From political scientist (read “activist”) Brendan Nyhan at the New York Times July 5:
In a new study, a Yale Law School professor, Dan Kahan, finds that the divide over belief in evolution between more and less religious people is wider among people who otherwise show familiarity with math and science, which suggests that the problem isn’t a lack of information. When he instead tested whether respondents knew the theory of evolution, omitting mention of belief, there was virtually no difference between more and less religious people with high scientific familiarity. In other words, religious people knew the science; they just weren’t willing to say that they believed in it.
Nyhan goes on to make quite clear that in his view those who think that there is no design in nature are simply right and those who think there is design are simply wrong. It never occurs to him that what he calls “more information” is instantly recognizable to any intelligent person as propaganda.
No wonder these legacy media are taking a tumble into junk stock range. They have formulated the conditions of their existence so they cannot deal with issues the way most readers perceive them. Make no mistake, they will die by this, and the only question of substance is who and how many they will take down with then.
For example, from Nyhan,
But we also need to reduce the incentives for elites to spread misinformation to their followers in the first place. Once people’s cultural and political views get tied up in their factual beliefs, it’s very difficult to undo regardless of the messaging that is used.
Probable translation: the government should decide who is allowed to speak, in accordance with policies approved by his fellows and himself.
See also: Why telling more people the good news of Darwin won’t help
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