Tuesday, 26 October 2010

Formula for Denial: Creationisim, Holocaust Denial and Climate Change Skepticism.

Opposition to current scientific and historical knowledge in not a new phenomenon. There have always been independent thinkers who have voiced their objections. However in recent years the opposition has received more publicity and more support as a result. Yet what we see is not a flood of independent thinkers, but a wave of parrots. They all spout the same drivel in order to support their views despite the fact that this drivel has been contested and dismissed publicly and professionally over and over again using up to date and well reasoned arguments. Here are some of those arguments that are still used today:

"It's only a theory!"
"If we evolved from apes, then why are there still apes around today?"
"The temperature from satellites shows a cooling trend."
"The Gas chambers were only used for delousing clothing and blankets"

However this constant repetition of misinformation is not the only thing they share in common. I've made a list of 11 other criteria which most of these are founded upon:

  1.  They concentrate on their opponents' weak points, yet rarely say much about their own position.
  2. Errors in scholarship/science are argued to imply that conclusions made by scholars and scientists are wrong.
  3. When these errors are corrected, the denier's argument does not change and correction is usually overlooked or deemed irrelevant. Majority of denial movement does not even hear about the correction.
  4. Deniers often ask for evidence that they claim is missing. When this is presented to them they raise the bar and ask the more or change the definition of what they are asking for.
  5. Deniers imply that there is a conspiracy behind the opposition e.g. corporate, atheist, political. They claim this conspiracy is preventing them from spreading the 'truth'.
  6. Deniers imply evidence used by opposition is fraudulent. Even when found to be authentic, fraudulence is still implied.
  7. Majority of 'evidence' used by deniers is out of date, has been proven false, is unreliable (e.g. the author or time period is unknown) or is based on gaps in current knowledge.
  8. Well known figureheads of opposition to denial movement are deliberately misquoted or quoted out of context to imply that they are supporting deniers claims.
  9. Deniers either misrepresent or fabricate debate between scholars and scientists to imply that opposition is in crisis.
  10. Spokespersons/leaders of denial movements aren't scientists or scholars and don't have any affiliations with that field at all. Instead they are scientists from an irrelevant field, businessmen/women, lawyers, religious figures, actors etc. Some even have fake or purchased credentials.
  11. Majority of Support for denial movements is swayed by reasons which have nothing to do with evidence such as: religious and cultural reasons, emotional explotation, convenience, vested interests.

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