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Thread: Why do so many deny science?

  1. #1
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    Default Why do so many deny science?

    I've a rather long list of family, friends, co-workers who refused to believe there was a connection to smoking and lung cancer, that all died from lung cancer.

    I know of no one (including the Amish) who use no science. All our lives are improved by things science brought us. Science is what make the car run, the plane fly, or the cell phone work. Science is why we can heat our homes in the winter and cool them in the summer.

    We look to science to find cures for diseases, and for many they've found the cure. Science has given us vaccines to avoid many diseases.

    I see those who, today, deny Climate Change as described by virtually all of science, as I view those who refused to believe Galileo. Or who still believe the earth is flat.

    Do these people just like having their heads in the sand, or are they simply afraid that beliefs they've held all their lives based on their faith might just be wrong?
    How do we form a mutiny? Our new captain is navigating poorly.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    When I was working in NC, I dealt with the Cherokee quite often. Initially, they hated everything I mentioned about watershed protection, wouldn't approve it. Hated it! I learned NOT to force ideas down their throats, just casually mention it. A week or so later when we convened, one native would say that he had a great idea and his committee loved it as well. Well, it was my idea initially, no forcing, and by the time the committee met again, if often became their idea and not mine. Perhaps a little saving face of making their own choices, hard to know but, it worked 90% of the time. Maybe this explains your issue.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Science is for 'the elites'.

    There is a great inertia in human thought and experience, denial of the provable is more common than not.

    But you can't make stupidity illegal, so the grand experiment goes on. The only thing certain is that no one gets out alive.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Do these people just like having their heads in the sand, or are they simply afraid that beliefs they've held all their lives based on their faith might just be wrong?[/QUOTE]

    Does it have to be one or the other? How about both, plus peer pressure. It can be difficult for most people to admit that they were mistaken, especially in front of their peers who cannot admit same and who will ridicule them for having done so.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    I think that on the smoking issue people find it hard to square the circle when it means facing that something that they voluntarily do for so much pleasure is killing them. Especilly when they know of a relative of a mate from the pub who smoked for 90 years and died from a broken hip.

    Climate Change may be similar if they can connect that their consumer life style is destroying the next generations life styles.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    I think that on the smoking issue people find it hard to square the circle when it means facing that something that they voluntarily do for so much pleasure is killing them.

    Climate Change may be similar if they can connect that their consumer life style is destroying the next generations life styles.
    We are a short rterm self gratification species, and that may be the end of us.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Some good points. On smoking another possibility is that because nicotine is so addictive any rationale to continue smoking is welcome.

    A friend once was a heroin addict, he was able to quit the heroin but not tobacco.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by S.V. Airlie View Post
    When I was working in NC, I dealt with the Cherokee quite often. Initially, they hated everything I mentioned about watershed protection, wouldn't approve it. Hated it! I learned NOT to force ideas down their throats, just casually mention it. A week or so later when we convened, one native would say that he had a great idea and his committee loved it as well. Well, it was my idea initially, no forcing, and by the time the committee met again, if often became their idea and not mine. Perhaps a little saving face of making their own choices, hard to know but, it worked 90% of the time. Maybe this explains your issue.
    A good strategy, sewing the seed of an idea and letting it grow.
    '' You ain't gonna learn what you don't want to know. ''
    Grateful Dead

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by John Smith View Post
    Do these people just like having their heads in the sand, or are they simply afraid that beliefs they've held all their lives based on their faith might just be wrong?
    Many have made Faustian pacts.

    The others are just stupid.
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    I think a large part of it is that they simply don't understand it. Most people have, at best, only a rudimentary understanding of science. In addition, it isn't in their version of "the bible".

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    http://www.iflscience.com/technology...urselves-them/

    Still driving? Science denier!










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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Climate Change may be similar if they can connect that their consumer life style is destroying the next generations life styles.
    Depends what you mean by "Climate Change" here. Presumably you are implying that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are going to produce catastrophic results, in some undefined way, at some time in the future. Since there is less than no hard, scientific evidence for this claim, it seems to me that it is one Peerie Maa who is the science denier.

    Let the un-informed shouting begin.

    Tony.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Gib Etheridge View Post
    Do these people just like having their heads in the sand, or are they simply afraid that beliefs they've held all their lives based on their faith might just be wrong?
    Does it have to be one or the other? How about both, plus peer pressure. It can be difficult for most people to admit that they were mistaken, especially in front of their peers who cannot admit same and who will ridicule them for having done so.[/QUOTE]

    Perhaps many reach the conclusion that science and their religion are completely incompatible, which they are. Neither can accommodate the other without some really convoluted "reasoning". A conclusion I arrived at long ago is that science and worship of a deity are unreconciled and irreconcilable. Peace and clarity follows soon after anyone discovers that fundamental truth.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    I saw a 50-something nurse yesterday, as a patient -- she doesn't believe in vaccines, avoids (most)medicines, refuses any/all screening studies, and notes 'she doesn't want any chemicals or 'foreign' substances in her body'. Of course, she's a smoker, has tattoos, and breast implants.

    Guess ya gotta draw the line, somewhere!
    There's a lot of things they didn't tell me when I signed on with this outfit....

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by George Jung View Post
    I saw a 50-something nurse yesterday, as a patient -- she doesn't believe in vaccines, avoids (most)medicines, refuses any/all screening studies, and notes 'she doesn't want any chemicals or 'foreign' substances in her body'. Of course, she's a smoker, has tattoos, and breast implants.
    That's a very entertaining example of the apparently weird duality being described through the thread.

    We are capable of these contradictory positions for evolutionary reasons.
    If i cannot convince myself that the measures i've taken to keep the wolves out of my cave at night are good enough - i will never sleep.
    So we've been equipped to convince ourselves of things (some sensible and some non-sense) and then embed them deep in our brains. So deep that we can't shake them out, even with logic.
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyr View Post
    Depends what you mean by "Climate Change" here. Presumably you are implying that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are going to produce catastrophic results, in some undefined way, at some time in the future. Since there is less than no hard, scientific evidence for this claim, it seems to me that it is one Peerie Maa who is the science denier.

    Let the un-informed shouting begin.

    Tony.
    Ignorance personified.
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Lathrop View Post
    Does it have to be one or the other? How about both, plus peer pressure. It can be difficult for most people to admit that they were mistaken, especially in front of their peers who cannot admit same and who will ridicule them for having done so.
    Perhaps many reach the conclusion that science and their religion are completely incompatible, which they are. Neither can accommodate the other without some really convoluted "reasoning". A conclusion I arrived at long ago is that science and worship of a deity are unreconciled and irreconcilable. Peace and clarity follows soon after anyone discovers that fundamental truth.
    Very broad brush. As an engineer I needed to understand science and apply its results. Several of my colleagues were also devout Christians.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Going by some of the comments here it’s a given that you can lead a man to reason but you can’t make him think.
    Never before in all of human history has so much information been available to so many people yet ignorance persists.
    The definition of stupid has got to be the belief that more guns will negate the bloodshed done with guns.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    It's also interesting to see how many people who reject the scientific method of inquiry also accept as literal truth the myths and legends of people living in desert countries in the bronze age.
    "Mozart is the heart's touchstone" (Edwin Fischer)

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyr View Post
    Since there is less than no hard, scientific evidence for this claim, it seems to me that it is one Peerie Maa who is the science denier.


    Tony.
    So Tony, are you claiming that my wife's co-workers, including a Nobel laureate and a relative of mine who works in "hard" earth sciences, are "science deniers" when they say that there is evidence for anthropogenic global warming?

    May I also ask how anyone who claims that there is "less than no" evidence of anything can claim to be scientifically educated, or even educated in English or logic?

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by downthecreek View Post
    It's also interesting to see how many people who reject the scientific method of inquiry also accept as literal truth the myths and legends of people living in desert countries in the bronze age.
    No so surprising. If your chosen faith requires belief in some fable passed down the generations by word of mouth you are going to deny anything that proves those stories cannot be literally true.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    So Tony, are you claiming that my wife's co-workers, including a Nobel laureate and a relative of mine who works in "hard" earth sciences, are "science deniers" when they say that there is evidence for anthropogenic global warming?

    May I also ask how anyone who claims that there is "less than no" evidence of anything can claim to be scientifically educated, or even educated in English or logic?
    Now now be fair. Tony thinks that there s no evidence that AGW is going to harm human society. A subtle difference I know, especially as the experts in the field are now stating that the weather weirding that we have seen is statistically significant, and there is a link between AGW and the harmful changes that we are seeing.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    I not keen on a lot of sciencey things, western medicine for example. I do not say it does not work, just that there may be another way . I do not TRUST it to be the best thing.
    Im not an “anti vaxxer “ , but I’m anti flu shot . Two different things.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    To all here who choose to get involved in this pseudo-scientific debate, don't forget the word "catastrophic" which I used. The climate changes all the time, always has, and always will. Of course, mankind has an effect on it, and I did not say otherwise.

    Please quote the exact words with which you disagree, or don't use any.

    Tony.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyr View Post
    Since there is less than no hard, scientific evidence for this claim,
    Tony.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyr View Post
    To all here who choose to get involved in this pseudo-scientific debate, don't forget the word "catastrophic" which I used. The climate changes all the time, always has, and always will. Of course, mankind has an effect on it, and I did not say otherwise.

    Please quote the exact words with which you disagree, or don't use any.

    Tony.
    There you go - quoted.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Now now be fair. Tony thinks that there s no evidence that AGW is going to harm human society. A subtle difference I know, especially as the experts in the field are now stating that the weather weirding that we have seen is statistically significant, and there is a link between AGW and the harmful changes that we are seeing.
    Well, I've seen things such as predictions of sea level rise that do appear to be catastrophic to those living in the areas that are likely to be inundated, and the science seems to be well accepted.

    Having low-lying areas flooded would appear to be catastrophic for the inhabitants, and as I understand it from professionals in the field at world class universities, the evidence for that to happen in the future is very strong and quite well defined.

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tonyr View Post
    Depends what you mean by "Climate Change" here. Presumably you are implying that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide are going to produce catastrophic results, in some undefined way, at some time in the future. Since there is less than no hard, scientific evidence for this claim, it seems to me that it is one Peerie Maa who is the science denier.
    Ah, the straw-man - a classic denialista tactic. This one never gets old, folks! For the record, the generally accepted scientific findings on climate change are as follows:
    - climate is changing rapidly
    - human activity is almost certainly (greater than 95% probability) the primary cause
    - the effects are likely to be bad for a lot of people (e.g. food and water insecurity, forced migration, excess deaths), for a lot of countries, and for our various economies

    It is also generally accepted that the longer we wait to take significant action, the worse it's going to be.

    What are you doing about it?




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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris249 View Post
    Well, I've seen things such as predictions of sea level rise that do appear to be catastrophic to those living in the areas that are likely to be inundated, and the science seems to be well accepted.

    Having low-lying areas flooded would appear to be catastrophic for the inhabitants, and as I understand it from professionals in the field at world class universities, the evidence for that to happen in the future is very strong and quite well defined.
    Just so.

    We shall see whether Tonyr denies all of AGW, or just the ability of science to join up the dots.
    Last edited by Peerie Maa; 04-05-2018 at 07:37 AM.
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Scientific fact is generally indisputable and is not refuted, the problem today is many consider consensus as fact, "all the experts agree", consensus is NOT scientific fact. Global warming is a fact, it's the causes that are NOT proven as scientific fact as they can be refuted.

    scientific fact

    noun
    any observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and accepted as true; any scientific observation that has not been refuted

    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/scientific-fact

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    No. That's way too high a bar. One of the great strengths of science is that it recognizes from the outset that our knowledge is always partial, and that ANYTHING might be refuted as we learn more. Some things are more tenuous than others, of course, but you're making a clear distinction between 'fact' and 'consensus' that does not exist in reality.

    Warming climate from human emissions of CO2 is about as close as we get to a 'fact' for something so complex. Those who would tell you otherwise are trying to sell you something, or have been convinced by those who are.
    Last edited by Keith Wilson; 04-05-2018 at 07:48 AM.
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodpile
    scientific fact

    noun
    any observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and accepted as true; any scientific observation that has not yet been refuted

    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/scientific-fact
    I fixed that for you and dictionary.com.

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson
    Some things are more tenuous than others, of course, but you're making a clear distinction between 'fact' and 'consensus' that does not exist in reality.
    Yep.
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by woodpile View Post
    Scientific fact is generally indisputable and is not refuted, the problem today is many consider consensus as fact, "all the experts agree", consensus is NOT scientific fact. Global warming is a fact, it's the causes that are NOT proven as scientific fact as they can be refuted.

    scientific fact

    noun
    any observation that has been repeatedly confirmed and accepted as true; any scientific observation that has not been refuted

    http://www.dictionary.com/browse/scientific-fact
    There are some shills and a tiny number of honest scientists who claim AGW is not anthropomorphic. Perhaps you could link to any references that propose some other mechanism for the unprecedented rapid rise in temperature that we have witnessed over the last century or so?
    Saying "it is not fact" without providing some credible alternative hypothesis is a sterile argument.
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Very broad brush. As an engineer I needed to understand science and apply its results. Several of my colleagues were also devout Christians.
    "Perhaps many reach the conclusion that science and their religion are completely incompatible, which they are. Neither can accommodate the other without some really convoluted "reasoning". A conclusion I arrived at long ago is that science and worship of a deity are unreconciled and irreconcilable. Peace and clarity follows soon after anyone discovers that fundamental truth."

    ------------------------------------------------
    Peere Maa: "Very broad brush. As an engineer I needed to understand science and apply its results. Several of my colleagues were also devout Christians."
    ----------------------------------------------------------------

    Sure, the brush was broad, but no broader than required to cover the subject.

    Basic tenant of religion - have faith in that which cannot be proven. Belief in a supernatural Deity.

    Basic tenant of science - question everything, demand proof.

    The above statements are fundamentally in opposition and cannot be reconciled. The attempt to hold both of these beliefs in one mind guarantees that neither tenant will be satisfied and those who try will always live in a state of confusion.

    Because of the established thought processes I grew up with, I spent much wasted effort along with others in trying to find a middle road while not denying either position. Like you, I am an engineer and eventually it became clear that no such path existed and that all religious deities are false. Such a position generates the desire in many believers to burn the blasphemer at the nearest stake but, fortunately that is still illegal in the USA, at least for now.
    Tom L

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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    I think you will find that the deniers have always been there. It's just that science has finally given them a voice. How many of our scientific pioneers got persecuted by the church when their facts contradicted the belief and got ex-communicated for it?
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    Default Re: Why do so many deny science?

    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Wilson View Post
    No. That's way too high a bar. One of the great strengths of science is that it recognizes from the outset that our knowledge is always partial, and that ANYTHING might be refuted as we learn more. Some things are more tenuous than others, of course, but you're making a clear distinction between 'fact' and 'consensus' that does not exist in reality.

    Warming climate from human emissions of CO2 is about as close as we get to a 'fact' for something so complex. Those who would tell you otherwise are trying to sell you something, or have been convinced by those who are.
    Too high a bar?, so we should lower the bar for the definition of scientific fact?, and only have to get "close", and there's "no clear distinction between fact and consensus? Not what I remember from science classes. If you want to say the correct definition for terms in science are all "grey" it only amounts to subjective opinion,
    Last edited by woodpile; 04-05-2018 at 08:32 AM.

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