When science deniers turn to science

Cartoon by Joe Heller, www.hellertoon.com

Readers no doubt recognise this situation. It’s a pretty blatant form of science denial. Division of science and into pro and anti forms –  such as pro-fluoridation and anti-fluoridation science –  is just another form of science denial – but it does seem to fool some people. “There are no sides! just facts!”

Mind you, most deniers will look to science when their lives are in danger. This satirical article from The Borowitz Report at newyorker.com makes this point.

Some Fear Ebola Outbreak Could Make Nation Turn to Science

NEW YORK The Borowitz Report—There is a deep-seated fear among some Americans that an Ebola outbreak could make the country turn to science. In interviews conducted across the nation, leading anti-science activists expressed their concern that the American people, wracked with anxiety over the possible spread of the virus, might desperately look to science to save the day.“It’s a very human reaction,” said Harland Dorrinson, a prominent anti-science activist from Springfield, Missouri. “If you put them under enough stress, perfectly rational people will panic and start believing in science.”Additionally, he worries about a “slippery slope” situation, “in which a belief in science leads to a belief in math, which in turn fosters a dangerous dependence on facts.”At the end of the day, though, Dorrinson hopes that such a doomsday scenario will not come to pass. “Time and time again through history, Americans have been exposed to science and refused to accept it,” he said. “I pray that this time will be no different.”

14 responses to “When science deniers turn to science

  1. Sometimes we have to trust our own observations. But is it right to oust Red Cross workers who have been vaccinators when you know the eveyone who has got ebola has been vaccinated? There is talk that vaccination may weaken the immune system for other illnesses not covered by that vaccination. Come on science.


  2. And when someone claims, “there is no scientific evidence,” they will be politely reminded to rephrase, “these are the steps which have been taken so far to demonstrate no connection.”


  3. We can hope!
    Re-Shared on G+


  4. A: Either something is an ad hominem or it isn’t. It’s possible to check.
    B: I don’t believe in your definitions.
    A: Definitions of ad hominem are not beliefs. They’re facts. Feel free to look at them yourself.
    B: That’s your opinion.
    A: It’s not an opinion. It’s a fact. Look, here’s a simple easy-to-follow video in plain English. Heck, knock yourself out. Here’s a dozen.
    B: From your side.
    A: There are no sides. Just facts.
    B: But I don’t think so.
    A: Just because you don’t think it’s a fact doesn’t mean it isn’t.
    B: Well, I have my suspicions.
    A: Argg!! It’s useless to argue with you.
    B: Now that’s a fact.


  5. Sanyo Music Center

    Science deniers deny science. It’s a fact


  6. Sanyo- It’s also a fact that science believers once supported asbestos, lead in petrol, cigarette smoking etc. With all due respect to those people, how sound was the science they used as a foundation for their position?
    There is growing concern amongst the global scientific community that the science behind the push for community water fluoridation may be of the smoke and mirror variety rather than based on diligent and verifiable research.


  7. Trevor, some questions – although it’s probably a waste of time as you never hang around long enough to answer questions. Or participate in discussion.

    1: What is a “science believer?”

    2: Professionally, who revealed problems with asbestos, Pb in petrol, cigarette smoking, etc.? Scientists or theologians?

    3: What is your specific evidence of your claims of a “growing concern amongst the global scientific community” about CWF? Specifically CWF, not fluorosis in India and China. And, please, Paul Connett is not the “global scientific community.” He is a political activist.



  8. Sanyo- It’s also a fact that science believers once supported asbestos, lead in petrol, cigarette smoking etc.

    You are full of shit Crosbie.

    The real world is just not your thing.


  9. Sanyo Music Center

    Trevor is correct though
    Hospitals used to give pregnant women Guinness to drink.
    Hence the old posters “Guinness is Good for you”

    Is it anti-science to believe that Vitamin D rich alcoholic beverages may have beneficial outcomes during pregnancy?


  10. Sanyo Music Center

    I presume that this Borowitz report is tongue in cheek?


  11. Satire usually is tongue in cheek. 🙂


  12. Sanyo Music Center

    Difficult to tell satire from the “real” world these days


  13. Sanyo, are you not cynical enough to see the distinction between hoping for a market for technology, and behaving scientifically the way Nigeria has? Or do you claim Nigeria has only behaved in a practical fashion since you want to save the word “scientific” for vaccine prestige?


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