Why invalid claims can be valuable
in Knowledge resistance
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In this chapter, the picture is broadened from descriptions of how community-based knowledge resistance takes place to why such patterns are so prevalent. To do this, the chapter combines perspective about human biological evolution with anthropological and sociological thought. What – if anything – could be the ‘adaptive value’ of knowledge resistance of groups? Could different chances of survival and reproduction throughout the long human history be associated with differences in people’s inclination to conform to the knowledge beliefs of their community? Community-based knowledge conformity is here illustrated by an examination of religious and scientific groups. The chapter also sheds light on such conformity in the context of male-dominated audiophile communities in their passionate pursuit of the perfect stereo-system sound. The more sceptical science is about the superiority of some audio equipment over other, the more it strengthens the sense of audiophile communities to insist that the double-blind comparisons of audio equipment carried out by scientists lack the sensitivity and sophistication of the golden ears of audiophiles.

Knowledge resistance

How we avoid insight from others

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