First, people were asked to state their positions on a series of political issues ... They were asked to describe their position on a seven-point scale whose endpoints were “strongly in favor” and “strongly opposed.”
Second, people were asked to rate their degree of understanding of each issue on a seven-point scale. The third step was the crucial one; they were asked to “describe all the details you know about ... going from the first step to the last, and providing the causal connection between the steps.” Fourth, people were asked to rerate their understanding on the seven-point scale and to restate their position on the relevant issue.
The results were stunning. On every issue, the result of requesting an explanation was to persuade people to give a lower rating of their own understanding -- and to offer a more moderate view on each issue.
Okay, now look back at me. Some of you in Facebooklandia saw snippets (or more) of my participation in an evolution/creationism thread on Tony's page. I know Tony only through the internet, as one of the more reasonable people on one of those many Christian forums I've been kicked off of. Anyway, he's in Alabama, and his friendslist has a somewhat different composition than mine. So it was interesting foray deep into Redstatia.
And curiously it came on the heels of another mini-kerfuffle on a Christian forum that I haven't been kicked off. But this time, it wasn't religion or evolution, but parapsychology. It started with Dean Radin, but quickly moved over to Rupert Sheldrake, and the he-said/she-said war between Sheldrake and Randi. And then, one of the posters says, "Rupert Sheldrake kindly agreed to weigh in on this controversy."
While I have no way to confirm that (skeptic that I am) I can at least say I was having a discussion with pseudo-Sheldrake.
And now most recently back on FB, my best friend from high school(*) approvingly posted Sheldrake's 'banned' TEDx talk. Mainly to annoy Prime, I make it a point of principle to never watch TED talks, so I don't have any opinion on the matter. But it did make me look at my friend's profile page, and what did I find, but that a few months back, he made a half dozen creationist YouTube videos. I don't have the heart to watch them.