False Idols category archive
At Psychology Today Blogs, David Kyle Johnson explores “the Galileo gambit,” which enables charlatans to con themselves and others into thinking they are onto something. A snippet:
When pseudo-scientists have been bested by the solid evidence and careful research of actual accredited experts (aka authorities on a subject), they will almost inevitably pull out this quote from Galileo:
“In questions of science, the authority of a thousand is not worth the humble reasoning of a single individual.”
The Galileo Gambit engages in many mistakes, but the main one is this: it’s a faulty analogy. The fact that two persons have one thing in common does not mean that they have everything in common—or even, another thing in common. Yes, the authorities thought Galileo was wrong, and they also think that you are wrong—but the fact that he turned out to be right doesn’t mean that you are.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Don A. Moore makes a strong case that common sense isn’t.
At Psychology Today Blogs, Rosalind C. Barnett and Caryl Rivers explore the theory then white men are afraid that they are losing out. A snippet:
At that time (the 1890s–ed.), historian Frederick Turner reacted with alarm, because he believed that the open, seemingly limitless frontier with all its freedoms formed the rugged American character. He worried that American dynamism and energetic masculinity would vanish along with the frontier.
Henry James echoed this sentiment in his novel of the same era, The Bostonians: “The whole generation is womanized; the masculine tone is passing out of the world; it’s a feminine, a nervous, hysterical, chattering, canting age, an age of hollow phrases and false delicacy and exaggerated solicitudes and coddled sensibilities.”
Today’s closing frontier is not a geographical space but a psychological one. Ever since the founding of the nation, white men–especially straight white Christian men–have been in charge. They have been our presidents, our captains of industry, our generals, our Wall Street titans, and they held all the power. They were the ones in “The room where it happens,” as the Hamilton lyric observes.
Even men who had no wealth or celebrity or grand accomplishments could bask in the glow of white male hegemony. They could at least imagine themselves in those “happening” rooms because all the people there looked like them.
I commend the article to your attention. It raises points worthy of consideration.