Thursday, April 21, 2011

The Science of Denying Science

Chris Mooney explains denialism: on Obama's birth certificate, climate change, and the vaccine-autism link. Modern neuroscience explains it all.

Mooney also explains why logic and reason often don't convince anybody to change their position.


F C said...


Anonymous said...

linky in the title and worth a read.

Little Mouse

jcrabb said...

Instead of 'Denialists', why not 'Rejects', as they reject vast amounts of data, also this way Holocaust deniers no longer have their reputation smeared by association.

EliRabett said...

Damn it John, it's rejectionism. Don't you read Rabett Run.

susan said...

Mooney (also MotherJones) seems to be hot on the trail. Good for him. This:

and more recently, this:

He's been my hero since I got the paperback Republican War on Science 2004ish, and subsequently Storm World, which is excellent, covers the whole shebang on hurricanes, and readable as well.
(seems to be more over there, but that's enough for starters)

Pinko Punko said...

Not to open up several cans of worms, but there is a ton of complexity here. Mooney and Nisbet have been controversial because of their stance on "framing" and it is quite ironic that they are now in a tiff. What I noticed was that Mooney felt fine using a cult of nutters in his article about those that deny reality. Aggressive internet atheists would have probably said that he needn't use an obscure cult as an example, he could use any religion, but that would be an offensive framing, though equally rhetorically valid.

jcrabb said...

As a Nazi is somebody who follows Nazism, a Reject is someone who follows Rejectionism.

Pinko Punko said...

Mooney has the rabbit ears on the other head now that he's down the rabbit hole with Nisbet. Some might say that Chris responding "duh" to Nisbet in his comments is uncivil. He should be careful he doesn't get himself tossed in the pile with the rest of the internet rudos.

John said...

Eli, "denialism" and "rejectionism" mean the same thing. In this context I used "denialism" because that is the phrase used by author Chris Mooney, whose article I was highlighting.

When questions arise about the official scientific terminology, the well-known authority is the Supreme Rabbit, Eli, as recognized by the United Nations, and also by the American Automobile Association.

When Eli uses the phrase "epistemic closure", his Royal Bunnyship basically means cross-brained dogmatic stubbornness.

Chris Mooney mentions as examples the alleged vaccine-autism link, climate change "rejectionism" (= denial), etc., but Mooney could also have gone on to list:

the belief that Organic Food is much better for you than non-organic food,
the fear of power-line magnetic fields,
the fear of cell phone "radiation",
the exaggerated fear of low-level (background) levels of radioactivity,
and many many others.

Don't get me started..
Too late!!!! Ya got me started...

Sou said...

Oh, can I add some as well?
The idea that permaculture can feed the world.
The idea that non-GM foods have no genes (and that eating genes will kill you).

I heard that the current Catholic Pope said today that he thinks that the notion of evolution means that 'man' has no purpose. (Is he becoming 'rational' or is he denying evolution?)

I liked the article - good food to chew on :D

Flavius Collium said...

Hmm, isn't it pretty obvious that organic food has less pesticides that lessen fertility etc.

Don't throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Anonymous said...

Mooney is at it again. This time plagiarizing that other crap he wrote about the GOP's war on science. LOl. He really is a one trick pony, isn't he?

Someone ought to ask the liberal arts graduate if he thought Larry Summers firing at the premier university in the world was an attack of science over scientific findings that male and female brains are different.