科学への抵抗感についてのレビュー論文 Bloom and Weisberg[2007] (2)


==>Paul Bloom and Deena Skolnick Weisberg: "Review -- Childhood Origins of Adult Resistance to Science", Science 18 May 2007: Vol. 316. no. 5827, pp. 996 - 997, DOI: 10.1126/science.1133398

The main reason why people resist certain scientific findings, then, is that many of these findings are unnatural and unintuitive. But this does not explain cultural differences in resistance to science. There are substantial differences, for example, in how quickly children from different countries come to learn that Earth is a sphere (10). There is also variation across countries in the extent of adult resistance to science, including the finding that Americans are more resistant to evolutionary theory than are citizens of most other countries (24).


Part of the explanation for such cultural differences lies in how children and adults process different types of information. Some culture specific information is not associated with any particular source; it is “common knowledge.” As such, learning of this type of information generally bypasses critical analysis. A prototypical example is that of word meanings. Everyone uses the word “dog” to refer to dogs, so children easily learn that this is what they are called (25). Other examples include belief in germs and electricity. Their existence is generally assumed in day-to-day conversation and is not marked as uncertain; nobody says that they “believe in electricity.” Hence, even children and adults with little scientific background believe that these invisible entities really exist (26).


[10] M. Siegal, G. Butterworth, P. A. Newcombe, Dev. Sci. 7, 308 (2004).
[24] J. D. Miller, E. C. Scott, S. Okamoto, Science 313, 765 (2006).
[25] P. Bloom, How Children Learn the Meanings of Words (MIT Press, Cambridge, MA, 2000).
[26] P. L. Harris, E. S. Pasquini, S. Duke, J. J. Asscher, F. Pons, Dev. Sci. 9, 76 (2006).

Other information, however, is explicitly asserted, not tacitly assumed. Such asserted information is associated with certain sources. A child might note that science teachers make surprising claims about the origin of human beings, for instance, whereas their parents do not. Furthermore, the tentative status of this information is sometimes explicitly marked; people will assert that they “believe in evolution.”


When faced with this kind of asserted information, one can occasionally evaluate its truth directly. But in some domains, including much of science, direct evaluation is difficult or impossible. Few of us are qualified to assess claims about the merits of string theory, the role of mercury in the etiology of autism, or the existence of repressed memories. So rather than evaluating the asserted claim itself, we instead evaluate the claim’s source. If the source is deemed trustworthy, people will believe the claim, often without really understanding it. Consider, for example, that many Americans who claim to believe in natural selection are unable to accurately describe how natural selection works (3). This suggests that their belief is not necessarily rooted in an appreciation of the evidence and arguments. Rather, this scientifically credulous subpopulation accepts this information because they trust the people who say it is true.


[ 3] Andrew Shtulman: "Qualitative diVerences between naïve and scientific theories of evolution", Cognitive Psychology 52, 170-194, 2006

==>忘却からの帰還: 数学は科学を素人の手の及ばないところに持っていく (2006/08/14)

Science is not special here; the same process of deference holds for certain religious, moral, and political beliefs as well. In an illustrative recent study, participants were asked their opinion about a social welfare policy that was described as being endorsed by either Democrats or Republicans. Although the participants sincerely believed that their responses were based on the objective merits of the policy, the major determinant of what they thought of the policy was, in fact, whether or not their favored political party was said to endorse it (27). Additionally, many of the specific moral intuitions held by members of a society appear to be the consequence, not of personal moral contemplation, but of deference to the views of the community (28).


[27] G. L. Cohen, J. Pers. Soc. Psychol. 85, 808 (2003).
[28] J. Haidt, Psychol. Rev. 108, 814 (2001).
さらに、倫理判断についても、推論の帰結ではないとJonathan Haidtは主張している。この立場はメインストリームではないようだが、興味深い:
[Jonathan Haidt: "The emotional dog and its rational tail: A social intuitionist approach to moral judgment", Psychological Review 108, 814, 2001]

Research on moral judgment has been dominated by rationalist models, in which moral judgment is thought to be caused by moral reasoning. The autor gives 4 reasons for considering the hypothesis that moral reasoning does not cause moral judgment; rather, moral reasoning is usually a post hoc construction, generated after a judgment has been reached. The social intuitionist model is presented as an alternative to rationalist models. The model is a social model in that it deemphasizes the private reasoning done by individuals and emphasizes instead the importance of social and cultural influences. The model is an intuitionist model in that it states that moral judgment is generally the result of quick, automatic evaluaton (intuitions). The model is more consistent than rationalist models with recent findings in social, cultural, evolutionary, and bilogical psychology, as wel as in anthropology and primatology.

科学に対する判断と違って、David Humeが「理性はそれだけでは、倫理的行為の動機として機能せず、倫理は情念から生まれる」と指摘するように、倫理判断はもともと論理的に決着がつきそうにない。

それはさておき、「物理世界についての直観と心理学的直観」に反した科学への抵抗が、「情報それ自体の正否を確認できずに、情報ソースの信頼性に依存して判断する」ことにより、信頼する宗教および政治的権威によって強化されることが、米国における創造論支持の多さの要因ではないかと、 Bloom and Weisberg[2007]と結論する:
These developmental data suggest that resistance to science will arise in children when scientific claims clash with early emerging, intuitive expectations. This resistance will persist through adulthood if the scientific claims are contested within a society, and it will be especially strong if there is a nonscientific alternative that is rooted in common sense and championed by people who are thought of as reliable and trustworthy. This is the current situation in the United States, with regard to the central tenets of neuroscience and evolutionary biology. These concepts clash with intuitive beliefs about the immaterial nature of the soul and the purposeful design of humans and other animals, and (in the United States) these beliefs are particularly likely to be endorsed and transmitted by trusted religious and political authorities (24). Hence, these fields are among the domains where Americans’ resistance to science is the strongest.


[24] J. D. Miller, E. C. Scott, S. Okamoto, Science 313, 765 (2006).

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