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Republicans Have Bad Brains?
Townhall.com ^ | May 3, 2012 | Jonah Goldberg

Posted on 05/03/2012 3:25:57 AM PDT by Kaslin

"They do that because they were born that way."

If you say that about homosexuals, you are tolerant and realistic. If you say it about blacks, you are racist (unless you're black yourself). If you say it about women, you may or may not be sexist, depending on who is manning (er, womanning) the feminist battle stations. If you say it about men, you just might be a writer for Esquire. But if you say it about conservatives, you're a scientist.

Over the past decade, a new fad has taken hold among academics and liberal journalists: call it the new science of conservative phrenology. No, it doesn't actually involve using calipers to determine intelligence based on the size and shape of people's heads. The measuring devices are better -- MRIs and gene sequencers -- but the conclusions are worse. The gist is this: Conservatives and liberals don't just have different world views or ideas, they have different brains; the right and left are just hard-wired to think differently.

Author Chris Mooney compiles much of this research for his new book The Republican Brain, which purports to show that conservatives are, literally by nature, more closed-minded and resistant to change and facts. His evidence includes the fact that conservatives are less likely to buy into global warming, allegedly proving they are not only "anti-science" but innately anti-fact, as well. "Politicized wrongness today," he writes "is clustered among Republicans, conservatives and especially Tea Partiers."

That's an entirely understandable view for Mooney to hold. He's a soaked-to-the-bone liberal partisan. But he crosses the line into pseudoscientific hogwash by trying to explain every political disagreement as a symptom of bad brains. For instance, Mooney claims Republicans have trouble processing reality because Republicans think "ObamaCare" will raise the deficit. No really, stop laughing.

Of course, Mooney believes he's simply going where the science leads. Consider that one of the more famous studies was conducted by liberal researchers at University of California-Los Angeles and New York University and published in Nature Neuroscience. Subjects were asked to spot the letters M or W on a screen for a fraction of a second. It turns out that self-described liberals did somewhat better on the test than the conservatives.

What does that mean? Well, according to the researchers, it means: "Liberals are more responsive to informational complexity, ambiguity and novelty." Liberals are also "more likely than are conservatives to respond to cues signaling the need to change habitual responses," NYU says.

Translation: Conservatives literally aren't smart enough to be spell-checkers at an M&M factory because they won't be able to understand quickly enough that the occasional W is just an upside down M.

The data might be correct, but as with Mooney, the conclusions are beyond absurd. London's Guardian newspaper responded to the study by declaring, "Scientists have found that the brains of people calling themselves liberals are more able to handle conflicting and unexpected information." The Los Angeles Times announced in an editorial that the study "suggests that liberals are more adaptable than conservatives" and "might be better judges of the facts."

Huh? The test didn't measure "informational complexity." It measured informational simplicity. As Slate's science columnist William Saletan notes, the study actually excludes complexity and ambiguity. It measured response times to a rudimentary visual acuity test. Almost by definition, conscious thought isn't part of the equation. My hunch is that Socrates would do very poorly hunting and pecking for Ms and Ws on a screen, too.

Now it's probably true that, on average, there are subtle differences between conservatives and liberals when it comes to cognition. But you don't have to be "anti-science" to see how the scientists are wildly overreaching from the data. Indeed, there's a huge definitional problem. Conservatives resist growth of the state, but that's not the same thing as resisting change. After all, capitalism is among the most powerful agents of change in human history, and conservatives are the ones defending it. Meanwhile, liberals are downright reactionary about preserving the Great Society and New Deal.

A famous study asserts that communist revolutionaries Joseph Stalin and Fidel Castro were political conservatives because they resisted change once in power. If your algorithmic whirligig spits out the finding that Stalin, the global leader of communism for two decades, and Castro, the global dashboard saint of recrudescent left-wing asininity, are "politically conservative" it's time to take the gadget out to a field and smash it with baseball bats like the printer in the movie "Office Space."

Mooney, who recently explained in a speech that he has given up on the Enlightenment view that we're all open to reason, doesn't seem to realize where he's heading with this nonsense. Never mind that this approach is inherently undemocratic and opens the door to "genetic" explanations for everybody's political views -- blacks, women, gays, etc. -- it is also self-serving bigotry that allows liberals to justify their own closed-mindedness on the grounds that Republicans aren't even worth listening to. After all, they're just born that way.


TOPICS: Culture/Society; Editorial
KEYWORDS:
It looks like Mooney is the one with a pea-sized brain, just like all liberals
1 posted on 05/03/2012 3:26:01 AM PDT by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin
...allows liberals to justify their own closed-mindedness on the grounds that Republicans aren't even worth listening to...

There's good reason to ignore all liberal nonsense since, as everybody except liberals knows, liberalim is a mental disorder!

2 posted on 05/03/2012 3:34:17 AM PDT by luvbach1 (Stop the destruction in 2012 or continue the decline)
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To: Kaslin

Left-wingers are the most intolerant, reactionary, violent and fact-averse folks around. And yes, there is definitely something wrong with their brains.


3 posted on 05/03/2012 3:34:51 AM PDT by fieldmarshaldj (If you like lying Socialist dirtbags, you'll love Slick Willard)
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To: shibumi

You should read this.

[that is, ~if~ you’re capable of comprehending it, you blithering idiot]

;D


4 posted on 05/03/2012 3:45:19 AM PDT by Salamander (Hey blood brother, you're one of our own. You're as sharp as a razor and as hard as a stone.)
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To: luvbach1

It is better to have a bad brain than no brain at all what appears to be characteristic of socialists.


5 posted on 05/03/2012 3:49:08 AM PDT by saintgermaine
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To: Kaslin
His evidence includes the fact that conservatives are less likely to buy into global warming, allegedly proving they are not only "anti-science" but innately anti-fact, as well.

Somewhat refuted by over 30,000 scientists who were signatories to The Petition Project, who said the 'evidence' was neither conclusive nor the science settled, and for that reason, the US should not be signatory to Kyoto or similar accords.

6 posted on 05/03/2012 3:49:48 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing)
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To: Kaslin

It has been shown that conservatives donate more of their money, volunteer more, and give more blood. OTOH, felons are more likely to vote democrat (by about 70-30, I think). So, what are we to make of that?


7 posted on 05/03/2012 3:55:31 AM PDT by beef (Who Killed Kennewick Man?)
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To: Kaslin

THE Right Brain vs Left Brain test ... do you see the dancer turning clockwise or counter-clockwise?

If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

Most of us would see the dancer turning anti-clockwise though you can try to focus and change the direction; see if you can do it.

8 posted on 05/03/2012 3:56:56 AM PDT by central_va ( I won't be reconstructed and I do not give a damn.)
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To: Kaslin
This "study" was obviously taxpayer funded and no doubt approved by democrats, which is why government funding of studies needs to stop. There's always an agenda when the government is involved.

Time to get back to the Constitution and strip Fedzilla down to bare bones. This Country would be great, again.

9 posted on 05/03/2012 4:00:45 AM PDT by liberalh8ter (If Barack has a memory like a steel trap, why can't he remember what the Constitution says?)
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To: Kaslin

Pseudo scientists, pseudo, researchers, pseudo Americans.


10 posted on 05/03/2012 4:01:20 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Romney vs. Obama? One of them has to lose, rejoice in that fact, whichever it is.)
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To: Kaslin

Since doctors, dentists, engineers, etc., tend to lean Republican, whereas welfare recipients, criminals and liberal arts academics tend to lean Dem, it would certainly be interesting to compare the brains. I suspect that Dems wouldn’t come out on the winning end of the comparison, though, so you can bet the results wouldn’t be published.


11 posted on 05/03/2012 4:02:07 AM PDT by onevoter
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To: central_va

That’s interesting.


12 posted on 05/03/2012 4:05:27 AM PDT by KC Burke (Plain Conservative opinions and common sense correction for thirteen years.)
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To: beef

It should be noted that repetitive nervous system responses are much faster than brain function resposes. So of course, liberals are much better at knee jerk responses than conservatives. They have more training.


13 posted on 05/03/2012 4:07:13 AM PDT by D Rider
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To: Kaslin
” The gist is this: Conservatives and liberals don't just have different world views or ideas, they have different brains; the right and left are just hard-wired to think differently.”

Kinda like Men and Women?

Their argument must be that liberal men think like women, i.e. queers.

Their might be some truth to that.

14 posted on 05/03/2012 4:08:09 AM PDT by Beagle8U (Free Republic -- One stop shopping ....... It's the Conservative Super WalMart for news .)
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To: central_va

I focused on the fact that I think she’s nekkid!


15 posted on 05/03/2012 4:10:29 AM PDT by Alas Babylon!
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To: Kaslin

What does Mooney say about people who started out more liberal, like me, but gradually turned more conservative over the years? I’m sure there’s millions of present-day conservatives who’ve had similar stories. Where do we fit in? The fact is, people like me were persuaded by the facts..the exact opposite of Mooney’s screwy hypothesis that conservatives resist change and facts. I’d say it’s more likely that liberals are people who resist the facts and logic and persist in believing in fairy tales. Big government is great and can never be used for nefarious purposes. Or so the libs would have us believe.


16 posted on 05/03/2012 4:12:55 AM PDT by driftless2
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To: central_va

very good! you got me - I see it each way, although I can’t get the count down as to when it changes at around 14 turns. i am openminded (able to see) to the fact that she is turning clockwise and counterclockwise at different times, but closed minded (able to define) and recognize the difference.

-does that mean the dancer is a moderate????


17 posted on 05/03/2012 4:13:37 AM PDT by Katydidnt ("...the greatest of these is love.")
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To: Kaslin

Just show everyone’s SAT scores. It’s as good a proxy for “intelligence” as we have, since intelligence testing became Raciss.


18 posted on 05/03/2012 4:14:42 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Do you know why I love reptiles? It's because they don't play guitars or ukuleles.)
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To: Tax-chick

Just show everyone’s SAT scores. It’s as good a proxy for “intelligence” as we have, since intelligence testing became Raciss.
************************************************************

Would not be allowed, that would show teachers up for what they are, bottom 20%


19 posted on 05/03/2012 4:20:54 AM PDT by W. W. SMITH (Maybe the horse will learn to sing)
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To: central_va
I see her going both ways. She's for sure "Not guilty"!

Picture the drivers side of your car, look at the wheels and picture them going forward. They are moving counter clock wise. Now picture the passenger side of your car and imaging the wheels moving forward, they are moving clock wise. Get down on hands and knees and look at all 4 at the same time and they are all moving the same way, depending on which side of the car you are on.

Look at the edge of your one story roof, it doesn't look all that high. Now stand on the edge of your roof and it looks a very long way to the ground.

If it's a 10 foot roof, from the ground, the roof is only about 4 feet from your eye level but when standing on the roof, the ground is about 16 feet from your eye level.

It's a matter of perspective.

20 posted on 05/03/2012 4:28:57 AM PDT by Graybeard58 (Romney vs. Obama? One of them has to lose, rejoice in that fact, whichever it is.)
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To: central_va

Even when I cross my eyes, she’s still turning clock-wise. How long will we continue saying “clock-wise,” I wonder, in the digital age?


21 posted on 05/03/2012 4:39:06 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Do you know why I love reptiles? It's because they don't play guitars or ukuleles.)
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To: W. W. SMITH
that would show teachers up for what they are, bottom 20%

Good point ... and they're Democrats, as a rule, too!

22 posted on 05/03/2012 4:40:28 AM PDT by Tax-chick (Do you know why I love reptiles? It's because they don't play guitars or ukuleles.)
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To: Kaslin

Does that mean we can genetically aim a plague at the liberals? Hmmm...


23 posted on 05/03/2012 4:51:27 AM PDT by Hardraade (http://junipersec.wordpress.com (nobody gives me warheads anyway))
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To: Kaslin

This pseudo-science is nothing new. I remember books like this going back to (at least) the Nixon era.


24 posted on 05/03/2012 5:18:04 AM PDT by miss marmelstein
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To: central_va
If clockwise, then you use more of the right side of the brain and vice versa.

She keeps switching directions for me. Does that mean that I use both sides of my brain, or neither.

25 posted on 05/03/2012 5:18:54 AM PDT by CharacterCounts (A vote for the lesser of two evils only insures the triumph of evil.)
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To: Kaslin
...liberals are more adaptable...

Lemmings

26 posted on 05/03/2012 5:37:42 AM PDT by stayathomemom (Beware of kittens modifying your posts.)
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To: central_va
I see her circling both ways, and found I can make her change direction at will by letting my eyes unfocus and then refocus on the image.

I suppose that means I use both parts of my brain, but my first though was that she had a great body, so I obviously favor whatever lobe contains the dirty thoughts. ;-)

27 posted on 05/03/2012 5:48:03 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: Graybeard58

Yes, they are charlatans, and their goal is not “science” but federal and foundation dollars for their “research.” The American people remain clueless on almost everything it seems.


28 posted on 05/03/2012 5:52:20 AM PDT by Theodore R. (Past is prologue: The American people again let us down in this election cycle.)
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To: Kaslin

“Scientists have found that the brains of people calling themselves liberals are more able to handle conflicting and unexpected information.” The Los Angeles Times announced in an editorial that the study “suggests that liberals are more adaptable than conservatives” and “might be better judges of the facts.”

I intepret that to mean that Liberals are quick to judge books by their covers and accepting their initial impressions as “fact or truth”, relying only on preset personal biases without taking time to analyze the”unexpected” info more objectively and without bias.


29 posted on 05/03/2012 5:57:52 AM PDT by mdmathis6 (Kiss the Son!)
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To: Kaslin

"He's got a rotten brain! It's rotten, I tell you - rotten!!"

30 posted on 05/03/2012 6:00:33 AM PDT by andy58-in-nh (America does not need to be organized: it needs to be liberated.)
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To: Salamander

Duuh....... (drool falls from slightly opened lower lip while staring at the nekkid gurl in post 8 spinning in both directions sim ...simutay .....-don’t tell me-..sy mule-tay-knee ous- lee.)


31 posted on 05/03/2012 6:57:30 AM PDT by shibumi (Cover it with gas and set it on fire.)
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To: shibumi

She “goes both ways”, obviously.

[that damn ‘test’ gives me vertigo...she flips directions so many times I feel sick]

This is due, of course, to my infinitely larger and more efficient female corpus callosum.

:)

[poor little unibrainers..they only see half the picture]

I’ve emailed you a box of crayons [8 pack...you probably can’t deal with any more than that] so you can express yourself more fully.

;D


32 posted on 05/03/2012 9:47:56 AM PDT by Salamander (Hey blood brother, you're one of our own. You're as sharp as a razor and as hard as a stone.)
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To: CharacterCounts

It’s means you’re dangerously schizoid.

Don’t worry about it.

:)

j/k


33 posted on 05/03/2012 9:51:02 AM PDT by Salamander (Hey blood brother, you're one of our own. You're as sharp as a razor and as hard as a stone.)
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To: Salamander

Ha, ha. The whole W vs M thing is probably just a result of liberals sitting in mommy’s basement playing video games. Say what you want it does enhance reaction times.


34 posted on 05/03/2012 2:46:51 PM PDT by Kay Syrah
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To: mdmathis6

[ I intepret that to mean that Liberals are quick to judge books by their covers and accepting their initial impressions as “fact or truth”, relying only on preset personal biases without taking time to analyze the”unexpected” info more objectively and without bias. ]

Lieberals are more likely to colour thier thinking by emotional cues on if soemthing “seems good” or “seems bad” and a very scatter shot thinkers and this hurts them when when it comes to moving from Point A to Point B to Point C etc...

Conservatives are very practical process and linear thinkers in that in every step of the chain there is a cause/effect relationship or else it doesn’t make sense. They think in very practical terms that are based on real world examples and models, where the liberals will come up with a theory and try to “massage the data” to fix their intial scattershot assumptions.


35 posted on 05/03/2012 2:58:36 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: mdmathis6

[ “Scientists have found that the brains of people calling themselves liberals are more able to handle conflicting and unexpected information.” The Los Angeles Times announced in an editorial that the study “suggests that liberals are more adaptable than conservatives” and “might be better judges of the facts.” ]

Adaptable in terms of judging things is a code word for “relative morality”. It is like saying that because someone had a bad childhood and then killed an innocent in cold blood should get a less prison time than someone who had a great childhood and did the same crime.

This adaptability can lead to greater incidence of self-deception in the face of conflicting facts that don’t match your agenda. A judge who can “adapt” in this manner is an enemy of the rule of law as we have seen for the last 100+ years.


36 posted on 05/03/2012 3:04:24 PM PDT by GraceG
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To: central_va

Can I focus and change her into a man?


37 posted on 05/03/2012 3:07:30 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Kaslin

BTTT!


38 posted on 05/04/2012 2:29:52 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: Kaslin

BTTT!


39 posted on 05/04/2012 2:29:52 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: Kaslin

BTTT!


40 posted on 05/04/2012 2:30:19 PM PDT by neverdem (Xin loi minh oi)
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To: Kaslin

I was told by a liberal professor in college that, as a conservative, I must have cheated on an IQ test he gave because it was impossible that I could score so high.

And this was 1978.


41 posted on 05/04/2012 2:33:35 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats are dangerous and evil. Republicans are just useless and useful idiots.)
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To: central_va

I can see both. I’m more left brained and thus think more logically than emotionally.


42 posted on 05/04/2012 2:36:30 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats are dangerous and evil. Republicans are just useless and useful idiots.)
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To: Kaslin
The data might be correct, but as with Mooney, the conclusions are beyond absurd. London's Guardian newspaper responded to the study by declaring, "Scientists have found that the brains of people calling themselves liberals are more able to handle conflicting and unexpected information." The Los Angeles Times announced in an editorial that the study "suggests that liberals are more adaptable than conservatives" and "might be better judges of the facts."

Talk about BS! We all know liberals can NEVER adapt to changing reality. They are the most closed minded idiots on the planet. Centuries of history prove their ideas are pure crap yet they keep trying them over and over and over.

Remember, these morons can't even uderstand the difference between tax rates and tax revenues. They can't even logically look at some worthless government program and determine the actual cost of "helping" someone without a knee-jerk response that one "cut" (decrease in increase) will starve millions.

43 posted on 05/04/2012 2:42:47 PM PDT by Fledermaus (Democrats are dangerous and evil. Republicans are just useless and useful idiots.)
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To: GSWarrior

44 posted on 05/04/2012 2:45:48 PM PDT by GSWarrior
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