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  1. #1 Conservatives Mentally Defective Sez Prof 
    Liberal Activist Says 'Cognitive' Brain Patterns Prevent Conservatives From Accepting Threat of Global Warming

    Tuesday, March 23, 2010
    By Penny Starr, Senior Staff Writer

    George Lakoff, an author and professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California-Berkeley, says cognitive perceptions form a world view that prevents conservatives from believing in global warming. (Wikimedia Commons)(CNSNews.com) - Proponents of human-caused global warming claim that "cognitive" brain function prevents conservatives from accepting the science that says "climate change" is an imminent threat to planet Earth and its inhabitants.

    George Lakoff, a professor of cognitive science and linguistics at the University of California-Berkeley and author of the book "The Political Mind: A Cognitive Scientist's Guide to Your Brain and Its Politics," says his scientific research shows that how one perceives the world depends on one’s bodily experience and how one functions in the everyday world. Reason is shaped by the body, he says.

    Lakoff told CNSNews.com that “metaphors” shape a person's understanding of the world, along with one’s values and political beliefs -- including what they think about global warming.

    "It relates directly (to global warming) because conservatives tend to feel that the free market should be unregulated and (that) environmental regulations are immoral and wrong," Lakoff said.

    "And what they try to do is show that the science is wrong and that the argument is wrong, based on the science. So when it comes back to science, they try to debunk the science," Lakoff said.

    On the other hand, he added, liberals' cognitive process allows them to be "open-minded."

    "Liberals say, 'Look seriously at the science and look at whether people are going to be harmed or not and whether the world is going to be harmed,’" Lakoff said.

    In a Feb. 23 report on National Public Radio, reporter Christopher Joyce began his story by stating that recent polls show that fewer Americans believe humans are making the planet dangerously warmer, despite "a raft" of contradictory reports.

    "This puzzles many climate scientists, but not social scientists, whose research suggests that facts may not be as important as one's beliefs," Joyce said.

    Joyce interviewed social scientist and lawyer Don Braman, a George Washington University faculty member.

    "People tend to conform their factual beliefs to ones that are consistent with their cultural outlook, their world view," said Braman, who is part of a "Cultural Cognitive Project" at Yale Law School that focuses on these same ideas.

    Pat Michaels, former professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, says science doesn't confirm, and in some cases even rejects, the existence of human-caused global warming. (Photo courtesy of Cato Institute)But Pat Michaels, a former professor of environmental sciences at the University of Virginia and a fellow at the libertarian Cato Institute, said the argument that opponents of human-caused global warming are physically or psychologically different reveals "desperation" on the part of those who want people to not only embrace the idea of human destruction of the environment but put that idea into laws regulating human activity.

    "Imminent disaster serves the proponents of regulation on this issue," Michaels told CNSNews.com. That includes efforts by Democrats in Congress to pass cap-and-trade legislation, which would limit carbon emissions and tax corporations who fail to meet government-set pollution standards.

    (snip)

    In a February article on The Huffington Post, Lakoff praised recent media reports on the physiological and conceptual roots of political beliefs. He credited some of the movement to his 1996 book "Moral Politics," where he claims that these beliefs are rooted in the "two profoundly different models of the ideal family, a strict father family for conservatives and a nurturant family for liberals."

    Lakoff writes, "In the ideal strict father family, the world is seen as a dangerous place and the father functions as protector from ‘others’ and the parent who teaches children absolute right from wrong by punishing them physically (painful spanking or worse) when they do wrong. The father is the ultimate authority, children are to obey, and immoral practices are seen as disgusting.

    "Ideal liberal families are based on nurturance, which breaks down into empathy, responsibility (for oneself and others) and excellence -- doing well as one can to make oneself and one's family and community better."
    Let's just leave aside any consideration of whether the liberal version of AGW has any merit or not - that's not why I posted this article. I posted the article because Lakoff is not alone in academia. Many people who have never worked outside of higher ed hold that people who do not believe as they believe must be mentally inferior. This is a pervasive attitude in academia. I have dinner with these people, I attend social functions with them, I have them over to my house and I can tell you that the sheer contempt for divergent views is common.

    What's worse is that they'd like to "fix" it. We would be smart to recall that virtually all of the modern efforts to define and fix "inferior" racial, cultural, or sexual identities have been legitimized by academics. Now we have politics being defined as the product of an inferior, non-liberal family life.

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    Senior Member Megaguns91's Avatar
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    So apparently this scientist says that we're defunked up about global warming because we fail to look at the science cognitively.

    Okay folks, all together now, let's define cognitive:

    1.The mental process of knowing, including aspects such as awareness, perception, reasoning, and judgment.
    2.That which comes to be known, as through perception, reasoning, or intuition; knowledge.
    Okay, so, cognition is to know, through perception, reasoning, what have you.

    Apparently this scientist can't even remember the golden rule of science: nothing is known The whole purpose of science is to explore and make reasonable theories of something that have yet to be disproven. It is not knowledge, simply a theory.

    Eat that, dipstick.

    I'll take my debunked up self back to my debunked world of no congition now.
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    HALP US JOHN KERRY WE'RE STUCK IN IRAK! :mad:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Megaguns91 View Post
    So apparently this scientist says that we're defunked up about global warming because we fail to look at the science cognitively.
    Lakoff is not a scientist. He's a linguist and came to cognitive science (a misnomer: in some cases it is more philosophical) when his Generative Semantics field fell apart.


    Apparently this scientist can't even remember the golden rule of science: nothing is known The whole purpose of science is to explore and make reasonable theories of something that have yet to be disproven. It is not knowledge, simply a theory.
    Again, he's not a scientist. He's more of a philosopher and plenty of people in cognitive science disagree with him.

    For example:


    In 2006 Steven Pinker wrote an unfavourable review [8] of Lakoff's book Whose Freedom? The Battle Over America's Most Important Idea. Pinker's review was published in The New Republic magazine. Pinker argued that Lakoff's propositions are unsupported and his prescriptions a recipe for electoral failure. He wrote that Lakoff was condescending and deplored Lakoff's "shameless caricaturing of beliefs" and his "faith in the power of euphemism". Pinker portrayed Lakoff's arguments as "cognitive relativism, in which mathematics, science, and philosophy are beauty contests between rival frames rather than attempts to characterize the nature of reality". Lakoff wrote a rebuttal to the review [9] stating that his position on many matters is the exact reverse of what Pinker attributes to him and explicitly rejecting for example the cognitive relativism and faith in euphemism as described above.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lakoff


    And here is the background:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lakoff

    George P. Lakoff (pronounced /ˈleɪkɒf/, born May 24, 1941) is an American cognitive linguist and professor of linguistics at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has taught since 1972. Although some of his research involves questions traditionally pursued by linguists, such as the conditions under which a certain linguistic construction is grammatically viable, he is most famous for his ideas about the centrality of metaphor to human thinking, political behavior and society. He is particularly famous for his concept of the "embodied mind", which he has written about in relation to mathematics. In recent years he has applied his work to the realm of politics, exploring this in his books. He was the founder of the now defunct progressive think tank the Rockridge Institute.[1][2]
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  5. #5  
    My point here wasn't to discuss the merits of Lakoff's assertions (he's an idiot) but to point out that his views are widely accepted by his peers in higher ed. I'm not talking about peers in linguists or his flavor of cognitive science but his peers in the humanities and the soft sciences in general.

    Many in the academy see divergent views as proof of inferior intellectual ability.
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    many outside the academy also see divergent views as proof of intellectual inferiority.

    non-academics can be just as egregious snobs as academics.

    humans seem to have an innate tendency to believe they are better than others.

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  7. #7  
    Quote Originally Posted by JackKetch View Post
    many outside the academy also see divergent views as proof of intellectual inferiority.
    True but none of the hoi polloi are invested with the trust and intellectual authority that still clings to the academy.

    There is very much still a knee-jerk acceptance of social assertions so long as they come out of university settings. Many people still have an implicit respect for academics. Their level of intellectual responsibility is higher because of this.
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    Conservative Realist Says 'Cognitive' Brain Patterns allow liberals to Accept Threat of Global Warming as more than a hoax and Con game.
    Another perspective.
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