Friday, May 06, 2011
As this story relates, even reasonable people have blind spots and suffer from incredulity. It is an issue the President is facing now by deciding not to release photos of the deceased Osama bin Laden. Part of his justification is that even with a photo, some people will refuse to believe -- and he is right. The notion that man can reason his way to proper answers based on evidence is fiction for most people. Even scientists have taken wrong turns and defended oddball notions long after the weight of evidence has gone against them. I should write especially scientists because their adherence to an evidence-based approach makes them vulnerable when evidence is incomplete, as it often is. PR practitioners know incredulity well. There are always reporters and others who see conspiracies. They refuse to accept facts at face value. This phenomenon will never go away. It is a human trait that one learns to accept. The mistake is paying too much attention to disbelievers -- unless the incredulous are gaining a hearing. Then, one must act -- and swiftly.