Saturday, March 23, 2013

PDD: science edition

Ron Bailey of reason examines the contention that the blue team is better than the red team on "science", broadly (and somewhat idiosyncratically) construed.

Economic issues are left out here; the red team would probably do better on micro-economic issues as a general rule.

Also left out are the standard errors. A potentially very interesting parallel analysis would consider the extent of red-team versus blue-team differences in the amount of uncertainty associated with current science in various issue areas. I am not sure what my prior is on this. Probably it is very issue dependent in a couple of different senses. I suspect most non-scientists overestimate the uncertainty associated with some issues that scientists would consider relatively settled (e.g. effects of smoking on cancer, demand curves slope down) and underestimate the uncertainty in other cases (e.g. climate change predictions, minimum wages).

For non-regular readers: PDD = partisan differential disorder, my snarky term for the belief that one of the red and blue teams is systematically superior to the other.

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