Opinions outlast fact:
I think by now we have accumulated enough data in the form of educated people ignoring what is obviously the most important issue there is or ever can be so we can confidently announce people are utterly witless. I don’t know whether it was always true, but I can assure you it has been true these last twenty or thirty years. Somebody once said that truth goes through three stages: being ignored, being attacked and then being thought self-evident. Well we’ve got the ignored step well in hand.
There is a recent article (“The Partisan Brain” Economist vol. 429 no. 9121 December 8, 2018 page 33) outlining research that indicates that people will ignore evidence that is contrary to what they already believe. Ok, we knew that. But then get this: “What reason does … is help us justify our beliefs and actions to others … and evaluate the justifications and arguments that others address to us,” in other words, a lot of reasoning is devoted to affirming your group’s identity and your position within it … several recent studies suggest that what was useful on the plains of Africa is common in contemporary America.
No. Tell me they didn’t say that. Here I am screaming that we need to employ the mating strategy that served us so long and so well on those African plains or we’ll die out. It should be the easiest sell the world has ever seen. Instead it’s the hardest.
I am open to new ideas.