Why Facts Don’t Change Our Minds

By Elizabeth Kolbert – Re-Blogged From The New Yorker

In 1975, researchers at Stanford invited a group of undergraduates to take part in a study about suicide. They were presented with pairs of suicide notes. In each pair, one note had been composed by a random individual, the other by a person who had subsequently taken his own life. The students were then asked to distinguish between the genuine notes and the fake ones.

Some students discovered that they had a genius for the task. Out of twenty-five pairs of notes, they correctly identified the real one twenty-four times. Others discovered that they were hopeless. They identified the real note in only ten instances.

As is often the case with psychological studies, the whole setup was a put-on. Though half the notes were indeed genuine—they’d been obtained from the Los Angeles County coroner’s office—the scores were fictitious. The students who’d been told they were almost always right were, on average, no more discerning than those who had been told they were mostly wrong.

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Anti-GMO Attitudes Study Nature 2019

By Joel O’Bryan, PhD – Re-Blogged From WUWT

Screen Shot 2019-01-26 at 10.15.01 PMFrom NPR on-line, there is this news item:

“People Strongly Against GMOs Had Shakier Understanding Of Food Science, Study Finds”

January 26, 2019 7:00 AM ET

https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/01/26/687852367/people-strongly-against-gmos-had-shakier-understanding-of-food-science-study-fin

“People who most intensely oppose genetically modified food think they know a lot about food science, but actually know the least, according to a peer-reviewed paper published in January in the journal Nature Human Behaviour.”

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Two Competing Narratives on Carbon Dioxide

Is carbon dioxide our friend or our foe?

By Iain Aitken – Re-Blogged From http://www.WattsUpWithThat.com

Here is a dossier of key facts about carbon dioxide (and its role in global warming):

· It is an incombustible, colourless, odourless, tasteless and non-toxic gas

· It is a plant nutrient and, as the ‘fuel’ of photosynthesis and the creation of oxygen, it is absolutely essential to the existence of life on Earth

· Its fertilisation effect has meant that, thanks to our anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions increasing concentrations in the atmosphere, crop yields have improved dramatically to date and will continue to improve in the future

· It is a weak greenhouse gas

· Global warming precedes, and then causes, increases in carbon dioxide emissions

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