How Not to Read with Charity
Brad DeLong is a seemingly limitless source of uncharitable readings. He doesn’t disappoint in his latest:
First, let’s not tell Jason that the Theory of Relativity is the easy, straightforward, intuitive branch of modern physics…
Let’s not tell the economist that physicists disagree with him. It really is hard.
Second, I don’t see quite where Jason is going with this.
Is he suggesting that high school physics classes “teach the controversy” about Einstein-Lorentz-Fitzgerald-Minkowski-Poincare?
All I’m saying is that other explanations exist for creationism besides stupidity and evil (though these, of course, should not necessarily be ruled out). Cognitive dissonance is one of them. So is group loyalty. That doesn’t do a thing to make creationism a more legitimate theory. No explanation of wrongness does. But it might mean that we can talk to creationists with some measure of charity, yes. And if we do, they might even change their minds.
I’m aware this isn’t an interesting move to Professor DeLong. I guess I’d temporarily forgotten that he reads this site, eager to find whatever nits he can pick.