Fascinating article. Thanks for the link.
You know, I don't think that the article suggests that our minds are a failure. Our minds are complex. When we process information, we don't see that information in a vacuum. Everything else that we "know" influences the input.
Many centuries ago, people looked at the cycles of the moon, and saw a disk that got smaller or bigger every day. When I look at the moon, I see a huge celestial body that is usually partially covered by the shadows of the earth. I SEE the shadow because I know it is there. Previous generations SAW the bite marks from the serpent who was chewing away at the disk.
I spend a lot of time looking at data. At work, I look at similar sets of data year after year, and I pretty much know what I expect to see. If there is an anomaly, my first assumption is that there is a data entry error. So I make my staff crazy going over the data again, and running reports to find the error. There must be some SET of data somewhere that just didn't get input! There must be something wrong with a formula somewhere. If, after having made my staff's life miserable, the anomaly is still there, I need to accept it, and try and figure out what it means. What was different this year? What factors did I fail to take into account?
When the data "looks right" I don't put it under the same sort of scrutiny.
Of course our brains process information in the context of everything else that we know and understand.
When those Harvard economists presented their evidence that there was a "cliff" of debt to GDP, they already believed that austerity measures promoted economic growth. http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/daily-ticker/did-harvard-economists-excel-error-lead-economic-austerity-185852805.html
They were not surprised when their evidence supported their beliefs. So they didn't find the error in their excel spreadsheets.
Of course our experiences and beliefs and knowledge base impact on how we input information that our brains receive. If we didn't, we would wake up every morning testing gravity, like toddlers who throw cereal bowls off their high chair, just to see what is going to happen.
Political beliefs are deeply engrained. As are religious beliefs. And repeated sensory experiences, for that matter.
This is not a flaw. We are programed to build on what we "know."
It is, however, the best argument for peer review. And it should serve as a reminder to us that we need to reassess our deeply held beliefs when the evidence contradicts them.