As the disreputable and independent readers of this blog will know, I have often wondered why a small group of quite senior professors who go on about bluestone quarries manage to get away with it. They continue to publish material which is highly contentious -- if not downright dishonest -- and yet they are still lauded and cheered on by both the media and the more gullible members of the public. More to the point, their work hardly ever seems to be SCRUTINISED -- either by the editors who publish their articles or by those who read them. As we were saying the other day, quoting Carl Sagan, the world seems to have lost the ability to "knowledgeably question" what is put before it in written form.....
More than once, I have encountered quite hostile reactions to my scepticism about the "quarrying" investigations of Prof MPP and his team -- on the grounds that "you should show them greater respect" and "they must know what they are talking about, because they are the expert professors"........ Deference and blind allegiance everywhere, even where you might expect a degree of independent thinking.
So this article when it appeared today, caught my eye. It's behind a paywall, so one is not able to read the whole thing, but I get the gist of it.
Effortless thinking: We're all suckers for a celebrityWhat makes Her Maj majestic? Or gives someone the X factor? The answer lies in our nomadic past, and it is leading us badly astray today
Apparently the scenario in which senior and "respectable" people are allowed to trot out nonsense and in which the members of the public allow them to get away with it is all down to something called "prestige bias".
When we investigate this, it all gets rather complicated, and strays into psychology and behavioural science.
From a recent article by Azita Chellappoo: