Immediately, I was reminded of a passage from a book I read recently, The Full Facts book of Cold Reading:
An open mind is appropriate in situations where we have no good evidence on way or the other... However, it is inappropriate to retain an open mind in cases where there is already plentiful evidence backing one view as against another.Technorati tags: open mindedness, silliness
Imagine you are in a plane flying at 20,000 feet. The captainof the plane starts thinking along these lines, "Gee, everything in the history of aeronautical science, and every experience of every airline pilot in history, suggests that to keep this thing in the air I need to keep the engines running. But hey, I'm going to keep an open mind. I'm going to cut all the engines, and dump our remaining fuel. Who knows, maybe the plane will still fly." Do you really want the captain to keep an open mind about this?
Or imagine you're dining with friends at a favourite restaurant, and you have ordered tomato soup. Do you really want the chef to be thinking, "Well now, everything we know about human nutrition, and every ounce of gastronomical training I have, suggests that I should not add a large dose of cyanide to this soup./ But hey, I'm going to keep an open mind. Maybe it will taste better, and everyone will love it.