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Science denial?: What planet are some people living on?

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Abstract at ScienceDirect:

Science denialism poses a serious threat to human health and the long-term sustainability of human civilization. Although it has recently been rather extensively discussed, this discussion has rarely been connected to the extensive literature on pseudoscience and the science-pseudoscience demarcation. This contribution argues that science denialism should be seen as one of the two major forms of pseudoscience, alongside of pseudotheory promotion. A detailed comparison is made between three prominent forms of science denialism, namely relativity theory denialism, evolution denialism, and climate science denialism. Several characteristics are identified that distinguish science denialism from other forms of pseudoscience, in particular its persistent fabrication of fake controversies, the extraordinary male dominance among its activists, and its strong connection with various forms of right-wing politics. It is argued that the scientific response to science denialism has to be conceived with these characteristics in mind. In particular, it is important to expose the fabricated fake controversies for what they are and to reveal how science denialists consistently use deviant criteria of assent to distort the scientific process. (paywall) – Sven Ove Hansson, Department of Philosophy and History, Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Stockholm, Sweden, More.

Does anyone know much about “relativity theory denialism”? As for evolution and climate science, these fields have been plagued by frauds and politicking since forever. See, for example, Jonathan Wells’s Zombie Science.

How can a person be so out of touch as to fail to see that most people, given access to information, would have legitimate doubts about evolution and climate science claims? And that is usually the reason they don’t believe the official version.

One concern today is, of course, is the serious efforts to control public access to news via the internet.

Maybe it’s social justice or something.

See also: Camilla Paglia on the collapse of journalism

Note: Light news posting today due to deadlines for News’s other alternate day job.

19 Replies to “Science denial?: What planet are some people living on?

  1. 1
    Dionisio says:

    “…science denialism should be seen as one of the two major forms of pseudoscience, alongside of pseudotheory promotion. ”

    Is this referring to the Darwinian ideas?

  2. 2
    Dionisio says:

    Isn’t Darwin’s gross extrapolation of the built-in variability framework found in biological systems an example of pseudoscience?

  3. 3
    Origenes says:

    Sven Ove Hansson the ‘Psycho Joe’ of fake philosophy.

  4. 4
    asauber says:

    its strong connection with various forms of right-wing politics

    And they have Russian emails to prove it.

    Andrew

  5. 5
    Charles says:

    Ideas that make no predictions and research without reproducible results, and whose methods & data are withheld from scrutiny, all should be denied the imprimatur of “Science”.

    Public Relations is not science. Grant proposals are not science. Technical propaganda is not Science. Theorizing that denies or fails to explain empirical evidence is not science.

  6. 6
    Macauley86 says:

    As for “relativity theory denialism,” they may be referring to geocentrism.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDd0_WEucHI&t=40s

  7. 7
    Origenes says:

    “Relativity theory denialism” may also refer to quantum mechanics, which is incompatible with relativity — we are talking about two genuinely incompatible descriptions of reality.

  8. 8
    Macauley86 says:

    Origenes,
    I doubt it, though, because quantum mechanics is a darling of the scientific establishment.

    On the other hand, the geocentric movement is a fringe one, galvanized by the recent discovery of the “axis of evil” and the anisotropies of the universe as mapped by the COBE, WMAP, and Planck probes.

  9. 9
    tribune7 says:

    When a priestly caste imposes a dogma one can be sure that what they are imposing is not science even if they call it that.

  10. 10
    Origenes says:

    Macauley86 @6, @8

    Geocentrism … very interesting. Thank you for sharing that link to the interview with Dr. Robert Sungenis.

  11. 11
    Dionisio says:

    The Darwinian dogma imprinted in textbooks for so many years may have helped to produce many papers filled with archaic pseudoscientific hogwash that may have led many scientists to look in the wrong direction which may have contributed to slowdown scientific research progress thus delaying the design of better medical treatments and health maintenance programs.
    So many researchers surprised by unexpected discoveries is pathetic.

  12. 12
    rvb8 says:

    Of course the connection between, Anglo/Saxon culture (US, Canada, Britain, Australia, NZ), and crackpottery should also be discussed.

    In European culture why is it that the Anglo/Saxons are always more prone to nuttiness?

    Global Warming, and Evolution are readily taken as fact in Europe, even in India, and China, and Russia. They appear far more open to progress and are generally poorer economies.

    It’s weird; as if good education, a generally cushy life, and a generally peaceful society produces crackpots.

    Of course these ‘denialists’, are ably supported by Islamists, African tribalists, Recipp Erdogan, and sections of the Russian media:

    Strange bedfellows in the denialist’s camp.

  13. 13

    The first sentence in the abstract:

    “Science denialism poses a serious threat to human health and the long-term sustainability of human civilization. …”

    This takes me back to 2009 shortly after my wife and I moved from the west coast to the east coast. We were back in California visiting friends and were visiting over breakfast one morning with friends from 40+ years back. In reminiscing over the past year apart, I mentioned to Roger that I had attended a couple of Tea Party events recently.  This set Roger off, and he proceeded to tell me that he considered the Tea Party to be a “terrorist” organization, and in fact he had written to the Department of Homeland Security recommending to them that they add Tea Party to the list of “terrorist’ organizations. I dismissed this at first as just some of Roger’s boisterous liberal ranting which we was wont to do — “Bill Gates is the Devil Incarnate and Microsoft is the Evil Empire”  was one of his talking points back then.

    But as this conversation churned in me over the time that followed, it really began to bother me.
    The Tea Party – me – terrorists? I remembered the four high jacked airliners slamming into those buildings in in New York City and into the Pentagon. I remembered seeing the pictures and videos of people falling and jumping from great heights. I remember seeing the beheadings of Nick Berg and Daniel Pearl. But the Tea Party – Me? I know terrorism when I see it, and I know terrorists when I see what they do. I am not a terrorist nor is/was the Tea Party.
    But the damage was done. Roger would not back down, retract or apologize for what by then I considered to be outlandish and slanderous talk. A good friendship of 40 years was shattered on the rocks of vicious name calling and vilification.

    Then I started to notice that Roger was not alone in this slander. Other notable high ranking governmental officials, news and entertainment personalities began with the same line of talk. I’ve documented this on my personal blog posts so I won’t revisit at this point.

    And by now in 2016/2017 of course it has gotten much worse. That’s why I am alarmed at this article from ScienceDirect with the accusation that people like me are “ … a threat to human health and the long-term sustainability of human civilization.”  Good grief, now I’m not just a terrorist, but one who will bring down all of human civilization?

    Permit me the same privilege given to ScienceDirect and allow me a bit of my own name calling. And the name calling I chose to use as a counter to the mind set and world view presented by this corrupted view of science as espoused by ScienceDirect is Book Burning. Book Burning as practiced under German Nazism was very direct – physically confiscate those books you disagree with and burn them in a very public manner.  Today’s Book Burning is accomplished to a large degree by the strangle hold that Atheistic/Materialists hold over academia and the popular science reporting media, in particular the so-called “science” of Evolutionary Biology and now the dooms-day science called Climate Science.  

    There is much controversy over Evolution and its role in the origin, development and sustainment of life on our planet – in spite of what you may read or hear in the popular media. And there is little scientific evidence that random mutations and natural selection had or have a part in this wonderful thing we call life.  Oh you may hear of the “mountain of evidence” supporting the evolution “just so” stories, but you will find that improbable mountain described by such as Richard Dawkins to be made of Papier-mâché, French for “chewed paper.”
      
    And if you want to experience some of the worst name calling and vilification, try countering the evolution only mind set in places like the National Center for Science Education (NCSE). I’ve been there offering counters to their world view with evidences from a different perspective – that of Intelligent Design. The push back to me was brutal, but very seldom backed with evidence or any reasoned argument – but much vile name calling.

    On a final note I again revisit those times beginning in 2009. I saw and read the blossoming of name calling and vilification emanating from the political and cultural left against the Conservative Christian world view, and I greatly feared what my grandchildren may come to believe about their grandfather. So I began blogging in earnest in hopes of leaving a written record of who I was and what I believed. Has it been successful? Much to early to tell.
     
    So in closing, I recommend that when you read such articles having a “scientific” veneer, do some serious research and thinking of your own and come to your own conclusion. I’m not asking you to be a scientist, I’m asking you to separate the science from the propaganda.

  14. 14
    News says:

    rvb8 at 12, you do a great self-parody

    You: Global Warming, and Evolution are readily taken as fact in Europe, even in India, and China, and Russia. They appear far more open to progress and are generally poorer economies.

    Me: What does “open to progress” mean? More rules and regulations? More ‘crats and thugs? Incidentally, why ARE they poorer economies? (How’s that police state stuff goin’ for you guys?)

    You: It’s weird; as if good education, a generally cushy life, and a generally peaceful society produces crackpots.

    Me: The science success of the English-speaking peoples* has always depended in large part on intellectual freedom. That means you must put up with people who don’t agree with you (crackpots).

    You: Of course these ‘denialists’, are ably supported by Islamists, African tribalists, Recipp Erdogan, and sections of the Russian media:

    Me: Most of these groups are mortal enemies of each other and hardly co-operating in anything. They doubtless have different reasons for taking the positions they do.

    *Usage note: “Anglo/Saxon culture (US, Canada, Britain, Australia, NZ)” are conventionally called the English-speaking peoples. That avoids the risk of accidentally leaving people out (Nigeria and Jamaica come to mind)

    Happy Canada Day to all.

  15. 15
    News says:

    DonJohnsonDD682 at 13, these people are behaving this way because of the utter failure of progressivism except when enforced by violence. It will get worse but more and more people are beginning to see it.

  16. 16
  17. 17
    tribune7 says:

    If China cares so much about AGW why do they want to keep increasing their AGW causing emissions through 2030?

    Russia, btw, has yet to ratify the Paris Climate Accord.

  18. 18

    News @15:
    You say “It will get worse but more and more people are beginning to see it ”

    Your statement can be modified to read “It will get worse but more and more people are beginning to see and experience it” That’s when you can gauge the level of tyranny that’s in play (Saul Alinsky at work).

  19. 19
    jstanley01 says:

    Macauley86 and Origenes: To me, it was worth watching and responding to one of Dr. Sungenis’s talks. But unfortunately, he is caught up in the interminable baloney about the Apollo Program. I commented on that video…

    As far as whether a stationary earth is more parsimonious and fits the scientific evidence better than the standard model, Sungenis makes some interesting points that I had not heard about before (go figure). I look forward to seeing his movie.

    But if the Big Bang model happens to be true, that doesn’t negate the biblical position that the earth is the unmoving center of the universe. The conclusion of general relativity is that whichever point “you decide” to make the unmoving center of the universe can indeed be counted as the unmoving center of the universe, and all the math will still work out. Which makes the earth as good a place as any, but it also makes anyplace else just as good as earth, and no place more parsimonious than anyplace except for the existence of that doggon “axis of evil.” That microwave crosshair aimed at earth on two axes, both of which span the cosmos. Dang! Now there’s a surprise.

    Pretty impressive evidence, to me anyway, that “God decided” that earth is the unmoving center of the universe according to His purposes. And specifically, His purpose as Genesis unfolds, to provide a home for mankind. I, for one, am not going to argue if that is what God decided. YMMV, especially among those who believe a wonder like the human brain was capable of self-assembling randomly over time. One impossibly-lucky set of events always deserves another, right?

    As far as the moon landing “controversy” question @ 2:07:57 – I guess the dad of the questioner, who worked for NASA on the moon shots, was actually part of a conspiracy. One that he was so committed to that he was willing to lie to his son. Ditto for my friend, who was a chemist who was also working for NASA during the Apollo 13 crisis. He must have been so sold-out to the fraud that he was willing to lie to his family, to me, and to everyone else.

    Sungenis’s answer — blah-blah-blah about radiation — begs the real question, which is historical not technical. If the historical records of the moon landing could be faked, there is no fact of history that could not have been faked. Including the historical witness in I Corinthians 15:6 about the “above five hundred” who saw the resurrected Christ. And all we are left with is the evidence we experience with our own eyes, if that.

    You theolgians out there, including Dr. Sungenis, who are caught up in the tinfoil nonsense about the moon landings might want to consider whether you are doing your case any good.

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