1. Dan

    Might you say that Donald Trup is an exception to your “First, no one ever admits to closed-mindedness” rule?

    • Bookscrounger


      He certainly shouts closed-mindedness in so much of what he says. It would be an interesting experiment to ask him if he were closed-minded. My guess is that he would remain within his hypocrisy and claim that, just as he does with women’s rights, religious freedom and the importance of immigrants, he would say (say? insist) that he was open-minded.

      Or rather, “I’m very open-minded. I’m a really, really open-minded guy. Ask anyone who knows me, they’ll tell you I’m one of the most open-minded guys around.”

      You get the picture.

  2. Robin T

    Really worthwhile post, Joe. I will be forwarding to my scientistic brother in law. 🙂

  3. M

    People do tend to enjoy and defend their silos. It’s impossible (is it?) to prove a negative so one has to wonder to what extent mankind has shortchanged itself.

    It was refreshing to see Stephen Hawking reverse himself on the “finality” of black holes and take note that radiation could, in fact, escape (contrary to his previous view that nothing could ever escape.)


    • Bookscrounger

      Yeah. I keep mentioning Kuhn. At the end of his book, he talks about science education and points out that we do not teach the scientist to think critically and skeptically. The science students they would get in the classes for history of science or philosophy of science would frequently turn out to be great students but they struggled out of the gate. It would take them a while to wrap their heads around the idea that scientific ‘truth’ wasn’t what they were taught it was.

  4. Durl

    It seems to be human nature to try to figure out how things work and then accept that as a constant. The true essence of training to be a scientist is to learn to question those “truths” we believe in. I had some great teachers and mentors in my science education, and even later on in my career in science.

    And, I saw some great examples of the fundamentalists mentioned in this article … those who had an entrenched model and would reject any attempt to disprove it. Eventually, they’d have to cave in to overwhelming facts, but it was painful to watch them try to discredit those who were really trying to find the truth.

    • Bookscrounger

      Actually, I suspect that most fundamentalists never change.

      They just die, and then the young Turks get their chance…

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.