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Wed Mar 30, 2016, 07:34 PM

Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science?

We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from climate change to vaccinations—faces furious opposition.
http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2015/03/science-doubters/achenbach-text

"...

We live in an age when all manner of scientific knowledge—from the safety of fluoride and vaccines to the reality of climate change—faces organized and often furious opposition. Empowered by their own sources of information and their own interpretations of research, doubters have declared war on the consensus of experts. There are so many of these controversies these days, you’d think a diabolical agency had put something in the water to make people argumentative. And there’s so much talk about the trend these days—in books, articles, and academic conferences—that science doubt itself has become a pop-culture meme. In the recent movie Interstellar, set in a futuristic, downtrodden America where NASA has been forced into hiding, school textbooks say the Apollo moon landings were faked.

In a sense all this is not surprising. Our lives are permeated by science and technology as never before. For many of us this new world is wondrous, comfortable, and rich in rewards—but also more complicated and sometimes unnerving. We now face risks we can’t easily analyze.

We’re asked to accept, for example, that it’s safe to eat food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) because, the experts point out, there’s no evidence that it isn’t and no reason to believe that altering genes precisely in a lab is more dangerous than altering them wholesale through traditional breeding. But to some people the very idea of transferring genes between species conjures up mad scientists running amok—and so, two centuries after Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein, they talk about Frankenfood.

The world crackles with real and imaginary hazards, and distinguishing the former from the latter isn’t easy. Should we be afraid that the Ebola virus, which is spread only by direct contact with bodily fluids, will mutate into an airborne superplague? The scientific consensus says that’s extremely unlikely: No virus has ever been observed to completely change its mode of transmission in humans, and there’s zero evidence that the latest strain of Ebola is any different. But type “airborne Ebola” into an Internet search engine, and you’ll enter a dystopia where this virus has almost supernatural powers, including the power to kill us all.

.."


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A good read, which is absolutely fair.

130 replies, 7665 views

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Arrow 130 replies Author Time Post
Reply Why Do Many Reasonable People Doubt Science? (Original post)
HuckleB Mar 2016 OP
Nailzberg Mar 2016 #1
HuckleB Mar 2016 #16
Major Nikon Apr 2016 #97
NV Whino Mar 2016 #2
Bigmack Apr 2016 #84
malaise Mar 2016 #3
HuckleB Mar 2016 #4
TimeToEvolve Mar 2016 #10
malaise Mar 2016 #24
we can do it Mar 2016 #75
Humanist_Activist Mar 2016 #5
HuckleB Mar 2016 #6
Archae Mar 2016 #14
Proud Liberal Dem Mar 2016 #35
Post removed Mar 2016 #7
hatrack Mar 2016 #8
HuckleB Mar 2016 #11
TimeToEvolve Mar 2016 #12
Angel Martin Mar 2016 #19
progressoid Mar 2016 #20
Angel Martin Mar 2016 #25
Ghost Dog Mar 2016 #27
SheilaT Mar 2016 #53
HuckleB Mar 2016 #54
Adrahil Mar 2016 #70
HuckleB Mar 2016 #71
Gormy Cuss Apr 2016 #86
muriel_volestrangler Mar 2016 #26
Chemisse Apr 2016 #126
bhikkhu Mar 2016 #15
edhopper Mar 2016 #29
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2016 #9
TimeToEvolve Mar 2016 #13
awoke_in_2003 Mar 2016 #18
MillennialDem Mar 2016 #17
EllieBC Mar 2016 #56
HuckleB Apr 2016 #125
progressoid Mar 2016 #21
HuckleB Mar 2016 #41
alp227 Apr 2016 #101
0rganism Mar 2016 #22
Festivito Mar 2016 #23
edhopper Mar 2016 #28
DetlefK Mar 2016 #32
edhopper Mar 2016 #63
Festivito Mar 2016 #49
edhopper Mar 2016 #62
DetlefK Mar 2016 #30
get the red out Mar 2016 #31
alarimer Mar 2016 #38
AngryAmish Mar 2016 #33
rjsquirrel Mar 2016 #34
whatthehey Mar 2016 #36
alarimer Mar 2016 #37
bemildred Mar 2016 #39
snooper2 Mar 2016 #40
Amishman Mar 2016 #42
HuckleB Mar 2016 #43
Avalux Mar 2016 #44
seanjoycek476 Mar 2016 #45
former9thward Mar 2016 #46
HuckleB Mar 2016 #50
Major Nikon Apr 2016 #106
GoneOffShore Mar 2016 #47
Arugula Latte Mar 2016 #48
LiberalArkie Mar 2016 #51
HuckleB Mar 2016 #52
SheilaT Mar 2016 #55
EllieBC Mar 2016 #57
SheilaT Mar 2016 #59
EllieBC Mar 2016 #61
SheilaT Mar 2016 #67
kwassa Mar 2016 #58
HuckleB Mar 2016 #64
kwassa Mar 2016 #76
HuckleB Apr 2016 #80
kwassa Apr 2016 #81
HuckleB Apr 2016 #82
kwassa Apr 2016 #83
HuckleB Apr 2016 #85
kwassa Apr 2016 #91
HuckleB Apr 2016 #93
kwassa Apr 2016 #94
HuckleB Apr 2016 #99
kwassa Apr 2016 #110
HuckleB Apr 2016 #111
kwassa Apr 2016 #113
HuckleB Apr 2016 #115
Bonx Apr 2016 #95
kwassa Apr 2016 #96
Bonx Apr 2016 #98
kwassa Apr 2016 #108
Major Nikon Apr 2016 #107
kwassa Apr 2016 #109
Major Nikon Apr 2016 #112
HuckleB Apr 2016 #116
Humanist_Activist Apr 2016 #87
kwassa Apr 2016 #89
Humanist_Activist Apr 2016 #92
kwassa Apr 2016 #114
TipTok Mar 2016 #60
HuckleB Mar 2016 #65
yortsed snacilbuper Mar 2016 #66
Rex Mar 2016 #68
HuckleB Mar 2016 #73
Rex Mar 2016 #74
Adrahil Mar 2016 #69
HuckleB Apr 2016 #78
yortsed snacilbuper Mar 2016 #72
chade Mar 2016 #77
Act_of_Reparation Apr 2016 #79
Rex Apr 2016 #88
HuckleB Apr 2016 #120
sakabatou Apr 2016 #90
frustrated_lefty Apr 2016 #100
cheapdate Apr 2016 #102
HuckleB Apr 2016 #103
Rex Apr 2016 #117
B Calm Apr 2016 #104
HuckleB Apr 2016 #105
Thor_MN Apr 2016 #118
HuckleB Apr 2016 #119
Rex Apr 2016 #121
caraher Apr 2016 #122
LadyHawkAZ Apr 2016 #123
HuckleB Apr 2016 #124
egduj Apr 2016 #127
HuckleB Apr 2016 #128
longship Apr 2016 #129
HuckleB Apr 2016 #130

Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 07:38 PM

1. Because if the earth was round, we'd slide off.

Explain that, science.

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Response to Nailzberg (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 11:06 PM

16. Poor science.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #16)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:14 PM

97. No such thing

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 07:39 PM

2. Because science isn't a priority in school curricula any more.

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Response to NV Whino (Reply #2)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 01:29 PM

84. When I was teaching high school social studies

 

my students told me that their science teacher(s) never taught them anything about evolution! I always started my ancient history class with the theory of evolution, and the evolution of hominids... I couldn't believe that the science teachers didn't teach about evolution, but my students swore that they didn't! I always prefaced the bit about evolution with an observation that I didn't care if they "believed" in evolution, but that they had to understand the theory of it! Ms Bigmack

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 07:40 PM

3. They are not reasonable people

Millions read nothing -maybe some know a chapter of the bible and their bills -some read the obits and the rest gravitate to the crazy websites because make up shit is way more exciting than 'hurting their heads', by thinking.

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 07:42 PM

4. Don't dis DRAMA!

It's awesome fun!

But your point is good.

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:40 PM

10. you struck the nail on the proverbial head

there was always ample good reading material at my home since i was a kid and from that is how i learned the wonders of science.

for these luddites/troglodytes, their epistemological limit both start and end at their local crazy church.

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Response to TimeToEvolve (Reply #10)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:11 AM

24. Precisely

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Response to malaise (Reply #3)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 08:00 PM

75. My thoughts exactly.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 08:13 PM

5. My own uninformed opinion is that its influenced by poor science reporting and lack...

 

of critical thinking skills, in addition to misuses of words like "science" and "scientific".

The media really doesn't help here, perpetuating this silly idea that people's opinions have equal weight with or without evidence backing it up.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 08:18 PM

6. I suspect your hypothesis is worth exploring.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #5)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:46 PM

14. The media has never helped.

The news media is run by headlines and sound bites, and science doesn't work that way.

Also, outdated and nonsense terms are still used, like "missing link."

Lastly, Entertainment media mostly denigrates science, either someone in science is portrayed as a "mad scientist" who will destroy the world, or a nerd who never gets the girl/guy.

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Response to Archae (Reply #14)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 07:00 AM

35. I would add movies and tv along with that

Although movies and tv shows don't necessarily pretend to be truthful/real, I think that more people gravitate to "life" as presented in media as it seems more exciting and fulfilling than most average people's existence.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)


Response to Post removed (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 08:59 PM

8. Nice try - here's your new hat

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Response to Post removed (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:40 PM

11. Oh, boy.

Denialism is rough on you, is it?

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Response to Post removed (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:42 PM

12. they are called the laws of thermo-fucking-dymanics!!!!!!

-albedo- -read up on it!! you might learn something

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Response to TimeToEvolve (Reply #12)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 12:28 AM

19. the main graph from the Mann paper

the blue, orange and light orange lines are actual temperatures

the black line is the global warming model forecast temperatures.

the forecast is diverging from the actuals. And the actual is now outside the shaded grey area, so the difference is statistically significant = MODEL FAILURE !

the increase in CO2 is not causing the expected temperature increases. Therefore, "Climate Scientists" do not understand the relationship between CO2 and temperature and need to go back to the drawing board.

http://www.nature.com/nclimate/journal/v6/n3/fig_tab/nclimate2938_F1.html

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Response to Angel Martin (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 12:59 AM

20. That's like "my cancer isn't spreading as fast as the doctors said, so I must not have cancer"






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Response to progressoid (Reply #20)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:23 AM

25. No, what the data in the Mann paper means

is that to the extent that there is any warming at all in recent years, it is not connected to rising CO2 in the way that was previously believed.

Temperatures have more or less flatlined, while CO2 concentrations have continued to increase.

This is not bad news, it's good news.

If it is just a delay in warming, then we will have more time to make the necessary changes.

If the warming is not going to happen, then we can stop fretting about "carbon footprints", and just get on with our lives.

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Response to Angel Martin (Reply #25)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:00 AM

27. Volcanic activity?

... a newly-published study by Massachusetts Institute of Technology scientists reveals that relatively small volcanic eruptions may be mitigating the increases in output of greenhouse gases and slow the rate of global warming by as much as half. In fact, the effect of such volcanic activity may help to explain why the pace of warming has decreased in recent years and fallen short of matching the level predicted by the amount of carbon going into the atmosphere.

The paper, published in the journal Geophysical Review Letters, focused on the effect of the aerosol particles that are pumped into the atmosphere. The scientists used balloons, laser radar, and ground-based measurements to calculate the impact.

The scientists discovered that about a dozen modest-sized eruptions worldwide over the past 15 years may have reduced the warming effect of greenhouse gas emissions by about 0.005 to 0.12 degrees Celsius. Over roughly that same time period, the rate of global warming has slowed, though surface temperatures have continued to rise.

Volcanic eruptions spew sulfur dioxide, which in the atmosphere forms tiny droplets of sulfuric acid — also known as volcanic aerosols, which can block sunlight. While previous studies have noted that effect from small volcanoes, the new study found that the effect is bigger than previously thought...

/... http://news.discovery.com/earth/global-warming/are-volcanic-eruptions-slowing-global-warming-150112.htm

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Response to Angel Martin (Reply #25)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 03:02 PM

53. Temperatures have more or less flatlined?

 

I thought February, last month, was the warmest month on record, followed by January, two months ago.

There has not been a flatlining of the warming, despite what the change deniers want to believe.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #53)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 03:03 PM

54. That's the mantra of denialists.

Actual data be damned.

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Response to Angel Martin (Reply #25)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:42 PM

70. Uhhh... NO. You did not read the concluding remarks.

 

It has NOTHING to do with that. It's because the models did not properly consider other terms sufficiently. If you're gonna make a claim like that, at least read the whole paper.

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #70)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 07:14 PM

71. +1

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #70)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 02:02 PM

86. +1 n/t

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Response to Angel Martin (Reply #19)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:55 AM

26. Your graph is out of date

Here, for instance, is the HADCRUT4 graph, up to Jan 2016:



Notice that it has now reached nearly 0.2 degrees C above the peaks it had reached between 1998 and 2011 - ie more or less back at the midpoint of the expected range. Similar results apply to the other data lines.

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Response to Angel Martin (Reply #19)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 03:51 PM

126. Climate science is more complex than you think. Here's is an explanation.

Notice how this black line starts at a dip in 1993, shoots up toward a peak in 1998, then continues up at that same angle to project the future temperature change. So it starts at the lowest point in that decade, goes to highest point, then predicts the temperature will continue to increase at that same pace.

As it happens, the dip in 1993 was due to a large volcanic event, which blocked a lot of sunlight. The peak in 1998 was thanks to an El Nino year of unusual warmth (we know what that is like right now, don't we?).

Still, the projection does exceed what's happened. How could that be? OMG, is climate warming a hoax.

Well, rather than resort to hyperbole and denial, let's look again at science. Climate is very complex. Scientists did note a flattening period. Possible explanations of factors that could work independently to counteract the CO2 increase effect on temperature are: 1. Oceans may be absorbing the extra heat (and there is evidence for that). 2. The banning of CFCs and consequence rethickening of the ozone layer may have blocked a bit more of the sun's energy from reaching the earth. 3. Eruptions of at least 17 volcanoes since 2000 have blocked varying degrees of sunlight.

That is the problem with deniers. They try to use science, but really don't understand the complexities involved.

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Response to Post removed (Reply #7)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:51 PM

15. Reality is what's still there whether anyone believes it or not

Currently, not believing in global warming requires not believing in thermometers, or imagining a vast global conspiracy to lie about the local temperatures.

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Response to Post removed (Reply #7)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:07 AM

29. somebody better tell Antartica

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:25 PM

9. "had put something in the water"

 

They did- fluoride

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Response to awoke_in_2003 (Reply #9)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 09:46 PM

13. yet it is the Pb they should be worried about it.

if intelligence could be translated into electrical power; CT'ers would not have enough to light a red surface-mount LED to half brightness.

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Response to TimeToEvolve (Reply #13)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 12:12 AM

18. I was making a

 

Dr. Strangelove reference

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Wed Mar 30, 2016, 11:17 PM

17. 1. They're not reasonable and 2. An outsider describes it best - Richard Dawkins said

 

Americans treat DENIAL of science and ignorance of science as not even neutral, but as a badge of honor.

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Response to MillennialDem (Reply #17)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 03:15 PM

56. Not so fast.

I live in an allegedly enlightened heaven- Vancouver. The water is NOT fluoridated and plenty of educated folks won't vaccinate their kids.

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Response to EllieBC (Reply #56)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 03:20 PM

125. Unfortunately, many people with non-science higher educations...

... Think they can do science better than actual scientists.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 01:06 AM

21. The saddest aspect of life right now...

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Response to progressoid (Reply #21)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 09:19 AM

41. +1,000... 000

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Response to progressoid (Reply #21)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:38 PM

101. also from Asimov...

"The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 01:17 AM

22. many otherwise reasonable people have a lot invested in doubting science

"It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!" -- Upton Sinclair

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 02:56 AM

23. Answer seems simple to me. Money. There's money to be made.

Climate changing: maybe we should cut oil use -- NOT! Oil in pipes means residuals, or as we call it, MONEY!

ACA Obama care: What? And lose billions in income scaring people literally to death into buying overpriced health care. Those CEOs of heath insurance companies make tons mega tons of ... MONEY.

Creationism: Oil must be replenishable since I am told the world is only 6000 years old. So, let's use oil and not bother with wind, tides and solar so that Oil companies can continue to make MONEY.

People don't really hate science, they just hate not loving MONEY.

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Response to Festivito (Reply #23)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:01 AM

28. except the vast majority of people who deny science

are not monetarily gaining from it.
Religion seems to be a much bigger factor.
And in this country, Republicans in general hate facts.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #28)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:11 AM

32. Conservatives don't hate facts. They don't trust facts.

Because facts are wild and unpredictable. You cannot tame facts, you cannot bribe them, you cannot coerce them. Facts cannot be controlled and that makes them scary.

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Response to DetlefK (Reply #32)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:26 PM

63. good post.

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Response to edhopper (Reply #28)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 01:29 PM

49. Didn't mean to say they did. Check out the leader's income from donations.

And, the larger organization. They know where their bread is buttered too.

The parishioners follow the leader. They can find themselves shunned if they do not follow, thus, they hate facts.

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Response to Festivito (Reply #49)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:26 PM

62. I agree that the motivation for

organizations is money. Though not for most people.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:09 AM

30. Because science is everywhere, but few people actually understand it.

And so we get half-assed conspiracy-theorists who think it's okay to cherry-pick what data you use when doing science.

Or people who hear "some chemicals are bad" and jump to the conclusion "all chemicals are bad".



People don't understand, people feel powerless, people are secretly afraid.
And so they come up with conspiracy-theories how somebody is using this barely-understood thing to hurt them.

It's basically witch-hunts.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:10 AM

31. The scientific method, I don't doubt

Nor do I doubt it's evidence in the topics mentioned in the OP. I have seen some studies show up in the media that turn out to be funded by an entity that benefits from a certain outcome and then I wonder if the scientific method was properly employed. This doesn't explain some people's disbelief in science, but it isn't helpful.

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Response to get the red out (Reply #31)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 08:01 AM

38. Yes, this is a problem is science reporting.

http://undark.org/

This is a new online science mag that is designed to talk about some of the issues in science reporting. They also have a podcast and in that podcast they talked about some of these. One was press release from the University of Maryland supposedly about a study that showed a certain type of chocolate milk had a protective effect against concussion. Turns out, there was no such study and the university had a relationship with the company.

So, I do have a issue with science funding by corporations. Even if there is no influence there, it does call the legitimacy into question. It shouldn't be allowed for corporations to fund real science outside of the company itself. They should not be allowed to fund university labs or researchers or museums, period. But this is a problem of funding. The government should be funding more science than it is. And for certain topics, it is prohibited from providing funds (stem cell research, guns). So what is the answer in those cases? Money from donors and organizations that may have a vested interest in the outcome. It's really hard. Science is so important, yet we as a people do not provide the finding we need, so it come from questionable sources. And if the government does provide the funding, the Republicans (and others, sometimes) complain about the studies as being silly or frivolous or useless because they don't understand.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:35 AM

33. Reasonable people do not exist.

 

For human reasonable means they agree with me.

People be
I've things they want to believe. Everything else is ignored.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:53 AM

34. They're not reasonable

 

They live in a panicky fear filled world full of bad GMOs and gluten and vaccines and other cry jngs that trouble their beautiful bourgeois natural minds.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 07:35 AM

36. Three possible reasons

In descending order in the US at least:

1) They are desperately clinging to religious superstition that they know is shown to be nonsense by science, so they reflexively reject the latter.

2) They are just flat out ignorant of basic science and its principles

3) They are desperately clinging to new-agey woo-woo superstition that they know is shown to be nonsense by science, so they reflexively reject the latter.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 07:50 AM

37. Some aspect of Dunning-Kruger, possibly.

People are too dumb to know how dumb they are.

I also see a lot of logical fallacies, especially confusing correlation with causation and confirmation bias.

But I also think we are not taught critical thinking skills and how to evaluate methodology. I only learned when I took stats.

Someone breathlessly reporting that some chemical is found in, say, 90% of people. But they don't evaluate the study on its merits; sample size for instance, statistical significance, or the actual numbers involved. We have a lot of chemicals in our bodies, but that doesn't mean they are all dangerous at the levels that occur. The dose makes the poison, as they say. Oxygen is poisonous at high enough concentrations.

Something like GMO labeling sounds good, on its face. After all, who doesn't want to know what's in our food? The problems becomes how do you define it, because there are a lot of different methods out there that all fall under the label, none of which have been shown to be harmful and some (golden rice, as I keep harping on) might actually be very beneficial.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 08:12 AM

39. Science is not about belief. nt

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 08:36 AM

40. I don't think numbers have changed, with the intertubes though every fucking idiot has a voice

 

twenty years ago they would have been mumbling to themselves standing outside looking at chemtrails...


Now they can organize

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 10:06 AM

42. some of it is overreaction to exposed junk science

I've seen rebuttals that point out SCIgen and the randomly generated scientific papers that were accepted for publication. And attempts to discredit the scientific process by pointing out things like often conflicting food / health studies.

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Response to Amishman (Reply #42)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 10:54 AM

43. It's amazing that the press miscovers most actual science, and then hypes the junk.

It's no wonder people who don't know that they need to look further are confused, I guess.

Of course, fear mongers like Food Babe, Mercola, etc... don't help either.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 11:00 AM

44. Because they don't understand it.

Not everyone really gets how the scientific method works; how evidence is used to support hypotheses.

A person may be reasonable, or even educated; doesn't mean they understand.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 11:17 AM

45. Education in this country is in need of serious reform

 

I mean, what other country even teaches creationism in their classroom?

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 11:24 AM

46. Look how many people attack GMO foods.

A direct attack on science without the slightest evidence.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #46)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 02:53 PM

50. The article addresses that topic.

It is a black eye for progressives, indeed.

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Response to former9thward (Reply #46)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 06:57 PM

106. No, they have all sorts of evidence

I've seen quite a bit of it. Some of it is anecdotal accounts of accidentally eating GMO and a psychosomatic reaction. Quite a bit of it is evidence of some kind of "evil" perpetrated 60 years ago. Most of it is from nutbag conspiracy theorists websites parroting out junk science published in obscure predatory "scientific" journals that lack any sort of recognizable peer review and will publish anything so long as you pay their fee.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 11:36 AM

47. It's a disc on elephants riding on the Great Sky Turtle, Atuin.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 12:55 PM

48. In this country we stupidly venerate "faith" over facts.

 

"Faith" in evidence-less and utter nonsense (myths, supernatural beings, stories from primitive cultures) is treated as a noble trait -- something for all good Americans to strive for -- and anything with a whiff of intellectualism or science is suspect and somehow anti-American.

It's easier to just believe that the omnipotent ruler of the universe has a master plan for the particular species of hairless apes (especially the American hairless apes!) on one little planet in one little galaxy amongst 100 billion galaxies, and leave it at that

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 02:56 PM

51. It took me about 3 years to convince a friend of my who is smart that "reality TV"

is not reality at all. My head still hurts.

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Response to LiberalArkie (Reply #51)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 02:58 PM

52. Oh, goodness.

That had to hurt! I'm sorry.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 03:06 PM

55. To begin with, science is often not very well taught in high school in the first place.

 

Too often the football coach is the biology teacher, although I know not always. Then, a lot of high schools require only one or two years of a lab science to graduate, so the kids aren't exposed to very much science at all. Third, a lot of school districts/school boards have terrorized teachers into not teaching real science They can't talk about evolution. They can't talk about the real age of the Earth or the Universe.

At home mom and dad probably have forgotten what little they themselves ever learned, and if the family buys into fundamentalist religion, then science is scorned.

The truly incredible thing is that despite all that, this country still turns out world-class scientists and research, and still tends to own the Nobel Prize.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #55)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 03:26 PM

57. Your explanation doesn't cover the other half.

The west coast of of the US and Canada isn't exactly the Bible Belt. not even close.

Yet vaccination compliance rates are higher in Bible Belt states. They are. Considerably lower in west coast states. They are lower in my province, BC. Our compliance rate lags behind eastern canadian provinces.

They don't debate fluoridating water in say...Alabama. But it's enough to give the crunchy well educated west coast dwellers fits. We spend money on fluoride tablets up here because the not even close to religious residents are terrified of fluorine in their water. So we don't have it.

Make no mistake. What should be well educated enlightened people are very prone to being anti-science.

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Response to EllieBC (Reply #57)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 04:15 PM

59. Even in non Bible belt

 

areas, teachers are often not comfortable going completely out there with evolution. They just don't want to deal with the crap that they might get from the parents of just one student.

Which comes back to the science not being well taught in the first place, coupled with sometimes lousy textbooks, and a fairly low science requirement of high school students. Even in pretty good public schools.

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #59)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:16 PM

61. And a lot of it is that even the well educated

fall victim to the BS from the anti science crew of "Dr" Mercola, Vani Hari, the vaccine-autism douchebag, and the people that think organic food and coconut oil/thieves oil/insert aromatic oil here cure everything from a cold sore to Ebola. They have this weird neo-natural thing where anything produced on a mass level is inherently evil.

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Response to EllieBC (Reply #61)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:19 PM

67. Yes. Logic and logical thinking

 

aren't taught in schools, and they should be.

How to recognize various fallacies, for instance.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 03:57 PM

58. Because science is sometimes wrong.

The current scientific mantra for healthy living might be reversed tomorrow, for instance.

There is also suspicion of bias when the objectivity of the scientists might be influenced by the views of their employer.

And, there are areas where people want answers that science can't currently provide.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #58)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:41 PM

64. You've outlined the ways that pseudoscience promoters push mistrust of science.

Indeed.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #64)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 08:11 PM

76. You are incorrect, sir.

Skepticism must be applied to all areas of knowledge, including current scientific claims, with such knowledge subject to revision or rejection.

Ever hear of eugenics? That was considered science, in its era.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #76)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 10:59 AM

80. And then you continue to add to the ways that pseudoscience demonizes logic and science.

Skeptics understand all of that, but it doesn't mean you can ignore the science.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #80)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 11:05 AM

81. I am not demonizing science at all ...

But science has a way of becoming pseudoscience when a previously strongly held theory is suddenly disproven. Instantly.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #81)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 11:09 AM

82. Oh, goodness.

And it just continues. This is rich.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #82)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 11:43 AM

83. What are you talking about?

Clarify.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #83)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 01:54 PM

85. You're running the pseudoscience justification module to the T.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #85)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 02:54 PM

91. and you are labeling my argument without supplying a cogent and coherent rebuttal.

You are basically engaged in name-calling without responding to my points.

This casts doubt on your OP.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #91)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 02:59 PM

93. I'm not trying to rebut anything.

I'm just pointing out the tactic you are utilizing.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #93)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:00 PM

94. of course not, because your argument doesn't hold water ...

and you can't rebut my argument.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #94)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:23 PM

99. You don't have an argument. The "science was wrong fallacy" is, well, a fallacy.

Last edited Fri Apr 1, 2016, 06:32 PM - Edit history (2)

There is nothing to rebut. I have called a spade a spade. I'm sorry you aren't honest enough to acknowledge that.

http://rationalwiki.org/wiki/Science_was_wrong_before

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #99)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 08:04 PM

110. That wasn't my argument.

You just don't understand it. Others here understand what I am saying, and actually respond to it as I laid it out.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #110)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 08:05 PM

111. It was, and I understand it perfectly well.

I also understand the fact that you won't acknowledge reality here.

I don't care. I've dealt with people like you over and over again.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #111)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 08:17 PM

113. Well, continue on in your misbelief.

Have fun with that by yourself

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Response to kwassa (Reply #113)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 08:21 PM

115. You really think you can fool people that easily?

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Response to kwassa (Reply #81)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:03 PM

95. Science --> pseudoscience ? Care to give some examples ?

My thinking says it wasn't science to begin with if it becomes pseudoscience.

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Response to Bonx (Reply #95)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:11 PM

96. It was recognized as non-science, or bad science, after it was disproved.

Until then, it was considered science.

Here is one list:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Superseded_scientific_theories

Here are ten scientific theories that proved wrong:

http://www.toptenz.net/top-10-most-famous-scientific-theories-that-turned-out-to-be-wrong.php

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Response to kwassa (Reply #96)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:22 PM

98. But none of those were good science to begin with.

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Response to Bonx (Reply #98)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 07:44 PM

108. They were good science for their time and place.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #96)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 07:27 PM

107. Scientific theory =/ science

A scientific theory is simply an inductive model that attempts to explain something that's observable but isn't provable. Science is the methods used to document evidence of the universe.

Opinions can and should change when new and better evidence becomes available. Some scientific theories will inevitably be disproved once new evidence becomes available. This isn't a weakness of science itself, but rather one of its strengths.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #107)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 07:47 PM

109. I don't disagree.

Yet lay people are asked to trust scientific authority when it might well be wrong.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #109)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 08:06 PM

112. The sun may not come up tomorrow

That's not a good reason to assume it won't. Sometimes it's better to assume what we have is correct until proven otherwise because the consequences of not accepting a reasonable conclusion is greater than doing nothing while waiting for something to be proven which may never be provable. While it may be easy to point out past failures of widely held but flawed ideas, it's a bit harder to imagine where we would be had we not accepted certain premises.

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Response to Major Nikon (Reply #112)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 10:16 PM

116. +1

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Response to kwassa (Reply #58)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 02:17 PM

87. You failed to point out that its the scientific process that corrects for these errors...

 

Peer review is specifically designed so that the bias of individuals are minimized as much as possible.

Scientists and science in general does not have all the answers, if it did, it would stop.

Science is best summed up as tentative conclusions about what we think the world is like, and yes, the "scientific mantra" about "healthy living" if there was such a conclusion, could be reversed tomorrow due to the examination of evidence pointing to a different conclusion. So what? That's the strength of science, not its weakness. You seem to want certainty, well you are not going to find it in science, look into religion for that.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #87)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 02:52 PM

89. True, however the history of such reversals creates doubt ....

and as such, people can certainly and reasonably doubt certain conclusions of science. Or at least be reasonably skeptical.

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Response to kwassa (Reply #89)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 02:56 PM

92. If they are doing it due to conflicting evidence or the lack of evidence, that's one thing...

 

but far too many "doubt" science for ideological reasons, which is, to put it bluntly, stupid.

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Response to Humanist_Activist (Reply #92)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 08:19 PM

114. I agree completely.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 05:12 PM

60. Folks have been raised to get the truth one time...

 

... And that was that.

Science grows, evolves and is occasionally turned on its head.

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Response to TipTok (Reply #60)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:07 PM

65. We have to teach the need for challenging our own beliefs, indeed.

I'm still working on it, but doing so has led me back from multiple pseudoscience based beliefs.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:09 PM

66. Thinking is hard!

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:25 PM

68. Because there is no law in nature that states people have to agree with you or use common sense.

 

Why did people believe NASA bombed the moon? People come up with all kinds of crazy notions and then confirmation bias kicks in.

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Response to Rex (Reply #68)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 07:43 PM

73. Your gifs are mesmerizing.

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Response to HuckleB (Reply #73)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 07:46 PM

74. Thanks, we have some talented gif makers!

 

I've been having fun embedding youtube videos and watching Grumpy Cat and Trump move their hands with the beat!

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 06:33 PM

69. Because they are not really "reason"able.

 

Most people, ultimately, are outcome-based thinkers. They decide what the desired answer is, and then interpret (or ignore) the facts into order to justify the desired outcome.

Just spend a day in GD-P.

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Response to Adrahil (Reply #69)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 10:42 AM

78. You certainly have a good point.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 07:30 PM

72. It goes against their reliigion!

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Thu Mar 31, 2016, 08:41 PM

77. In the case of liberals, it's an issue of trust and conflation

I think, even if the science holds up, something like GMO's can be a tough pill to swallow for liberal-minded people. Think of all of the institutions that have betrayed us, the ones that we are fighting against every day - the monkey business the financial industry has engaged in, labor's struggles, political corruption. Example after example of big industries using their weight to manipulate our systems of government can be demonstrated. So when the agriculture industry says their stuff is safe, it's a pretty understandable that there be a negative reaction and mistrust to that.

I trust in science, but I think it takes a lot of convincing to overcome those negative thoughts about industry, and I'm honestly not really sure how to go about addressing that.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 10:46 AM

79. It's because they aren't reasonable.

Intelligent, perhaps, but not reasonable.

These people have no scientific expertise and yet think they know better than people who do. That's not a reasonable position to take.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 02:22 PM

88. Why do so many reasonable people think they will win the lottery when the value goes up?

 

After thinking about it for a few days, I am sticking with confirmation bias.

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Response to Rex (Reply #88)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 09:57 AM

120. That's where it starts.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 02:54 PM

90. Some believe that gut instinct is better than objective evidence

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:29 PM

100. In some instances

it may have something to do with blatant conflict of interest.

Association of financial or professional conflict of interest to research outcomes on health risks or nutritional assessment studies of genetically modified products. Food Policy. Volume 36, Issue 2, April 2011, Pages 197–203.

Abstract

Since the first commercial cultivation of genetically modified crops in 1994, the rapidly expanding market of genetically modified seeds has given rise to a multibillion dollar industry. This fast growth, fueled by high expectations towards this new commercial technology and shareholder trust in the involved industry, has provided strong incentives for further research and development of new genetically modified plant varieties. Considering, however, the high financial stakes involved, concerns are raised over the influence that conflicts of interest may place upon articles published in peer-reviewed journals that report on health risks or nutritional value of genetically modified food products. In a study involving 94 articles selected through objective criteria, it was found that the existence of either financial or professional conflict of interest was associated to study outcomes that cast genetically modified products in a favorable light (p = 0.005). While financial conflict of interest alone did not correlate with research results (p = 0.631), a strong association was found between author affiliation to industry (professional conflict of interest) and study outcome (p < 0.001). We discuss these results by comparing them to similar studies on conflicts of interest in other areas, such as biomedical sciences, and hypothesize on dynamics that may help explain such connections.

Research highlights

► Observed relation between conflict of interest and GMO study outcome. ► Funding was not declared in 52% of the analyzed articles. ► Observed relation between funding declaration and author affiliation. ► At least one of the authors was connected with industry in 44% of the articles. ► 8% of articles received funding from industry.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 03:43 PM

102. Because science doesn't have a public relations or communications arm.

Last edited Fri Apr 1, 2016, 09:03 PM - Edit history (1)

The many ways that scientific knowledge is poorly communicated are too numerous to count. It's poorly communicated by accident and by intent. It's miscommunicated to sell products. It's exaggerated to sell fear, and it's dismissed to promote ideologies.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #102)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 04:49 PM

103. You are definitely on to something here.

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Response to cheapdate (Reply #102)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 10:27 PM

117. This is a large part of the problem, one reason it is hard to talk logic to RWingers.

 

Cruz said there has been a “disproportionate increase” since 2009 in funding of earth sciences. There has been an increase — and it is larger than some other NASA areas — but spending on earth sciences is lower now as a percentage of NASA’s budget than it was in fiscal 2000. And the increase reflects an effort to restore funding that had been cut.

Cruz also suggested that the “core mission” of NASA does not include earth sciences. In fact, studying the Earth and atmosphere has been central to NASA’s mission since its creation in 1958.

In criticizing NASA’s spending on earth sciences, Cruz also said the agency needs to “get back to the hard sciences” — meaning space exploration and not earth and atmospheric research. The term “hard sciences” refers to fields including physics and chemistry, which are central to the research being done as part of NASA’s earth science programs.

http://www.factcheck.org/2015/03/cruz-distorts-nasas-mission-budget/

Cruz shuts down Congress and mothballs NASA. The man is a menace.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 05:31 PM

104. Because they believe science is Satan's religion?

 

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Response to B Calm (Reply #104)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 05:53 PM

105. Or Satan's Helper?



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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 10:30 PM

118. To some degree, the "everybody wins" mentality says that the opinion of people who

 

don't or won't understand science is just as important as the people who have invested in the knowledge.

People who used to demeaned as idiots now have a place at the table. People like Louie Gohmert, James Inhofe, Jim Sensenbrenner who would have once had careers that didn't require much knowledge now are elected to congress.

The Internet hasn't helped in this. People who once couldn't get a letter to the editor published in a newspaper have the ability to spew their ignorance to the world.

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Response to Thor_MN (Reply #118)

Fri Apr 1, 2016, 11:29 PM

119. You're spot on.

Ignorance no longer matters, as long as you talk loud and proud on the Interwebs!

It's depressing to see it among progressives, however.

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Response to Thor_MN (Reply #118)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 11:20 AM

121. The letters to the editor are some funny if not depressing reads.

 

You are on to something here, Louie Gohmert might (big might) have the ability to run a gas station at best.

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 11:33 AM

122. It's called motivated reasoning

It seems plausible that these people are not reasonable, or scientifically illiterate. Research bears out neither conclusion. Instead, it's worth remembering that we are social animals, and having a secure place in our social order is no trifling matter. So when a scientific finding threatens that order, or one's place within it, at best there is a dilemma - and often the individual's calculation (conscious or not) will fall on the side of maintaining that order.

Research on science literacy and beliefs about climate change, for instance, shows that if you look at Democrats, increased science literacy correlates with stronger beliefs in the threat of human-caused climate change, while for Republicans the opposite is true - science literacy actually increases polarization, rather than acceptance of the science. It seems likely this is because the more science-literate Republicans are also more adept at employing that literacy in the service of convenient self-deception. They can pick at the evidence, convince themselves of alternative explanations, etc.

Yale researcher Anthony Leiserowitz has done a lot of fascinating work on this problem in the context of climate change. Most logical-sounding, simple explanations of the rejection of science actually do not survive scientific scrutiny!

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 11:58 AM

123. A good size chunk of the population

is still taught, while still in diapers, that the earth is 6000 years old and evolution is a lie- then they grow up with that subconscious mistrust of science.

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Response to LadyHawkAZ (Reply #123)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 02:55 PM

124. Yeah, that does not help!

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Response to HuckleB (Original post)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 04:03 PM

127. Because tomorrow's science will disprove today's science...

Just as today's science disproves yesterday's science.

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Response to egduj (Reply #127)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 04:24 PM

128. It can, but that's not necessarily so.

And you can't just ignore science and make things up because of that POV.

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Response to egduj (Reply #127)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 05:17 PM

129. Science is a conservative, constructive enterprise.

New theory does not so much replace old theory as much as it modifies it, improves it.

For instance, Einstein's general theory of relativity is a better theory of gravitation than Newton's. However, that does not stop Newton's theory being good enough to put space probes in orbit -- and land them -- on distant planets. Also, Einstein's version is a bitch to work with.

There are many other examples. The reality is that modern science does not generally throw out the old theories because they still work, within their domains.

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Response to longship (Reply #129)

Sat Apr 2, 2016, 05:43 PM

130. +1

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