Six Elements of Denialism

John Loftus summarized a list provided by Sean Carroll of six arguments that are used by science denialists: The six arguments used by science denialists aim to:1) Cast doubt on science.2) Question the motives and integrity of scientists.3) Magnify disagreements between scientists, especially to cite gadflies as authorities.4) Exaggerate the potential harm coming from science.5) Appeal [Read More...]

Evolution and the Environment

Josh Rosenau took the Pew data on churches’ acceptance of evolutionary biology and of climate science, and made a chart. The correlation is clear and striking. Jim Kidder also shared it, together with some thoughts of his own. [Read more...]

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...]

Science Denial Tactics

Ken Perrott shared this useful image with Sean Carroll's list of tactics used by science-deniers for more than a hundred years. Some of them claim to be standing on “the unchanging Word of God,” when the reality is they are standing on unchanging tactics of deception, which haven't changed because they continue to be effective [Read More...]

Grief at the Loss of Absolutes

David Hayward shared the above cartoon. The title uses “deconstruction” in its popular rather than its technical sense. It is really about the application of Kübler-Ross' famous “five stages of grief” to the grief we experience when we realize that our conviction that we have the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth [Read More...]

Imperfect Views of Reality

In a blog post about denialism, Mark Hoofnagle writes: Denialism in most people is a defense mechanism that protects their core values from being undermined by reality. And no matter what your ideology, at some point, you will have a conflict with the facts because no ideology perfectly describes or models all of reality. You are [Read More...]

Peter Denies Jesus

Several people on Facebook have shared this. And given March Madness and Butler’s victory yesterday, it seemed appropriate to share it here too. [Read more...]

Dawkins vs. Denialism

Michael Bird shared this Mitchell and Webb video about an imagined conversation between Richard Dawkins and his publisher. It actually gets at a really good point, which connects with an issue I often blog about, namely the embracing of Jesus-mythicism and other such fringe ideas among atheists. There is something enjoyable in denying what others [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...]