How many times have you heard people say something like: I don’t know why people… add in your verbs of choice here.
Using the Global warming debate, Yale did a study to find out why people remain so divided. Is it because they don’t understand the science? Can’t do the math?
The study published in the journal Nature Climate Change asks the question: If Americans knew more basic science and were more proficient in technical reasoning, would public consensus match scientific consensus? The study suggests the answer is: no.
I suppose this studies information could account for any number of cultural divides that would seem to be resolved by facts and good information.
Funded by the National Science Foundation, the study was conducted by researchers associated with the Cultural Cognition Project at Yale Law School and involved a nationally representative sample of 1500 U.S. adults.
“The aim of the study was to test two hypotheses,” said Dan Kahan, Elizabeth K. Dollard Professor of Law and Professor of Psychology at Yale Law School and a member of the study team. “The first attributes political controversy over climate change to the public’s limited ability to comprehend science, and the second, to opposing sets of cultural values. The findings supported the second hypothesis and not the first,” he said.
That seems to say it is not what you know but who you know. That would certainly be true of the drama in Second Life. The amazing part is the more capable one is of technical reasoning the more likely one is to be able to spin the data to match their groups agenda and actually do the spin without noticing. One of those lacks of self awareness things.
Obviously, the answer to life, the universe, and everything still stands as: 42.