From O’Leary for News at ENST: Writing at The Conversation, psychology professor Jeremy Shapiro at Case Western Reserve University proffers his opinion on why many laypeople doubt the scientific consensus on questions such as climate change and biological evolution:
As a psychotherapist, I see a striking parallel between a type of thinking involved in many mental health disturbances and the reasoning behind science denial. As I explain in my book “Psychotherapeutic Diagrams,” dichotomous thinking, also called black-and-white and all-or-none thinking, is a factor in depression, anxiety, aggression and, especially, borderline personality disorder.
Dr. Shapiro seems not to have read much writing by ID theorists and it is a good bet he has not done psychotherapy with them. He goes on to explain:
For example, the biologist James Shapiro (no relation) discovered a cellular mechanism of genomic change that Darwin did not know about. Shapiro views his research as adding to evolutionary theory, not upending it. Nonetheless, his discovery and others like it, refracted through the lens of dichotomous thinking, result in articles with titles like, “Scientists Confirm: Darwinism Is Broken” by Paul Nelson and David Klinghoffer of the Discovery Institute, which promotes the theory of “intelligent design.” Shapiro insists that his research provides no support for intelligent design, but proponents of this pseudoscience repeatedly cite his work as if it does.
As it happens, a person not accustomed to black-and-white thinking might navigate without difficulty the idea that the work of Shapiro (the biologist) could support a theory of intelligent design whether or not Shapiro approves of such theories. That is not an unusual thing in science. More.