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...]

Competing Denialisms

Steve Douglas drew my attention to the above comic from SMBC. As someone who deals both with denialists who attack mainstream science, and denialists who attack mainstream history, I don’t know that I think one is worse than the other. And since both evolutionary biology and ancient history deal largely with theories that make sense [Read More...]

Tackling Denialism With Painful Logic

Compared to historians and scholars dealing with Jesus mythicists, those who tackle other forms of denialism seem to have it somewhat easier – or would, if denialism could be combated with logic of the sort illustrated in this XKCD cartoon: In related news, while I myself have used the comparison between the tactics used by [Read More...]

Why the Scientifically Literate Can Believe Silly Things

Jim Kidder pointed to and quoted from a piece in Discover Magazine by Chris Mooney, and this quote from it is worth circulating widely: If you understand motivated reasoning, then you understand that high levels of knowledge, education, and sophistication are no defense against wrongheaded views like climate change denial and anti-evolutionism.  What I’ll call “sophistication” may [Read More...]


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