Confession , I am in Denial

posted by john byatt

I have an admission to make; I am in denial, the science tells us that pre humans climbed down from the trees and began to walk upon the earth millions of years ago.

THAT we developed our tastes.

SWEET, because sugar gives us energy and an evolutionary advantage.

BITTER, because it gave us a better chance of not ingesting poisons

SALT, so we got the right amount rather than not enough or too much.

SOUR, again to prevent poisoning and waiting until fruit had more sugar.

Of course there is much more to it,

I reject all these things and probably always will. I reject that we climbed down from trees. I totally reject the now scientific acceptance of the Unami taste. I could write a pretty good article why I believe that carbon dioxide was the real reason that we ended up with a strong desire for much sweeter foods. I will not bore you with that but just affirm that that is my belief.

What I do not deny though is that the science is probably correct and that it is me who is wrong. I will still argue the toss however but will always concede to the science. If the science is on your side, you win.

It is possible then for us to deny many scientific understandings due to our own limited anecdotal musings but at the same time accept the likelihood that it is us who has got it all wrong? From my admission that is possible.

Can climate change deniers do that? Can they accept that their own denial is due to a limited understanding or even just a faith that an all powerful god and not humans will decide when and how we are exterminated? Can they even accept that they are the ones who are probably wrong?

Is denial a way for us to cope with an unwelcome prognosis, a self delusion which allows us dismiss it and get on with our lives, free from even needing to evaluate the total scientific database?

Obviously the denial of whether we climbed down from trees is not one that would have any dire consequences; the denial of Global warming however does indeed have serious consequences, not just for me and my grandchildren but for everyone’s future.

Would love to get a better understanding from people’s own perspective of why they reject the science, while requesting total honesty from them.

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21 responses to “Confession , I am in Denial

  1. You will get plenty of A and very little of B unless they are completely self deluded as a result of years of wilful ignorance in which case you will get total honesty even though it is incompatible with reality…. and some of them have the nerve to suggest AGW is a religion.

  2. Skeptikal

    The level of fanaticism you’re expressing would suggest that you don’t have the willingness, desire or capacity to understand those who choose to reject your religion. The sad part is that you probably don’t even see how fanatical you are… in your eyes, you’re just trying to save the world.

    • With all due respect Skeptikal, you are not rejecting a religion but evidence grounded in fact. I think you will find that those of us who live in the real world have a very good understanding of people who reject science. There’s enough psychology papers on the subject. There’s a few groups. Young Earth Creationists, Climate Change deniers, anti-vaccine idiots, conspiracy theorists, moon landing non-acceptors, bigfoot chasers, alien nutters, Illuminati subscribers…….etc etc etc. The funny thing is, the climate change deniers such as yourself are so similar to young earth creationists its uncanny. The level of wilful ignorance required to maintain your beliefs is on a par and you adopt exactly the same MO to argue your points….and you have the audacity to paint realists who accept the overwhelming scientific evidence as religious? Astounding.  


      • Skeptikal

        Yes, I’ve seen lewandowsky’s work… doesn’t really do much to enhance the reputation of psychology in general.

        Saying that skeptics ‘reject the science’ is a standard catchcry from your religion. The ‘science’ that you worship is actually a pseudo-science based on nothing more than computer models producing garbage output based on garbage input. As with most cult type religions, your fanaticism is expressed in the way you attempt to demean anyone who doesn’t subsribe to your beliefs.

        Skepticism in the community is growing as temperatures stop rising and the apocalyptic prophecies fail to materialise. People are getting tired of hearing about impending doom and gloom. Your task of ‘selling’ this religion is getting harder, yet you persist. You’re a climate change zombie, unable or unwilling to see the shortcomings of your ‘science’.

        When the wheels eventually fall off the climate change gravy train, the environmental organisations will find another ‘urgent’ problem to ensure their streams of donations don’t dry up, the carbon traders will retire wealthy… and the foot soldiers like you will be left shellshocked, trying to comprehend how you could be duped into trying to save a world that doesn’t need saving.

      • Mark Porter

        Spoken like a true believer! You, sir, are of the ‘one true faith’. All others are but distortions or the work of The Devil.

        But then again you are probably just a deluded ignoramus like most of your ilk.

  3. Sou

    John the idea that deniers deny to allow them to ‘get on with their lives’ it doesn’t work well with a lot of them. Oodles of them spend hours each day trolling science discussions and/or lapping up the anti-science dished out by people like JoNova, Watts and others.

    Some of them are probably just born contrarians. If I said the sky is blue they’d swear it’s red :D

    • john byatt

      skeptical let on more than he/she realised

      I have played with the creationists before

      • john byatt

        it is the creationists who spend the time as you say. they see it as a threat so try to find as much ammo as they can

        I think that we will see more on the subject of the role of creationists at Wtd next year

  4. john byatt

    I live near fraser island, over the years dozens of creationists have been attacking evolution in the local paper. in the last few years they have shut up on that but now are the most avid sceptic letter writers…here is one that I have called out

    a reply to his letter

    RE Frank Davis (SCD Dec 20) there are two things that we can be sure of.
    One, that the atmosphere contains huge amounts of particles and molecules that are heavier than air, carried aloft by turbulence etc,
    Two, due to an as yet unproven theory called gravity that they will all return to earth,
    The gravitational pull versus the atmospherics acting on a single molecule of carbon dioxide means that each molecule will remain aloft for an average of five years.
    When it returns to earth it simply takes the place of another molecule emitted from the Ocean,
    There is no net loss or gain to the atmosphere. The only gain to the atmosphere is the Human Airborne fraction or about half of our total emissions.
    While not yet official the temperature data for 2012 was released the day after my letter, 2012 beat 2011 so you have wisely not bet against the science and therefore have saved a week’s pay..
    Now stop your ridiculous scientific charade and tell us the real reason that you reject even the idea that humans could be the arbitrators of their own demise

  5. Don’t get me wrong, I understand why you equate climate change denial with the denial of evolution. The two are very strongly linked in the minds of many evangelical Christians (in the USA in particular). However, worldwide, I believe there is a growing realisation amongst evangelicals that they cannot just rely on God to get us out of this mess that we have created…

    The much stronger intellectual association that we must break is the economic one – the belief that perpetual economic growth is compatible with a finite planet – that growth is the answer to all our problems. Therefore, long after the majority of Christians have conceded that Genesis 8:22 (God promising not to flood the Earth [again?]) does not invalidate Archimedes’ Principle, I think we may still be trying to convince economists that they are wrong to worship the god of Growth.

    • john byatt

      I agree however, If you are a creationist would you attack climate change and link it to your belief in creation or go down the economic distaster path?

      The TCS party has at least one high up member who is a creationist, the blog never mentions gods role but always attacks the economics and politics, sometimes they make statements that are creationist dog whistles, eg OWG, and sign off comments with “Jesus be with you” or such.

      I could give more examples, The numbers who voted for the TCS party was a clue. The LNP in QLD I think that Wtd is going to explore the connection.

    • I tend to equate the critical thinking skills (or lack thereof) and the modis operandi of the two, not so much the actual content or making a link between biblical beliefs and climate. For instance, I know many Christians, even some YEC’s who accept that we are impacting the climate system. They also don’t expect their god to come to the rescue…directly and see no harm in taking action. Where I draw parallels though is in that both AGW deniers and YEC’s must ignore scientific evidence to make their case. They must also approach science arse about in that they already have their answer (the earth is young, climate change is natural) and they cherrypick and misrepresent the science to support their conclusions. Also another parallel can be drawn between the instigators in each and the followers. I equate Anthony Watts with Ken Ham. In each case, they mangle science, speak authoratively and their respective followers regurgitate word for word what they are told without thought.

      On the growth fallacy I agree 100%. It’s basic arithmetic. You cannot have sustainable growth in any finite system. I posted a video here that explains it beautifully.

      • john byatt

        My sister in law is a YECY with a baptist group, they say that they accept the science but are told that is political and to refrain from debate because of that. jesus was not political

        having your cake and eating it as well , they accept it but would not vote for action because it is political, they also have no idea just how serious it is

  6. john byatt

    Re evangelicals, that may be the case but a poster Ross brisbane evangelical, is very active in taking on the deniers, has a huge understanding.

    On F**KWIT Fielding family first blog you did have those who were yecies and those who where claimed athiests singing from the same song sheet.

    they never disputed each others claim re climate change, a sort of truce wheras the supporters of the science both Xtian and Athiest did debate many aspects of the science

    when i read something anti AGW and they use their name I google them with the word church, One bloke who claimed to be athiest was found to be a member of a gold coast Yecy church,

    Of course we cannot make sweeping statements but I would put the likelhood as very high that you are talking to a yecy .

  7. @Skeptical – Faith is required to believe something for which there is no empirical evidence. However, given that it is now 27 years since the any part of the Earth’s surface recorded monthly mean temperatures lower than their long term average monthly figures; and every decade since the 1970’s has been warmer than the one it followed, there is no shortage of empirical evidence (and therefore no need for faith)… Unless, of course, everyone that produces evidence of a warming planet and/or a link to human activity is merely added to the ranks of those involved in a global conspiracy to.. [insert your currently-favoured conspiracy theory here].

    Much greater faith is therefore required to reject any or all evidence that does not accord with the entirely prejudicial assumption that all change is natural (especially since it has long been established – by CFCs damaging the ozone layer and sulphate/nitrate pollution causing acid rain and global dimming – that human activity is capable of affecting climate). I think you need to deal with the World the way it is – not how you would like it to be – and stop treating the Laws of Physics like a Sushi Bar.

    And, while you’re at it, you need to stop indulging blame-shifting arguments like “cattle produce more methane than humans”; and face up to the fact that the sevenfold increase in the global human population since the Industrial Revolution has resulted in an even greater increase in the numbers of cattle… Thus, the argument that infinite growth is incompatible with a finite planet is not part of some socialist conspiracy to send us all back to the Dark Ages. Ignoring such logic, however, is part of the insane growthmania that almost certainly will.