But now — according to one liberal, anyone who thinks differently, particularly about the touchstone issue of global warming, is un-evolved.
Promoting that book on the Huffington Post, Mooney wrote last week that “it often seems there are so many factually wrong claims on the political right that those who make them live in a different reality. So here's an idea: Maybe they actually do.”
If the average progressive is having trouble understanding Republicans, perhaps science can help, Mooney says.
But what does that research actually say? Well, “conservatives looked much more quickly at negative or threatening images, and spent more time fixating on them. Liberals, in contrast, were less quickly drawn to negative images — and spent more time looking at positive ones,” Mooney reports.
“And thus are we drawn to the only context in which we can make any sense of any of this — the understanding that we human primates evolved,” he wrote. “As such, these rapid-fire responses to aversive stimuli are something we share with other animals — a core part of our life-saving biological wiring. And apparently, they differ in strength and intensity from person to person — in turn triggering political differences in modern democracies.”
That conclusion makes the week's other “climate change” news far more puzzling. Investor's Business Daily reported that another top scientist is admitting he was wrong.
“James Lovelock, father of the ‘Gaia' theory that the entire earth is a single living system, was one of the many voices that's predicted environmental calamity will result from carbon dioxide emissions,” IBD explained. “He claimed in 2006 that ‘before this century is over billions of us will die and the few breeding pairs of people that survive will be in the Arctic where the climate remains tolerable.'”
“We don't know what the climate is doing,” Lovelock told MSNBC. “We thought we knew 20 years ago. That led to some alarmist books — mine included — because it looked clear-cut, but it hasn't happened… there's nothing much really happening yet, (even though) we were supposed to be halfway toward a frying world now.”
So what does that make Loveland? Angel-turned-beast?
Book reviews of Mooney's latest tome dismiss it as pseudoscience. Writing for RealClearPolitics.com, two actual scientists say “Mooney's book is largely built upon data that is vulnerable to manipulation. For instance, the field of neuroscience is in its infancy and is just now beginning to be understood. That doesn't prevent Mooney from using it to confidently paint a dubious narrative about ‘neuropolitics.' Evolutionary biologist Jerry Coyne dismantled Mooney's claims, asserting that he has drawn ‘unwarranted conclusions' based upon flawed logic and an incomplete understanding of evolution.”
As we've said before, let's put aside demonization and (now) de-evolution. Can't our opponents simply be wrong?