Tuesday, September 8, 2009

And the Winner Is... Who Knows?

In the article A Clash of Polar Frauds and Those Who Believe, writer John Tierney discusses the debate on between explorers Dr. Fredrick A. Cook and Robert E. Peary regarding who made it ti the North Pole first. There is also a debate whether either of them even made it at all. The expedition made by both was conducted a century ago and there is still new evidence coming to light.

The proof that each explorer was expected to provide have been negated by several experts who say that Cook didn't make it past 400 miles away, and that Peary didn't make it past 100 miles away. Tierney points out that when a human believes in something so strongly, that their brain tends to block out any information that may refute the fact. He then uses the example of the Bush Administration's reasoning for going into Iraq. President Bush was sure that Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11. With all of the evidence, such as H.W.'s absolving Hussein, Republicans felt that they were allowed to have their own "counter factual" opinion. This is all due because of what Tierney refers to as, "a feel good dopamine surge."

The article itself is what I have a problem with because I feel Tierney's focus is all over the place. While trying to explain why the New York Times and the New York Herald were adamant in believing both Cook and Peary, he haphazardly goes on a rant about the Bush Administration's invasion of Iraq. I can agree with the article because I know I am guilty of such things when I strongly want to believe something is true. Though I used politics as my example, his rant was a little out of place, along with being unnecessary. Regardless, it was an interesting article about an issue I had no idea existed.

1 comment:

  1. Andrew, I'm glad you devoted part of the blog to a critique of the article. In Tierney's defense, I would point out that he is citing a scientific study, not just spouting off against Bush. Nevertheless, I wonder what this study or others have said about Democratic partisans. I think that should have been included for balance and just because readers might be curious. I noticed a few typos, etc. For example, the first sentence refers to the debate "on between" the two explorers. It should be one or the other.