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NZ Lifestyle Block - - Have Your Say - Dr Neil Rit­son (B.SC. Psy­chol.), Darfield

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ARE WE PRO­GRAMMED TO FAIL?

I’d like to com­ment about the ar­ti­cle by Mur­ray Grim­wood, “Are we pro­grammed to fail?” in the Fe­bru­ary is­sue.

Firstly, Mur­ray and a whole lot of oth­ers have mis­un­der­stood sci­ence. Karl Popper stated that a the­ory which is not open to ways of dis­proof is not a the­ory but an ide­ol­ogy. The com­plex is­sue of cli­mate must be in that sci­en­tific cat­e­gory as if it can­not be dis­proved, it con­fines it­self to a quasire­li­gious be­lief.

He states “academia has to say that enough is known al­ready”. Of course it isn’t; Mur­ray is a sci­ence–de­nier if he chooses this path.

Sim­i­larly, to dis­miss those who dis­agree as “go­ing down the de­nier track” is sim­ply child­ish name call­ing. Surely he him­self could be called a de­nier by them? Heck­ling of course is just ag­gres­sive be­hav­iour.

His crit­i­cism of those he calls “mid­dle class” is sim­ple stereo­typ­ing of those who he sees “fail­ing” and there is a term in psy­chol­ogy for his stance: it’s called con­fir­ma­tion bias, linked to claim­ing the moral high ground, self-right­eous­ness with the ar­ro­gance of in­ner self-good­ness, or in cur­rent lay ter­mi­nol­ogy, grand­stand­ing.

Fi­nally, if the oth­ers are “fail­ures”, what about Mur­ray? Where did he get the money to buy/lease 24ha?

Try for a change lis­ten­ing to a sci­en­tist, such as No­bel lau­re­ate Ivar Gi­aever’s speech at the No­bel Lau­re­ates meet­ing 1st July 2015, avail­able on Youtube.

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