Science deniers double standards of evidence

I thought this article could be a good topic of discussion, especially given the current climate in the U.S. where the current administration refuses to acknowledge Climate Change and all. What do you think, especially after reading the article- Is it fear or ignorance or both that causes denial? Do they refuse to accept science or just the science that threatens their beliefs? Do you agree with the person discussing the topic that deniers have a double standard where they accept some science but reject other science, which she calls “Cafeteria Skeptics”? There’s a whole lot more in the article we could discuss, but I figure that will get us started.

I’ve had the same discussion with several people, some of them intelligent liberals, but I’ll challenge them on vaccines or GMOs or 9/11 or whatever and they’ll start with the denial of my facts. I’ll stop and review how I know what I know and I’ll ask them if they agree. We can walk through the methods and they’ll be fine. Then, we go back to discussing facts and suddenly I’m naive and I trust the government and they bring up an example of a paper from something unrelated that turned out to be wrong or whatever. I’ll show them that the very paper they are relying on for their point of view has been redacted, but that just becomes proof that information is suppressed. It’s amazing to watch it happen.

I have seen with my own family that much of it is a desire for drama. It’s so much more exciting and juicy if the evil scientists who you’ve never met and can imagine as being a single guy with on of those old-timey curled mustaches wringing his hands than it is if you have to change how you live so that your children have a future. It’s just easier and more exciting if it’s a conspiracy.

Some people think that science denial starts with ignorance, but I think it actually starts with fear. Fear that the truth about some empirical topic will challenge the "truth" that someone is already committed to on the basis of their ideological or personal beliefs.
I 100% agree with this.

I’m “ignorant” about LOTS of things I don’t care about. I don’t know what sports are happening right now, or the names of teams. I can’t begin to tell you who is popular in country-western music right now.

But things I care about, I try to learn about. Even if my “caring” is being against it.

So on social media, you see people who debate evolution every day. They think about the topic a lot. But 6,840 people a week can explain to them that “theory” means something different in science than in regular parlance, and they still won’t hear it.

That is deliberate ignorance, and that’s borne from fear…a lot of times, because their faith is like a piece of cloth and they sense that pulling out one thread will unravel it.

Unidirectional skepticism equals denial :slight_smile:

I use Willful Ignorance, but it’s the same difference.

So are there any strategies for dealing with it, or is this just going to slip slid away like our global climate and biosphere is doing. I mean with these Trumpkin brainwashed scared angry sheople just rolling along, what can we hope for? Specially when their militias are training with D-day in sight.

Ready for a little history?

Anyone remember Seitz, Singer, Lindzen* - serious credentialed scientist of the top shelf - add in WWII Cold-War extremism and so on.

These guys drew the lines on the sand and said anything goes to damage your scientific opponent.

For decades they spewed pure personal slander, with an occasional misrepresentation of the science itself.

We all stood by, Free Speech and all. Is there anything to learn from ?


There is a long-standing “debate” over the reality of anthropogenic climate change between the mainstream climate science community and a handful of “skeptics,” most, though not all, of whom are financed by fossil-fuel companies and right-wing political foundations. This is well documented. Less well documented, and far less well understood, is the motivation of these deniers.

Conway (2008) briefly argued that they are motivated by market fundamentalism. In Merchants of Doubt, Oreskes and Conway (2010) have also argued that this market fundamentalism is rooted in the American Cold War experience. In this talk, Conway will discuss the origin of one of the principal founts of misinformation about climate science, the George C. Marshall Institute, in the political fight over the Strategic Defense Initiative.

Erik Conway is a historian of science and technology residing in Pasadena, CA, currently employed by the California Institute of Technology. He studies and documents the history of space exploration, and examines the intersections of space science, Earth science, and technological change. Conway has co-authored two books with Naomi Oreskes on climate change, the Merchants of Doubt (2010), concerning the deliberate misrepresentation of climate change by a few high-level scientists, and The Collapse of ‘Western’ Civilization (2014), a science-based work of fiction that gives a critique of our present time from a future perspective.

*The God-Father’s of Science by Slander and Rhetoric.

I remember once before my aunt died a discussion on Evolution popped up and my aunt laughed, saying, “Where do scientist come up with these things. It’s not in the Bible.” She was a teacher in the public school system before she retired and didn’t accept Evolution as science. I asked her, “So a bat is a bird?” She gave me the dirtiest look and acted my question was just ridiculous. I would have pressed the issue, but with my aunt in the hospital at the time the conversation came up, I decided to leave it alone. For an educated women, who accepted medical science, including vaccinations, she denied Evolution as being a fact, even dismissed it. Chemistry was science, medicine was science, study of planets, etc was science, but not Evolution because “it’s not in the Bible”. Weird dichotomy she had, IMO, but I think anytime science came close to contradicting her belief in God, she rejected it out right. So, yes, I think went science touches on one’s beliefs, even well educated people reject it, out of fear of losing something they find meaningful and making life to them worth living.

Weird dichotomy she had, IMO, but I think anytime science came close to contradicting her belief in God, she rejected it out right.
Sad part is we see it more an more, just need to consider A) some of the characters that show here and B) how few folks participate in CFI sorts of discussions. It's not like there are that many cool little forums out there. Were are the children of the enlightenment? - who were driven by wanting to know the correct answers and don't mind being proven wrong if someone can explain with rational evidence and arguments? and so on and so forth . . .
These guys drew the lines on the sand and said anything goes to damage your scientific opponent.
That would never happen. Everybody knows that scientists all get together and decide, for instance, that evolution is real and then they work together across the globe to shut down anybody who disagrees with them. Didn't you watch that documentary from that Ferris Bueller actor? (If not, a little tip. If you take a bucket to throw up in and a Valium to keep you calm you can get through almost half of it.) They just fire professors for like that. Everybody knows that you only make your mark on the world as a scientist if you blindly agree with everyone else. It's not like you could become a famous scientist by doing crazy shit and changing the world. Otherwise scientists would just become famous for crazy things, like revolutionizing physics or killing planets or something.

I have a BSc in chemistry; passed in 2 years. 5 languages. Given Permanent Commission as a RAF pilot. CO2 alarmism is not logical. The CO2 effect is LOGARITHMIC so even doubling CO2 would do virtually nothing. So, NO panic/emergency! CO2 saturated at about 140 ppm. The decrease in cloud cover was 6.8% 1986 to 2009, mostly due to the number of aerosols declining…15 counts in London, today; 200 in 1950; 600 in 1900. Synodic Resonance (the conjunction of the planets) also increases Sunspots and Sun strength AND therefore shielding of the Earth from Cosmic rays which also nucleate clouds. USA under Trump has decreased CO2 FAR MORE(due to fracking) than Europe with their silly expensive windmills. Gas power plants 30 times cheaper than Coal power workers 70 times the output of workers.

Google after 4 years of work concluding it is IMPOSSIBLE to transfer to wind/solar…ALL California, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona would have to be covered in solar panels. Want that? The Paris accord; Pakistan, “We, at some point will try to reduce our CO2.” Well done!

So, what do we do when the coal and gas runs out?

Coal and gas will not run out. They will become more scarce, more costly to get to, more polluting, until we stop being fooled by the climate change deniers, and just stop using coal and gas. It will still be in the Earth, but not worth getting to.

It is possible to transfer to wind and solar for virtually all of our energy needs. Advocates of the fossil fuels and nuclear fuel production, will lie about this.

Climate Change deniers will continue to present bogus arguments (like we have nothing to worry about because “the CO2 effect is Logarithmic”). I wish these people who advocate business as usual, could see the effects there efforts have on their grandchildren 50 years in the future, if they are successful in stopping a green new deal from ever being implemented. I suspect that in the coming decades, the climate change deniers will be cursed and despised by those living with the effects of their efforts.

Well, Mark, what I have noticed that you do NOT have is a PhD in climatology. That makes you the same as me when it comes to climate. I also have a degree in an unrelated field, you see, and am therefore ALMOST as qualified as you to speak on climate science. I only have 1 language, so obviously I am at least a little less learned than you in matters of climate science. Oh, wait a minute! Language has NOTHING to do with climate science?

The very notion that you believe your degree in an unrelated field and ability to speak multiple languages gives you ANY credibility to speak outside your field (if any of that is true), combined with the CLASSIC signs of pseudoscience where you bring your argument directly to the people rather than to the scientific community, clearly says to me that you are not that bright, no matter how smart you are.

Not only that, but you got something seriously wrong. Google DID NOT determine that it was “impossible to transfer to wind/solar”. You are quote mining Google engineer Ross Koningstein, who DID NOT SAY that it was “impossible” to switch. He said that it would not be going far enough to combat climate change. And he said that in 2011, forever ago in technology terms. You can read the article here.

Not only that, but you got something else seriously wrong. The cost of power generation too. Wind power, as of this year, is currently CHEAPER than natural gas power. And if coal power stations are so damned cheap and reliable, why are they being shut down left and right, during a coal-friendly administration, not by activists or regulators, but by the OWNERS, who are just not seeing profits in keeping them open?

And EVEN IF he had said it was impossible, that is bullshit. I live in Iowa, the nation’s leader in wind power generation. We currently get about 37% of our power from wind generators and let me tell you, there is almost nothing but open land between me and the nearest wind generators I am aware of, about an hour or so away. And they don’t even need open land. I’ve seen them in fields and in cities as well.

And EVEN IF it actually WAS impossible “We can’t do it with this alone” DOES NOT MEAN “We should do nothing at all.”

Whatever it is you THINK you know, you don’t. Quit being an idiot and realize that you DO NOT have the skills and knowledge required to hold many opinions outside your area of expertise, including climatology, electrical power, solar activity, global politics…pretty much anything and everything outside speaking to people in 5 different languages and being a lab technician. The experts are known as experts because they have expertise, which you DO NOT have. You’re being an idiot by thinking you do.

Widdershins, I think you are going a little easy on him. I can’t wait til CC gets a hold of him.

Lol, I actually DID go back and rewrite a bit to tone it down a tad.

Coal and gas will not run out.
Way back in early internet days, I saw an economist being interviewed about this. The environmentalists were trying to get him to answer a question about what would happen to the economy when the resources ran out. He kept insisting that they would never "run out", instead they would become more expensive to extract, and at that point, economics would take over and someone would innovate something that was cheaper. This is of course, insane. It's a plan to wait until things are so bad you have to do something or die. But it is exactly how economics works when you look at people as consumers and not as beings that care about the future. I hoped at that time that cooler minds would prevail, but, here we are.

Yeah but, Tim, that was really a beautiful rebuttal Widdershins wrote out, I’m humbled*, think I’ll have to read it another couple times, appropriate some of those sentence - it’s not intellectual theft - it’s learning. :wink:


  • I do appreciate I’ve been paying attention for longer than most, and it’s had its toll on me mentally/emotionally - and I am pissed off, and it does show too easily when confronting intellectual frauds like that Mr. Wheaties up there. Just once a fist planted just right on the nose - that clears the head of bullshit real fast. But no, I’m a impotent nobody who enjoys his freedom and who’s been blessed with living in beautiful places, far from the maddening crowd, most of my adult life. Would hate to spend the rest of my life in a cell. Besides, in truth I’m a pacifist, even if I’ve got a healthy sense of self-preservation - I’ve learned to accept, no, to cope with, being totally impotent to change a god damned thing of the nightmare we are racing towards, so I’m left with the challenge of constantly readjusting my state of mind. Hopelessness is easier on the blood pressure than rage.


One for the road:

Richard Alley - 4.6 Billion Years of Earth’s Climate History: The Role of CO2

Thanks for that Citizen. All I really did is look up some facts. I’ve seen enough of these ridiculous claims in the past to be able to pretty much immediately spot the parts where they are exaggerating, lying or misinformed. Actually, even that sounds smarter than it really is. There’s a certain simple structure in these arguments you look for which are invariable the parts where their information is wrong. They’re called “facts”. Any time they give you one of these “facts”, they’re making some shit up. And it’s seriously like every single one. Some are easier than others to checked, but this guy was one of the dumber ones because he tried to quote mine someone from Google, of all places. Quick pro tip, if you Google Google, you will absolutely not break the internet. It’s fine. And they seem to be linked to a whole lot of information about themselves, actually. How odd.

Anyway, the claims this poster made, aside from the logarithmic claim which others had already pounced on, were super simple to double check. I mean, you don’t quote mine someone from Google and expect it to be hard to find information on it. That’s just amateur hour right there.