Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Musings Affirmed

On the authority of acclaimed physicist Lawrence Krauss, who participated in last Friday's NPR roundtable on science and morals, I can affirm that my recent musings on persuasion were completely and totally accurate.

Krauss advocated the following approach to situations in which the audience is not receptive to -- perhaps I should say not mulcible in the light of -- scientific evidence that contradicts their beliefs:

Confront them directly with their own misconceptions – lead them to an internal contradiction so that they discover [the mistake] for themselves. That’s ultimately the only way to teach about the world.*
Sometimes the close friend or trusted colleague who succeeds at persuasion turns out to be one of the participants in the internal mental roundtable.

* Granted, it's possible that Krauss did not have my blog post freshly in mind as he spoke these words, which come in around minute 42 of the podcast version.

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