Looking at this video of GOP members running away (in one case literally) from questions about Birtherism it struck me that rather than looking at the vast majority of GOP types who consistently trade in delusion, it would be more interesting to see if there is even one prominent GOP figure certifiably sane. By “certifiably sane”, I mean someone who has clearly and publicly rejected all the main forms of delusion propounded by the majority of Repugs. These include:
AGW delusionism (an explicit statement of support for mainstream science is required)
Creationism (must reject both creationism /ID and “teach the controversy’)
9/11 Trutherism (not, in most cases, the “Bush knew” version, but the “Saddam organised it, via meetings in Prague” version)
Crank medical theories: on passive smoking, the Terri Schiavo case, abortion-breast cancer link, AIDS reappraisal, claims about stem cells (to make it easy, getting any of these right will suffice)
Rejection of plate tectonics: According to the same poll that found most Republicans to be Birthers/sceptics, the majority also deny or doubt that America and Africa were once part of the same continent (brand new, so I’ll take absence of evidence on this one).
Bonus points if we can find one who’s not from Maine.
In my discussion of the efficient markets hypothesis, I’ve asserted at various times that if (strong or semi-strong) EMH holds, then the market price of an asset “the best possible estimate of the value of the asset” or, more simply, the “right” price. Quite a few commenters asked me to spell out what this means, and there was some useful discussion. This really is the central issue in evaluating the EMH, so I want both to get it right and to express myself as clearly as possible for non-specialist readers. There’s a draft over the fold. I await your brickbats and (hopefully) bouquets.
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Another section from the forthcoming book. Casting suggestions for the blockbuster movie will be gratefully accepted, along with more prosaic correction of errors, omissions, and of course, compliments. I’m trying to get a nice HTML version, but will see how it goes
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The Internets are buzzing with the latest survey showing, among other things, Republicans are split on the Birther issue with only 47 per cent accepting the claim that Obama was born in the US. That’s almost exactly equal to the 48 per cent who agree that global warming exists – it’s evident from the public debate that the overlap between Birthers and opponents of AGW is very high ).
But I wouldn’t want to give the impression that over 50 per cent of Republicans are conspiracy theorists who believe in a secret plot to impose a Kenyan-socialist dictatorship as part of the UN/IPCC system of world government. On the contrary, the proportion is only about 25 per cent (more in the South). As on the global warming issue, the balance of opinion within the Republican Party holds to the sensible “sceptical” position: the science isn’t settled, the birth records are unclear, sightings of black helicopters need further investigation and so on. That’s good to know.