Stuff that matters

meow remix

First: Cats. Now: The polarization of science. Is there anything curiosity can’t kill?

A cool new study suggests that scientifically curious people are less susceptible to walling themselves off from the real world with partisan thinking and fake news. While that sounds like a given, it seemingly contradicts earlier research that found that people with knowledge of the scientific evidence are actually more susceptible to politically motivated reasoning.

Think of it this way: You can either use your smarts to change what you believe and piss off your friends, or use your smarts to rationalize evidence so that you don’t have to change what you believe. Curious people are more likely to do the former, according to the study.

The problem is that it’s almost impossible get other people to be genuinely curious (about, say, climate change or GMOs). But curious folk could provide a shining example of how interesting life is when you are willing to challenge your assumptions.