For a long time it has concerned me that I might be insane. I don't really believe that I aminsane. However, I have felt, occasionally, that the state of reality observed by and propounded upon by folks as diverse as Bill O'Reilly, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, AnnCoulter, George W. Bush, Dick Cheney, pick a name from the political right, is sodistinctly different from my own, either they are nuts or I am.It concerns me that they, to the man and woman, are rich and I am not. To paraphrase theold saying, "If I'm so damn sane, why ain't I rich?"Well, could it be they are sane and I am not? Is there some weird parallel universe thinggoing on that allows us both to be sane?This conundrum has been, and until today remained, a great mystery. Today, the puzzlehas been solved. Ironically, the puzzle has been solved by research scientist working inthat sink of insanity, Stanford University, home of the Hoover Institute, the world'sleading lunatic repository.A fellow by the name of Kevin Dunbar makes his career by studying the way scientistsstudy things. As such he has been studying the results of experimentation in a wide anddiverse range of scientific disciplines. He has been trying to determine how hard-eyeddedicated men and women of science, persons dedicated to truth above all else, deal withfailure/anomalies in the resulting data.
reported in an article entitled
Accept Defeat: The Neuroscience of Screwing Up
that, simply put, most of these scientist don'tdeal with it. They don't accept defeat or willingly recognize their assumptions are wrong.It turns out, Dr. Dunbar discovered, that scientists, just like everybody else, don't like itwhen facts interfere with preconceived notions.Of course, none of us enjoy being confused by the facts, no matter what the matter tohand. That is only human. Discovering scientists, world-class scientists at that, are just ashuman, in this regard, as all the rest of us, comes as a surprise. A scientist, theoretically,must have his or her entire allegiance to truth, no matter how ugly, no matter howinconvenient, no matter how maddening the truth. Unfortunately, it turns out, scientistsdo not do this. This is an allegiance that is hard to maintain, so, as often as not, they don't.I, first among all persons, understand this seeming paradox. Years ago, I promulgated
Copeland's Theory of Visceral Reality,
an underreported, underanalyzed,underappreciated, and misunderstood work of genius. I encourage you to take the time toreview the link to this seminal work of foundational human knowledge. However, rather than repeat it all here, allow me to merely point out that this theory divides all we, ashumans, know into four categories. These are: things we know, things we believe, thingsabout which we have theories and things we do not know.Each and every problem confronting mankind results from our stubborn insistence onconfusing the things we believe with things that are actually known. There are, in fact,very few things humans actually know. There are relatively few things that we realize wedo not know, far fewer that actually exist in nature. (Though I do not know that, I only