MY RECENT LETTER TO THE EDITOR
Conservatives claim Sotomayor’s humanity might bias her judgments in law. Fact is, if she were liberal, she’d be less likely to enforce biased judgments. Recent brain imaging studies show that the conservative brain is less able to entertain two competing ideas. In short, conservative biases are unyielding whereas liberals might alter an outworn bias through new information. Adaptive change is the key to survival.
No one is objective, least of all someone who imagines they’re objective. Recent findings in neuroscience suggest human behavior is more robotic than we’d like to think. The synaptic connections which determine human personality are limited by genetic makeup and altered by life experience. By imaging brain activity, we observe that human actions are triggered before the brain becomes conscious of choice. For example, words form before we’re conscious of choosing them. The batter’s nervous system begins to swing milliseconds before he thinks to swing.