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A fascinating book

Posted By Russ Roberts On November 6, 2011 @ 3:11 pm In Books,Truth-seeking & ideology | Comments Disabled

I am reading Good Calories, Bad Calories [1] by Gary Taubes, preparing for an EconTalk podcast. It is a fascinating book. Nominally about health and diet, it is equally about the challenge of confirmation bias, the role of ideology and prior beliefs in deterring true scientific inquiry, and the inevitable challenges of disentangling cause and effect in a complex system. Sadly, it reminded me a lot of macroeconomics. That of course, is my own confirmation bias at work. But I fear it is true that macroeconomics has failed the public in the same way that epidemiology has. More to come in about two weeks when the interview will air.

There are many interesting quotes about science and the truth-seeking in the book. Meanwhile, here is Richard Feynman on truth-seeking and ideology, quoted by Taubes:

The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.

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[1] Good Calories, Bad Calories: http://www.amazon.com/Good-Calories-Bad-Controversial-Science/dp/1400033462/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1320610193&sr=8-1/invisiblehear-20

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