Rethinking bias, left or right

“It’s a popular refrain that the facts have a left-wing bias,” writes Natural Security columnist Chris Wood. “But that doesn’t make the progressive left immune from the same sort of selective consciousness its members so quickly denounce on the right. Empiricism is demanded of the goose, while the gander indulges its own versions of evidence denial.”

Wood’s new column, Follies to the right, follies to the left, tackles “left wing” perspectives on contentious issues such as nuclear power and GMO foods. An excerpt:

chris1A plurality of American Republicans believe people have existed in exactly their present form since being created from mud one day 6,000 years ago. They share with Canada’s Conservatives and Australia’s Liberals the view that science, which got lasers and flight and iPhones right, have it wrong about the climate. Canada’s Conservatives are so disdainful of empirical evidence they’ve been purging the country’s science libraries.

So far, so familiar, and so stupid. But here’s the thing: many shibboleths of the supposedly progressive left are no more defensible in the light of actual evidence and informed judgements. If evidence is to be our guide, the left needs to be rethink its gag reflex over …

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