Posts Tagged ‘social science

22
Aug
08

“dudes, okay i am totally calling you out on this”

Well, Cronheim’s been putting me to shame on the posting.  Time to fix that.

Robin Hanson has an interesting post over at Overcoming Bias about how UFO beliefs sometimes demonstrate the inconsistency with which social-scientific reasoning is alternately employed and valued by individuals.  Robin’s insight is that the same people who declare themselves suspicious of the ability of the social sciences (in general) to describe human behavior will nonetheless use an essentially social-scientific argument to defend the belief that UFOs are not aliens.  He says we “can’t have it both ways.”

Check it out, and pay attention to the comments thread.  As this just happens to be my area of expertise, I’ll post later on how close Robin comes to being right.

On a note related to the social sciences, here’s a NYTimes piece calling for more attention (and funding) to be given to the social sciences as part of climate change research.  The argument is that the social sciences are necessary to understand how best to implement the kinds of changes in society that the physical sciences are telling us are necessary to combat global warming.