Friday, September 28, 2007

How to always be right

I came across this in a post on Dr Steven Novella's blog about the nonexistent connection between Thimerosal in the MMR vaccine and autism:

Everyone likes being right, and sometimes this desire clouds our judgment. I have learned, therefore, how to cheat, which is to say how to always be right. All you have to do is say that your position is based upon the existing data, but is contingent upon the results of future studies. In other words, the “right” position is to change your final answer to accommodate new evidence as it comes in. Therefore the only “wrong” answer is to stick to your original position despite new evidence that contradicts it.

I suppose I'd better review his podcast soon as well. Good stuff.