But this is the type of hanging jury that will hand you your head if you just look at them cross, or cross them up by saying something that makes them look foolish or just plain wrong.
Mahoney's findings struck a nerve. Within three months after he presented his results last year at a meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, he said, he "received probably 200 to 300 letters and phone calls from scientists who felt they had been victims of that kind of discrimination."
The plain truth, or should I say likely hypothesis, is that we tend to reject stuff because it's just plain uncomfortable. In the real world, we can't escape making bad decisions. This is called the school of hard knocks, and we realize that taking our medicine is after all good for us. However, in the academic world, if you support a bonehead hypothesis you can withdraw not only from painful theories that challenge it, but also from the painful facts that don't support it, and wile away your time counting angels on pinheads in the company of your fellow true believers. This underscores an even greater problem, as uncomfortable arguments regardless of their basis in fact are not only shunned by individual academics, but also by the very provisos of the professional journals that represent their collective opinion. Thus if you want to make a reasoned argument against psychoanalysis, behaviorism, or evolutionary psychology in one of their journals, a rejection is not only in the cards, it's in the RULES. Thus no argument gets settled because no questions get to be raised, let alone discussed. Thus everyone talks past each other rather than to each other, and academia becomes not just an ivory tower but a tower of Babel.
And that's why I'm glad I am not an academic psychologist. It would simply drive me mad.
For a rather personal example of this, see tomorrows post.