The thinking error at the root of science denial

NewImageJeremy Shapiro writes:

‘Currently, there are three important issues on which there is scientific consensus but controversy among laypeople: climate change, biological evolution and childhood vaccination. On all three issues, prominent members of the Trump administration, including the president, have lined up against the conclusions of research.

This widespread rejection of scientific findings presents a perplexing puzzle to those of us who value an evidence-based approach to knowledge and policy.

Yet many science deniers do cite empirical evidence. The problem is that they do so in invalid, misleading ways. Psychological research illuminates these ways.

As a psychotherapist, I see a striking parallel between a type of thinking involved in many mental health disturbances and the reasoning behind science denial. As I explain in my book “Psychotherapeutic Diagrams,” dichotomous thinking, also called black-and-white and all-or-none thinking, is a factor in depression, anxiety, aggression and, especially, borderline personality disorder….’

Via The Conversation

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One thought on “The thinking error at the root of science denial

  1. While I think that the theory of evolution will undergo many changes in the future it is certainly more convincing than creationism. That can’t be said for the other two controversial subjects – the renamed climate change which is always happening and is meant to signify man made CO2 causing a climate change catastrophe. The science is not settled. Only faulty climate models predict (although the modelers disclaim the word prediction) climate catastrophe – not any observable evidence. How can one put their faith in the pronouncements of agencies – there were over 100 peer reviewed papers trying to explain “the pause” (mostly the ocean ate my homework types and we didn’t make enough of natural variation) – and then NASA comes out with changed data from previous observations and says there wasn’t any pause to begin with. Similarly it is a fact that a CDC study did find a link with age of vaccinations being given (especially for black males under 3 years of age) and autism – then fiddled with the data base by excluding groups until the effect became statistically insignificant. Then used that falsified study to say no further research is needed. This is the same method the military did to say that Agent Orange was not a health problem. That is until Admiral Zumwalt became head of the Joint Chiefs of Staff. His son suffered from Agent Orange health problems from his service in Vietnam. He made the military due real studies. Voila, a health issue was identified. Then there are the climate change emails. Is it not science denial to “hide the decline” From: Phil Jones. To: Many. Nov 16, 1999
    “I’ve just completed Mike’s Nature [the science journal] trick of adding in the real temps to each series for the last 20 years (ie, from 1981 onwards) and from 1961 for Keith’s to hide the decline.” or the fact that in Gore’s “documentary” he shows the correlation between CO2 and temperature in Vostok ice cores – that big graph in the background. It is not mentioned that the change in CO2 lags the temperature by up to 800 years. I find that the vehement advocates of catastrophic climate change are usually the least scientifically knowlegdable – Jim Hansen excepted although he is among the most dogmatic.
    I could go on with such as – how come every drug has side effects and is not advised for everybody but with vaccines it is “one size fits all”. – safe for everybody? Not to mention the fact that if the body fights off an actual measles infection, one has lifetime immunity (and mothers can then pass on their effective antibodies to their nursing infants) but this is not true with vaccines. Where is the settled science that can explain this? But enough for now. Wehat is the psychological basis for climate alarmism science denial?


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