SEEPAGE - science -> pseudo-sci -> contrarianism -> passive acceptance

Although Professor Lewandowsky was focused on what was happening within the public climate science dialogue - the same applies to all other aspects of serious science contrarianism and denial.

Seepage: The effect of climate denial on the scientific community By Stephan Lewandowsky Professor, School of Experimental Psychology and Cabot Institute, University of Bristol Posted on 7 May 2015 The article “Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community" just appeared in Global Environmental Change. The article is authored by me and Naomi Oreskes, James S. Risbey, Ben R. Newell, and Michael Smithson. It is open access and can be found here. We highlight three well-known psychological mechanisms that may facilitate the seepage of contrarian memes into scientific discourse and thinking: ‘stereotype threat’, ‘pluralistic ignorance’ and the ‘third-person effect’. Stereotype threat refers to the emotional and behavioural responses when a person is reminded of an adverse stereotype against a group to which they belong. Thus, when scientists are stereotyped as ‘alarmists’, a predicted response would be for them to try to avoid seeming alarmist by downplaying the degree of threat. There are now several studies that highlight this tendency by scientists to avoid highlighting risks, lest they be seen as ‘alarmist.’ Pluralistic ignorance describes the phenomenon which arises when a minority opinion is given disproportionate prominence in public debate, resulting in the majority of people incorrectly assuming their opinion is marginalized. Thus, a public discourse that asserts that the IPCC has exaggerated the threat of climate change may cause scientists who disagree to think their views are in the minority, and they may therefore feel inhibited from speaking out in public. Finally, research shows that people generally believe that persuasive communications exert a stronger effect on others than on themselves: this is known as the third-person effect. However, in actual fact, people tend to be more affected by persuasive messages than they think. This suggests the scientific community may be susceptible to arguments against climate change even when they know them to be false. While those potential drivers of seepage are well-understood outside the context of climate science, it is a different matter to show that they have actually affected the conduct of science. In our article, we illustrate ...
Unlike driving home where it's easy to recognize and define the transitions between state hwy, county paved road, country gravel road, and our long long driveway. In the public dialogue, it's much less clear where an argument crossed the line from serious science question, to pseudo-science with its manipulate word games and half truths and gross omissions of pertinent facts. Lordie knows I've offered enough of my own thoughts as I grapple with the state of scientific understanding and serious science communication, (this will be followed with a reminder) when I suggest others join in on sharing thoughts and exploring the issues, it's silence. Such a weird state of affairs. So how about it - is it all just the same and it don't matter what's serious science and what's someone jerking your leg? Is there a difference between science -> pseudo-sci ? How do we define those differences?

Again this is focused on Climate Science, however the problems and tactics and damage are the same whatever the topic being head-fuked with. I reject and confront the GOP’s assumption that deliberate malicious lying is an appropriate political strategy when it comes to something as serious and consequential as understanding Anthropogenic Global Warming. 14 observations on our dysfunctional public dialogue. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 1) Uncertainties vs. known Physical Certainties Is it a disservice to constantly allow trivial uncertainties to become the focal point of the public discussion. In real life when we get mired or overwhelmed by increasingly complex situations, we stop, back off a little, get reoriented with the big picture, reacquaint ourselves with what we do know for certain, then move forward again. I’m not saying ignore uncertainties! I’m saying keep reminding us of the overriding fundamental certainties! Thus putting contrarian trivial pursuits into real world perspective. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 2) Map vs. Territory Problem Scientists are Cartographers mapping out the geophysical realities of our planet, the Territory if you will. They do the best they can with the data they have available. Too often we get trapped into assuming that until our scientists can define all aspects with statistical certainty, we should assume it doesn’t exist. Getting lost on the Map and forgetting we exist within the Territory. Not wise. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 3) Sloppy usage of “Natural Variability" Every component and aspect of our Global Heat and Moisture Distribution Engine is warming and energizing. All of Earth’s historic Natural Variabilities are embedded within this warming matrix. Yet too often ‘natural variability’ gets used as a sort of defense against acknowledging the obvious. Weather systems are not caused by manmade global warming, but every last one of them is certainly impacted by it. We have left our historic climate regime. Comparisons to yesteryears offer little guidance for understanding this brave new 400 PPM CO2 + + world we have created for ourselves and children. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 4) “Seepage" Allowing dishonest shrill voices to force scientists into following the contrarian script rather than focusing on conveying our physical reality to the public. As Prof. Stephen Lewandowsky put it: “...even when scientists are rebutting contrarian talking points, they often do so within a framing and within a linguistic landscape created by denial, and often in a manner that reinforces the contrarian claim. This ‘‘seepage’’ has arguably contributed to a widespread tendency to understate the severity of the climate problem." Check out his paper: “Seepage: Climate change denial and its effect on the scientific community" - 1 the scientific community has adopted assumptions or language from discourse that originated outside the scientific community or from a small set of dissenting scientific voices. 2 those assumptions depart from those commonly held by the scientific community. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 5) “Global Warming" vs “Climate Change" Give credit where credit is due. It’s the atmospheric insulation driving these changes! Be clear Anthropogenic Global Warming is the cause and driver of the increasingly intense cascading Climate Changes we are witnessing. Cascading Consequences? More greenhouse gases in the atmosphere; more molecules catching and releasing infrared radiation; more infrared radiation bouncing around within the atmosphere; more heat and energy accumulating within that atmosphere; more moisture that atmosphere holds; more heat, moisture and energy being moved around by weather systems; more intense and destructive weather events. One thing leads to another. It's deniable, but unavoidable, physics. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 6) Responsibilities of Scientists vs Responsibilities of Citizens and Students Scientists are dedicated to their work, given their education and accumulated knowledge, their time is very precious and we need them focusing on their respective tasks. They are not the ones to fight for the recognition that their work is rational, objective, factually, and morally authoritative. They’ve done the difficult task of accumulating, digesting, reporting, and filing the substantive evidence. Who’s to defend them and the knowledge they share with society? A HEALTHY DEMOCRACY DEMANDS AN INFORMED AND ENGAGED CITIZENRY. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 7) Define the Debate, A to Z A Constructive Argument based on real facts, with the ultimate goal being a collective better understanding of the issue at hand. Such as a Scientific Debate where honestly representing your opponent’s position is required. Striving to understand your opponent’s position well enough to reject or modify it on the merits of your own facts. If we fail to convince it means something. It may hurt, but it’s a learning experience for the intellectually honest. Mistakes have always been necessary learning opportunities for the stout. Z Lawyerly Debate, winning is all that matters, facts are irrelevant obstacles to hurdle. Being skilled in rhetorical trickery is a prerequisite. Objective learning is not the object. Amorality, misdirection and theatre are its hallmarks. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 8) Intellectual Confrontation The fact is, climate science awareness is being actively stifled by ruthless individuals with bottomless bank accounts and octopus news outlets to do their bidding. They have sold a lazy public a pack of lies that have become the comfort zone of all too many today. How can the misinformation this juggernaut force feeds the public be neutralized without direct intellectual confrontation by masses of informed, concerned, engaged students, and citizens, everywhere it pops up? It’s not about attacking people, it’s about attacking the maliciously deceptive words, the lies and stupidity they’re spewing. It’s about teaching them how our physical planet operates! Focus. Expose the dishonesty in their words and educate them. A good resource for factual jump starts: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 9) Call out False Claims & Lies When someone makes a malicious false claim, relentlessly demand evidence for said attacks - shame and expose those who refuse to produce evidence for their malicious claims. Examine and expose the props substituted for substance. Dissect and confront their tactics rather than being played by them! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 10) Better than Skepticism ===> Critical Thinking Skills The term “Skeptics" has been poisoned by theatre and the grotesque double standard of the GOP. Critical Thinking Skills is a clear descriptive that explains the process itself. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 11) Confront Trash Talk with Rhetorical Jujutsu Contrarians depend on personal attacks to distract the discussion from their bankrupt “science". Learn to recognize the game, turn it to your favor, be prepared to point out the juvenility of the tactic, while forcing the discussion back to the real world facts your contrarian opponent won’t have. fyi, studies in the contrarian mindscape: LandscapesAndCycles, Jim Steele’s malicious deception. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ A contrarian shouts: “Science, science, science." ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ google “Jujutsu" ~ Food for Thought, turn the conversation into an exploration of the tactics of avoidance, evasion and lying. ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ Where appropriate, why not point out Calumny in action? Be ready to define it: ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 12) Faith-based Thinking - consider the source Possessing the hubris to fancy that we petty, jealous, fearful, prideful humans can access and understand the real God of Light and Time, Life and Love, leads to a profound disconnect from our planet’s physical reality, and an immoral absolutism. It's one thing to believe in an unknowable god, quite another to mistake one’s own hyper-inflated EGO for God. Unhinged from reality is not too harsh a descriptive. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 13) The pain of our brave new world Face it, or not, we are like children being inextricably torn from our mother for all time. Our brave new world is arriving, it will be traumatic, but we can’t wish it away. Delusional thinking and disregard for scientific understanding and rational constructive dialogue will only make the coming decades that much worse. Why are we all still allowing it? ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 14) WE THE PEOPLE, have the right to demand honesty when hearing what real experts are trying to convey, without being flooded with the constant deceptive and fraudulent cross-screaming of the propaganda machine of unhinged self-obsessed oligarchs and their astro-turfing thugs. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~