Monday, July 04, 2005

Extremism in the Defense of Science

In my recent post on Elite political biases, I suggested (following from ShrinkWrapped) that a lack of common sense and a tendency to push rationalism to the extremes led to an embrace of Utopian political extremes. This tendency is also apparent in the approach to science taken recently by an increasing number of writers of popular nonfiction (for a common-sense review, see here). Whether this is out of a boost sales through sensationalism, or a genuinely unhinged (or misinformed) tendency to fall off of slippery slopes, I don't know. When I shake off this summer cold that has laid me low this weekend, I will discuss a more balanced book that I have just finished reading, in which an eminent neuroscientist tackles the intersection of the scientific and the political without (for the most part) going to extremes.


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