This is a very interesting subject, brought to my attention via Dr. John Ray, who is entirely up to speed on this subject. But first, a quick look at what is definitely a biased opinion, meant to be passed off as science fact. And note the use of half truths here. For instance, the inclusion of AGW Skepticism in with other denialist groups.
Quote:Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth
HEARD the latest? The swine flu pandemic was a hoax: scientists, governments and the World Health Organization cooked it up in a vast conspiracy so that vaccine companies could make money.
Never mind that the flu fulfilled every scientific condition for a pandemic, that thousands died, or that declaring a pandemic didn't provide huge scope for profiteering. A group of obscure European politicians concocted this conspiracy theory, and it is now doing the rounds even in educated circles.
This depressing tale is the latest incarnation of denialism, the systematic rejection of a body of science in favour of make-believe. There's a lot of it about, attacking evolution, global warming, tobacco research, HIV, vaccines - and now, it seems, flu. But why does it happen? What motivates people to retreat from the real world into denial?
Here's a hypothesis: denial is largely a product of the way normal people think. Most denialists are simply ordinary people doing what they believe is right. If this seems discouraging, take heart. There are good reasons for thinking that denialism can be tackled by condemning it a little less and understanding it a little more.
Whatever they are denying, denial movements have much in common with one another, not least the use of similar tactics (see "How to be a denialist"). All set themselves up as courageous underdogs fighting a corrupt elite engaged in a conspiracy to suppress the truth or foist a malicious lie on ordinary people. This conspiracy is usually claimed to be promoting a sinister agenda: the nanny state, takeover of the world economy, government power over individuals, financial gain, atheism.
What is shameful is that the thinking of such people is that they equate 'skepticism' with 'denial'. Both are somewhat related, but quite different. So all for the sake of 'Projection', these same people are living in their own form of twisted Denial. It's amazing.
But observe the ending of the article:
Quote:Denialism has already killed. AIDS denial has killed an estimated 330,000 South Africans. Tobacco denial delayed action to prevent smoking-related deaths. Vaccine denial has given a new lease of life to killer diseases like measles and polio. Meanwhile, climate change denial delays action to prevent warming. The backlash against efforts to fight the flu pandemic could discourage preparations for the next, potentially a more deadly one.
If science is the best way to understand the world and its dangers, and acting on that understanding requires popular support, then denial movements threaten us all.
I can not find a single person, within the AGW skeptics camp, who have stated that "climate change" does not occur. Just the opposite, all of them, including myself, acknowledge that the climate is changing on a constant and continual basis.
So, whatever happened to the long time venerated concept of skepticism? And where do these pseudo-science patrons come up with all this? Are they not aware that they are setting themselves up for a fall, and all within what passes it's self off for a science publication? And remember, the Left is great about mislabeling themselves, by pasting on the aura of legitimacy to a totally illegitimate claim. Hence the "New Scientist" title. Were it not so serious, it would be hilarious.
Here is Dr Ray's post on this attempt as science.
Quote:Psychological foundations of belief
I think the following rings true:
Quote:Preachers of Warmism have more serious psychological problems than most of their followers. "They display all the features of paranoid personality disorder", he says, including anger, intolerance of criticism, and what psychiatrists call a grandiose sense of their own importance. "Ultimately, their belief is a mental health problem.
I have changed the quote around a bit though. It was originally written about "denialism" and, as such, is both an excellent example of projection (seeing your own faults in others) and yet another example of Leftists "psychologizing" opposition to their beliefs. Adorno et al. started that ball rolling way back in 1950 and it has been rolling ever since.
Logically, it is of course just another example of an ad hominem fallacy -- attacking the arguer rather than the argument -- and, as such, has no scholarly worth whatever.
One of the "authorities" quoted in the pro-Warmism article linked above is George Lakoff. You can read more about the laughable Lakoff here.
The tactic embodied in projection is a good one polemically. If you get in first and accuse others of your own faults, it does tend to blunt people's recognition of your faults. In the end, however, it is the argument, not the arguer that is of interest and it must stand or fall on the evidence, nothing else.
The article from which I took the quote conflates all sorts of denial of the conventional academic wisdom, which is very sloppy. Some sorts of academic wisdom appear well-founded (such as the link between smoking and various diseases) while others (such as the adverse effects of secondhand smoke) are contrary to some very strong evidence.
Lumping together many disparate sorts of skepticism would seem to me to be an excellent example of the oversimplified thinking that Adorno and his successors have claimed is characteristic of conservatives. More projection!