Mythicism isn’t Skepticism

Josh Rosenau wrote a piece for NCSE, “Standing up for Skepticism.” Much of what it addresses in relation to climate change works equally well for mythicism and other forms of denialism. For instance, he quotes Genie Scott as saying the following: “The term “skeptic” has for several decades meant someone who applies critical thinking and [Read More...]

Science Denial Mad Libs

Also note how well this works: The scholarly consensus regarding the historical Jesus leaves something to be desired. If Jesus is historical, then why are the details of his life absent from Paul’s letters? Besides, Richard Carrier, Robert Price, and others have challenged the views of scholars like Mark Goodacre and James Dunn, proving that the historicity [Read More...]

That’s a Fact

From Joe Heller via Open Parachute. I don’t think the scientist does a good job of conveying scientific knowledge. It is rarely “just the facts.” We sometimes choose to speak that way, but when we do, it is often unhelpful, because denialists regularly think that they are looking at the facts, too. And so one needs [Read More...]

Bible Against Climate Change

The video above features politicians reprehensibly appealing to the Bible as though it can be used to discount the evidence for climate change, or the likelihood that its long-term impact with be catastrophic. It would make more sense to argue from the fact that there never was a worldwide flood, that non-coastal regions will probably [Read More...]

Bamboozle

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Scientist and Christian

Katharine Hayhoe was featured on the PBS NOVA series “The Secret Life of Scientists.” Click on the link in the previous sentence to hear about her work as a “climate change evangelist.” [Read more...]

Tomorrow and The Day After Tomorrow

As weather forecasters are warning of a “polar vortex” set to bring record low temperatures in many areas, is anyone besides me thinking back to the apocalyptic movie “The Day After Tomorrow,” which envisaged global warming disrupting weather patterns, leading to a new ice age? The movie's scenario is obviously ridiculously extreme, but it is [Read More...]

Mysteries Do Not Invalidate Knowledge

A key point I emphasize in my classes is that, just because a range of views about a topic may be held by experts, that does not mean that all views are compatible with the evidence. Nor is it the case that, just because we are uncertain about the answers to some questions, everything is uncertain. [Read More...]

Differentiating Between Debate and Denial

IO9 (in an article entitled “How to distinguish crap denialism from legitimate scientific debate”) linked to an article on the NIH website by Wendee Holtcamp, with the title “Flavors of Uncertainty: The Difference between Denial and Debate.” Both focus on the challenge the media and the general public faces in our day and age, when (to quote [Read More...]

The Danger of Backfiring Skepticism

Skepticism ought to be about critical thinking. But it often ends up being something else, which is illustrated nicely in the latest cartoon by David Hayward: It is a bit like the point made in Richard Beck’s recent blog post about scapegoating. Going against the flow, once looked down upon, is now highly appreciated in [Read More...]

Doctor Who: The Ice Warriors

The episode The Ice Warriors from the Patrick Troughton era is particularly interesting to watch today, because it is set in a time in Earth’s future when humanity faces a crisis as a result of anthropogenic climate change. In this case, developments in both food production and population led humans to reduce the amount of [Read More...]


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