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Science, science denial, and popular neuroses

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Neurologist Steven Novella does not
disappoint, reproting on a new study of science gullibility:

What all this means (combined with other research, which the article reviews), is that trust in science itself, while a good thing overall, makes people more susceptible to pseudoscientific manipulation. All you have to do is make a claim seem sciency by quoting an alleged expert or citing a study (regardless of the quality, relevance, or representativeness of that study), and those with trust in science will see that as a cue to trust the claims being made.

Overall I think this means that when dealing with noncontroversial claims by legitimate scientists, trust in science is a good thing. It makes people more likely to accept claims and conclusions which are likely to be true because they are backed by legitimate science. But when dealing with pseudoscience, science denial, or claims that are controversial because they have political or ideological implications, this trust in science can be exploited to increase belief in and dissemination of false claims.

Steven Novella, “Trust in Science May Lead to Pseudoscience” at Neurologica Blog

But wait! That’s the finger on the scale! Suppose, listening to the evidence around COVID-19, I reasonably believed that it originated in a lab in Wuhan (China) which was doing experiments that the local people were not qualified to be doing?

Such a conclusion is inconvenient to current science bureaucrats but entirely reasonable otherwise. So then, they are “pro-science” and the rest of us are “anti-science”?

Well, “science” won’t be the winner.

Shouldn’t someone do a paper on the neuroses of “science” supporters like Novella?

You may also wish to read: Why should we believe atheists on the subject of God? Logic and evidence both point to the existence of God, whatever atheists may think. Most atheist arguments involve quibbles with a vast body of logic, evidence, and experience. Listen, sure — but check it out.

One Reply to “Science, science denial, and popular neuroses

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    Steven Novella, of all people, is commenting on other people being gullible to ‘scientific’ manipulation? 🙂

    But this is a guy who believes that all his thoughts, including his thought/belief that he exists as a real person, is generated by his material brain.

    In effect, Steven Novella thinks that his supposedly incontrovertible belief that he really exists as a real person is merely, and nothing but, a neuronal illusion that is generated by his brain. i.e. Novella, if he actually exists as a real person, (and who, besides Novella, knows this for sure?), is only suffering from the illusion that he exists as a real person.

    In others words, being gullible to supposedly ‘scientific’ sounding claims is built directly into Novella’s materialistic worldview of how all are thoughts are supposedly generated by our brain.

    This is hardly the first time that bizarre claims have been made for minimal findings. In neuroscience, materialism is the answer only if you don’t understand the questions.
    Excerpt: Novella has been trying to sell his materialist ideology in the guise of neuroscience for more than a decade. This is only the most recent in a host of his bizarre claims, including his 2008 assertion that “The materialist hypothesis– that the brain causes consciousness—has made a number of predictions, and every single prediction has been validated.”
    That’s a beautiful example of the Dunning-Kruger effect (people overestimate their mastery of a situation they don’t understand.) In neuroscience, materialism is the answer only if you don’t understand the questions.

    The Illusionist – Daniel Dennett’s latest book marks five decades of majestic failure to explain consciousness. – 2017
    Excerpt: “Simply enough, you cannot suffer the illusion that you are conscious because illusions are possible only for conscious minds. This is so incandescently obvious that it is almost embarrassing to have to state it.”
    – David Bentley Hart

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