Denying Science: Conspiracy Theories, Media Distortions, and the War Against Reality

Denying Science: Conspiracy Theories, Media Distortions, and the War Against Reality

John Grant

Language: English

Pages: 374

ISBN: 1616143991

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

Is global warming just scaremongering by climatologists conspiring to protect their jobs? Is evolution "just a theory"? Is autism caused by vaccinations? The answer to all of these questions is, of course, no. The scientific evidence is now in, and it’s conclusive, on these and many more issues that are fundamental to our knowledge and wellbeing. But you’d never know this if all of your information came from the popular media or your upbringing and immediate circle of influence didn’t include critical thinking and basic scientific literacy.

As this witty book with a very serious message shows, our culture has in recent decades been characterized by a widespread antagonism toward science and the not-always-welcome messages it brings. Large sections of the supposedly sophisticated populations in the developed nations are in an active state of denial. Not only do they deny scientific evidence but they also call into question the very competence of science as a descriptor of reality. In short, they deny reality.

The author surveys the gamut of clearly unscientific ideas concerning the food we eat, the medicines and potions we are either afraid of or advised to take, our sex preferences, and a host of other issues that are raised by various panics, urban legends, and a general climate of misinformation. He also examines how special interests, from agribusiness to pharmaceutical companies to creationists, actively work to distort or suppress scientific findings. While the tendency may be to laugh at some of the ridiculous notions catalogued in the author's overview of bogus ideas, the overall picture he creates is anything but funny.

This book reminds the reader that the future of free, increasingly complex societies depends on an educated citizenry that is able to think clearly and critically based on reliable information.

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Blogger Joanne Nova was typical: “The survey is a loose proxy for government grants. . . . R.I.P. The Scientific Method. Hello totalitarian government.”11 All through human history until about 1850, the level of CO2 in the atmosphere held steady at about 280 ppm. Since then it has increased to about 380 ppm, seemingly entirely because of human activities, and this increase—already 36 percent—shows no signs of stopping. Far from it, the increase is accelerating: many predictions suggest that by

guide me. A stranger appears and says to me: “My friend, you should blow out your candle in order to find your way more clearly.” —Denis Diderot, Addition aux Pensees Philosophiques In a sense, religious belief is intrinsically a denial of science. Religion, like science, was born out of the universal human urge to produce explanations for phenomena. When the major religions began, a lot of phenomena were absolute mysteries. Why does wind roar and fire burn? How does the land produce the

general approach is to break down that problem into its various bits in the belief that, by investigating the bits separately and then in groups, eventually a solution will be found to the original major problem. The Sangh Parivar dispute that the deconstructivist approach pays dividends. Their Vedic science is far superior in that its approach is not piecemeal but holistic. A wise Hindu will look not just at the bits but at the whole picture. The trouble is that this method was tried in the West

unfair to mention that this has a foreword by Jenny McCarthy. One of Wakefield’s associates at Thoughtful House, Arthur Krigsman, came to wide public notice when, testifying before Congress’s Government Reform Committee in June 22, 2002, he claimed to have independently confirmed Wakefield’s results. Naturally the scientific world was eager for details. There was a long wait. Finally, on January 27, 2010, Krigsman published his supportive paper, “Clinical Presentation and Histologic Findings at

stating. And yet, during the writing of her book and the article that was its precursor,21 Lefkowitz, a humanities professor at Wellesley College, Massachusetts, was subject to considerable abuse—including accusations of racism—in both private and, more worryingly, professional life. This pattern of threatening the bearers of unwelcome truths is common throughout all fields of science denialism. ❖ Some people get paid a very great deal of money to deny basic science. On January 4, 2011, David

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