A pair of links on wooly-headedness. f

The first is from Mother Jones and is about why people will refuse to believe well-substantiated things that contradict existing belief systems. They’ll do this sometimes in the teeth of amazing evidence. This “motivated reasoning” drives a lot of wooly-headedness, from religious fruitbattery to “birther” fruitbattery.

And then when people do persist in believing nonsense, you get consequences like this: an outbreak of whooping cough in an “alternative” school with mostly unvaccinated students. Not vaccinating against diseases like this means you get to enjoy early 20th century style quarantines, weeks of antibiotic treatments, and possible lifetime consequences in the form of lung damage. What I particularly like about that second link are the people in the comments spewing anti-vaccination talk of the it-causes-autism kind. There, the study that got that nonsense started has been debunked as an elaborate fraud designed to make its author, Andrew Wakefield, a lot of money. But does that shake their refusal to protect their kids from nasty diseases? No.

Man does not reason. He rationalizes.