Nescio over at the blog Primum Non Nocere has been posting a series of fascinating articles on denialism, asking some good questions about the personal psychology of climate change denial and how it shares attributes with other anti-science movements.
Obviously I’ve been giving this topic a lot of thought, attempting to understand it through my blog posts. His/her attempt to nail down the general characteristics of anti-science movements is well worth considering:
- Cult-like behaviour: dogmatically supporting the all-knowing Leader,
- Conspiracy theory: there is a global conspiracy to hide The Truth,
- Misunderstanding what science entails: i.e. if there is one thing science cannot explain that proves all those things that have been elucidated (evolution, germ-theory) are wrong,
- Double standard: even if science is right it does not apply to their specific case, i.e. because of their unique nature Intelligent Design, homeopathy, paranormal claims, et cetera, should not be held to the same standard as the scientific community,
- Thinking that attending Google University (Dah Google) equals years of study, and doing research, in a certain field –expert opinion is just that: opinion
The series is up to three parts, and I’d encourage people to go read the articles:
Nescio is a physician specialising in internal medicine in the UK, so their perspective is quite interesting.