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The neuroscience of why conservatives are supposed to be stupider than liberals is just an add-on

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… with hot new machines

The fMRI machines and bogus theories re simply the latest development in a long public relations war. For example, from Samuel Goldman, “Right Minds”, (The American Conservative, February 28, 2011),

Radicals, liberals, and progressives have dismissed conservatism as a mental defect ever since it emerged as a distinctive brand of political thought with the publication of Edmund Burke’s Reflections on the Revolution in France in 1790. According to Thomas Paine, Burke’s opposition to the revolution was based on an “obliteration of knowledge.” Several decades later, John Stuart Mill asserted that, although not all conservatives are stupid, “most stupid people are conservative.” In the mid-20th century, Theodore Adorno diagnosed conservative views as symptoms of a pathological “authoritarian personality.” More recently, some neuroscientists have argued that conservatives have bigger amygdalae than liberals. This turns out to be far from complimentary: the amygdala is the region of the brain associated with feelings of fear and disgust rather than thinking.

Sure, but why limited it to conservatives? All kinds of politically or commercially motivated conclusions are drawn from taking neuroscience “finds” out of context. Next, we’ll be hearing that Chevy Volt drivers are either smarter or stupider than the public at large, based on “the best results of motivated neuroscience.”

Paging Dr. Raymond Tallis, paging Dr. Raymond Tallis: Atheist doctor: “Darwinitis” and “neuromania” are dangerous, rather than merely irritating

Incidentally, … dissenting neuroscientists? A scholarly work here.

See also: “I don’t believe in science; science is our defence against belief.”

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I feel stupider with each passing day, and my liberal friends agree. Funny though--libs were passing the President off as "Burkean" not too long ago. Locke, Newton, Madison, Smith, de Tocqueville, Coleridge, Popper, Hayek. Not a bad list. (The last two used "liberal" in a different sense from the OP.) Some from the arts the libs would like to claim as their own (but they can't): Homer, Virgil, Horace, Shakespeare, Milton, Beethoven, Wordsworth. Oh yeah, and don't forget Aristotle. allanius

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