Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:05 PM
MindMover (5,005 posts)
Science denial in the 21st century
MADISON, Wis. — The arc of science has faced roadblocks for centuries, but the pattern of denying the weight of evidence has taken on new virulence recently. Highly motivated people openly cast doubt on well-established evidence — the theory of evolution, the human effects on climate change, the value of vaccines and other findings that have achieved an overwhelming consensus in the scientific community.
Researchers and science writers tasked with reporting on these issues gathered April 23–24 at the University of Wisconsin at a meeting titled, “Science Writing in the Age of Denial.” Some noted that seemingly spontaneous denial of science in the populace is quite often a carefully choreographed attack.
Sean B. Carroll, an evolutionary biologist at UW–Madison, has traced similarities between an anti-polio vaccine movement by chiropractors in the 1950s and later attempts by others to deny evolution.
“There was a common playbook,” Carroll said. The deniers started by doubting the science, despite the evidence. They questioned the motives of researchers and cited gadfly “authorities” to give the impression of a disagreement among scientists. The doubters exaggerated potential harm, Carroll said, and appealed to personal freedom — such as the right to not get vaccinated.
Finally, he said, science denial embraced a viewpoint that “to accept the science would repudiate some key philosophy” of an individual or group. In the case of the polio vaccine, this would require the acceptance of the fact that a virus causes the disease, which chiropractic rejected. Same with evolution, Carroll said, which was framed as undermining biblical teachings.
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Science denial in the 21st century (Original post)
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Response to MindMover (Original post)
Fri Apr 27, 2012, 04:29 PM
exboyfil (5,730 posts)
2. Interesting article(s) in the April Scientific American
about the polio vaccine. I read them last night. It was in the same issue with the austrophiticus sedina hominid
story. I don't think they had a global warming story in the issue. I love Scientific American.
The creationists really don't have an answer to a. sedina - it obviously shows distinct features of both human and ape. They were able to date it very accurately to 2M years because the earth experienced a magnetic field flip about the same time.
The amount of science that needs to be rejected to accept young earth creationism is simply astounding. Those people are obviously delirious.