Why <Smart People> Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth

NewAmerica

Senior Member
Mandarin
Whom does "smart people" refer to? The "science literacy" in subtitle reminds me of scientists, who no doubt have science literacy. But here's the catch:The title of the article says "Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth", while in comparison to general public, scientists are far more open-minded to truth - that is, they are inclined to putting truth before tribe, preferring natural law to tribal loyalty.

I've read some of the article and failed to figure out who are the "smart people." The strongest impression, because of the author's use of "science literacy", is that they are scientists.

So I wonder who are the "smart people" in your mind after reading the Scientific American article. This is the question of this thread.

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Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth
Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of "science curiosity," it can lead us astray
What intellectual capacities—or if one prefers, cognitive virtues—should the citizens of a modern democratic society possess? For decades, one dominant answer has been the knowledge and reasoning abilities associated with science literacy.

Source: Scientific American
 
  • Glenfarclas

    Senior Member
    English (American)
    Intelligent people.

    If you want us to read the entire article and then comment on how the theory described might apply to different kinds or groups of people, that's not within the scope of this forum, as you know.
     

    Delvo

    Senior Member
    American English
    The article's author might not share your assumption that scientists are somehow immune to the effect the article described.

    But more importantly, people described as having "scientific literacy" do not just include scientists. That description includes anybody who has a good basic knowledge of science and is capable of understanding new scientific work that they read.
     
    Last edited:

    NewAmerica

    Senior Member
    Mandarin
    Okay, thanks.

    Reading the title Why Smart People Are Vulnerable to Putting Tribe Before Truth, my first reaction is: Aren't smarty/stupid people more vulnerable to putting tribe before truth?

    The word tribe would naturally trigger an image of being less intelligent, culturally backword, close-minded.

    The problem is that the title itself appears wanting to tell the reader that "smart people are more vulnerable to putting tribe before truth."

    So the true question of this thread is: Who's more vulnerable? Smart people or stupid people? I am not sure.

    Of course it is my responsibilty to read through the article.
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    So the true question of this thread is: Who's more vulnerable? Smart people or stupid people? I am not sure.

    Of course it is my responsibilty to read through the article.
    That question is not a language question and the article is your best hope of understanding what the author intended the title to mean. (Hint - the author did not make a comparison between smart and "stupid" people in the title.)

    PS I didn't read the article.
     
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    kentix

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    Smart people are people recognized to have high intelligence. They can understand complicated things like science, math, literature, philosophy, etc.

    There is a cultural bias that if people are smart they are also therefore good at being objective. That cultural bias is not supported by facts. Smart people can be very close-minded without realizing it. Almost every argument is based on some fundamental assumptions. If your reasoning is good but your assumptions are bad, your conclusions will be faulty. If your assumptions are shared with your tribe, your results will skew toward supporting your tribe instead of truth.
     
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