You can read that piece here: https://reason.com/archives/2016/01/19/broken-science
In another article the same author covers the debate concerning the alleged “closed mindedness” of conservatives and their alleged preference for simplify in thought and dogmatism. In a series of studies by Conway and his colleagues, however, Conway found NO evidence that liberals or conservatives varied fundamentally on their preference for closed minded thinking, dogmatism, or lack of complexity. I believe I posted the Conway article in an earlier post but you can read about it here: https://reason.com/archives/2016/01/15/liberals-are-simple-minded
I would think it prudent that people interested in differences between groups, be they political differences or whatever, actually measure differences between groups. As I’ve said before, liberals and conservatives prioritize different things and each group can be very closed minded when it comes to their favorite topics.
It’s clear that we have a problem in the sciences--namely that our studies generally don’t replicate. I’ve worked with “hard” scientists before and I’ve worked with medical researchers. Trust me when I say that each group has their biases, their ways of seeing the world, and their preferred explanations. They are humans. That said, the folks I’ve worked with have been very diligent in their work....sometimes having results verified by several analysts. That the rigor I’ve seen can still produce misleading or wrong science should scare the hell out of us in the social sciences where we have a tendency to grab a secondary dataset and publish away.
Maybe it is time for criminologists to drop the theorizing and refocus on establishing concrete, basic facts about criminal conduct? We know some, for example:
- Being male
- Age and frequency/prevalence curves
- The concentration of offending in families across generations
- The very high level of stability in criminal conduct and resistance to change
- Moderate to high heritability’s on crime, aggression, and related phenotypes
- Low impulse control / low self-control
- An early age of onset