something percent certainty, we really really strongly. No, this this is undoubtedly the scientific consensus, even though this question is politically controversial, it's not scientifically controversial. And if you doubt, this you actually have the ability to go look up the evidence yourself, especially that's one thing that the internet is great for you can go read the most. Recent IPC report, you can read the thousands of individuals studies you can look at the data and read the climate. Scientists own words about how their conclusions drawn from the data of their experiments, and if you actually do that, I think any reasonable person should be able to conclude, of course, human activities the primary cause of climate change. And yet that's not what happens is it questions. Like this remain politically controversial with people often judging the answer in a way that aligns with their political identity. Now speaking politics, I just wanna throw a quick fact Lloyd here about the episode we were recording this on election day, it will be published after election day. So yeah. So we don't know what the outcome's gonna be. Yeah. So so none of this..

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