What Does Dan Kahan Think of Mooney’s ‘The Republican Brain’?

If you’ve followed my regular ravings about Dan Kahan, Chris Mooney, and Mooney’s book The Republican Brain, you will not be surprised to know that I found the following article, just posted on Kahan’s blog, fascinating: What do I think of Mooney’s “Republican Brain”?

As it turns out, I don’t feel persuaded of the central thesis of The Republican Brain. That is, I’m not convinced that the mass of studies that it draws on supports the inference that Republicans/conservatives reason in a manner that is different from and less reasoned than Democrats/liberals.

The problem, though, is with the studies, not Mooney’s synthesis.

Dan Kahan really is just spectacularly awesome.

3 Responses to “What Does Dan Kahan Think of Mooney’s ‘The Republican Brain’?”

  1. shcb Says:

    I find it interesting that someone would write a book subtitled “the Science of why they don’t believe in science”. Really? Republicans don’t believe in science? Then if I get this right, Kahan likes Mooney’s book, he thinks he is fair minded (not sure what that means) but he doesn’t agree with the studies that Mooney is fair minded about. So I guess he likes this book for the entertainment value it has? Maybe someone should right a book about how the liberal mind works to justify this thought process, Ann Coulter probably has.

    Did you guys read about the James Hansen led NASA bobble the other day? One of my Facebook friends was all excited about it. As she misquoted it, the Greenland land mass had melted in 4 days when it usually takes all summer. This is how rumors get started.

    It seems NASA had a press release saying it was totally unprecedented, in the 33 year history of satellite observations this is the first time that the ice has melted across the entire icepack in that short of time. Stop the presses, global warming is real!!!

    My friend is very liberal on some issues, very conservative on others, she is college educated, a lifelong high school teacher and just flew over Greenland twice this summer, and yet she didn’t even read the press release right, it wasn’t the land mass, it was the ice itself. Their was a weather event that pushed 4 warm air systems over the ice, each getting progressively warmer in just a few days. This melted the ice a tiny bit over the entire continent, it has since started to refreeze.

    Now for the science part, core samples show that this event takes place every 150 years, just like clockwork, the last time it happened was, you guessed it, 150 years ago. You know what? They don’t know why.

    But somehow Republicans don’t believe in science?

  2. shcb Says:

    Let me expand, and this is probably what Kahan is talking about. If a liberal (could be a conservative too, I’m using a generalization) doesn’t think nuclear power is the source we should be using is that because they don’t believe in science? The science says nuclear power is a very efficient and clean source of power from a carbon footprint point of view. Is it the perfect source? No of course not, it has its issues as well. But that doesn’t mean that individual or group doesn’t believe in science, both sides of the argument are using perfectly legitimate science to base their policy opinions on.

    It seems JBC and Kahan are both starting to make the turn into realizing that they are wrong in assuming that because someone has come to a different conclusion of a scientific argument it doesn’t mean they are ignoring science completely, and science as a whole, that is just a lazy man’s argumentative tactic. At some point JBC won’t equate people that don’t agree with global warming alarmists to people that don’t believe in vaccines but the turn away from that thought process is like turning a tanker, it takes a while. He and Kahan are moving in that direction but they haven’t quite got there. Kahan says he doesn’t believe in the data Mooney is using, but somehow he still likes what Mooney is saying, how can that be? Well, his bias hasn’t quite been overrun by his logic, he knows the logic is wrong but he doesn’t want it to be wrong. It is a natural progression.

    I was watching an old episode of “House” the other night, in the episode a nun is dying of a yet to be diagnosed ailment, House says to one of the other nuns praying in the chapel, something to the effect that it is probably not comfortable for her to be in the hospital since she figures the lord will save her friend, not the doctors. He made a false assumption based on his biases. To this she replies that if she were to break her arm her faith would tell her that God made it happen and he made it happen for a purpose, but she would still get a cast. She can believe in God and modern medicine at the same time.

    Moral is, all these things can coexist except in the most extreme individuals, God and science, science and a non belief in AGW. I believe abortion is the killing of a child, but I am not anti abortion.

  3. shcb Says:

    Big news today, the Marines are starting to transition back to the 1911, it’s a good day to be an American

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