Update The link to Sam Harris’s abysmal study are now provided.
That is the (modified) subtitle of the sanctimoniously self-satisfied Chris Mooney’s new book, “The Republican Brain: The Science of Why They Deny Science–and Reality.” I just this morning learned of this latest entry of dismal statistics from Jonah Goldberg’s NRO column (see also this).
Regular readers will be long familiar with the parade of faulty papers which claim that Republicans, conservatives, and Christians are stupid, unthinking, easily led, uncompassionate, and set off on their sad road by delusional beliefs in God or because they once attended a Fourth of July parade (yes, really).
Apparently Mooney, who also wrote The Republican War on Science, has compiled these studies and come to the conclusion that the sheer number of them proves that he and his fellow leftists are just better creatures. As in wired better, genetically superior, purer souls by birth—made of the Right Stuff, worthy of what comes to them, more worthy, perhaps, of life.
Doubt me? From the blurb: “A significant chunk of the electorate, it seems, will never accept the facts as they are, no matter how strong the evidence.” Just you ponder what this sentence implies.
I have not yet read the book: my information comes from Mooney’s other writings, the comments to his book on Amazon (which amusingly pairs Mooney’s book with Rachel Madow’s Drift), and my long exposure to the same genre of papers which Mooney uses as the basis for his book.
I have been meaning for quite some time to compile a list of the posts I wrote exposing the flaws, biases, faulty statistics, unwarranted conclusions, rampant, wild-eyed speculation, bizarreries, and even gaucheries of these papers. But the key word is “time:” I haven’t any. Yet I have begun the list today here (I checked back to 30 June 2010). I’ll later reproduce it under my Start Here tab.
Can I ask your help in reminding me of the relevant posts? Write them in the Comments section or send me an email. Send me other criticisms as well, if you can. Or send me links to news reports or papers which make claims along the Moonian line.
Send this list (a link to this post) to anybody in thrall to Mooney or who thinks well of his ideas.
The New Mismeasure Of Man: Official List
(Say: good title for a book.)
- Conservatives suffer from Dark Triad personalities
- Brief exposure to the American flag turns one into a Republican
- Exposure to 4th of July parade turns one into a Republican
- fMRIs can tell the difference between Christians and non-Christians (Sam Harris): I, II, III, IV, V, VI, VII
- Differences In Brains Between Believers And Atheists
- Science Explains Belief In God Through Genetics
- Bright Minds and Dark Attitudes: Lower Cognitive Ability Predicts Greater Prejudice Through Right-Wing Ideology and Low Intergroup Contact
- Atheists More Motivated By Compassion Than The Faithful
- More Analytical Thinkers Are Atheists: Study
- Conservatives Produced By “Low Effort” Thinking: Study
- Brain Atrophy Responsible For Religious Belief?
- Do Conservatives Distrust Science More Than Liberals?
- Experts Say People Aren’t Smart Enough
- A Pill To Eliminate Racism? What’ll Science Think Of Next!
- Ten Politically Incorrect So-Called Truths About Human Nature: 1 — 5, 6 — 10
- The Selfish Genes Of Dennett’s Atheists
- Bad News For Conservatives? Or Bad News For Rational Thought?
- Your Belief In God Is Causing Your Denial Of AGW
- Kanazawa Uses Statistics And Evolutionary Psychology To “Prove” Black Women Less Attractive
- Belief In God “Rooted” In Human Nature Say Academics
- Do Americans Still Dislike Atheists?
- Religion May Become Extinct, Experts
- Will The Religious Out-Breed Us All?
- Eliminating Randomness Reduces Need For God And Increases Belief In Evolution
Supplementary papers likeAcademic Pscyhologists Over-Rely On WEIRD People: Overconfidence Results, Women Spot Snakes Faster Before Their Periods, and How To Present Anything As Significant are okay, but not the main thrust. Eschew global warming unless the focus is on what kind of people reasonable, clear-thinking skeptics (i.e. “deniers”) are.
It’s worth reading those reviewers mentioned about. One reviewer claims that one of the main points of Mooney’s book is “The liberal/conservative divide has widened over the past few decades not only because of the conservative revolution of the 1970s-80s, but also because of the growth of cable news and the Internet. The new sources allow conservatives to have easy access to like-minded thinkers and a wide array of ‘experts’ to back up their erroneous claims and create a new reality that conforms to their worldview.”
Yet–somehow—leftists are immune to this kind of mindless herding. Sheesh.
Update Goldberg posted this video (hat tip to Nate Winchester) yesterday (I didn’t know about this study, but it’s one for the books).