Tag Archives: denier

The rise of the Google Galileo

Antivaxxers, climate change deniers, crystal worshippers, conspiracy theorists, anti-fluoridationists, homeopathy practioners etc are the way they are because they are unable to shake free from the shackles of evolution and develop mature critical thinking skills. In a nutshell, they are cognitively less evolved and lazy.

from Michael Thomas at exposingtruth

An Increasing Number Of People Think Astrology Is Science…

Astrology is the study of how the position of the stars relative to us on Earth have a supposed effect on people here, primarily based on their date of birth. Of course, most (or all) astrological predictions are worded so vaguely that anyone looking to see themselves in the statement would do so, for instance “you have a creative side that you don’t spend enough time nurturing” or “you have a tendency to sometimes be critical of yourself” would apply to pretty much everyone who wants to find the key to their lives in a tabloid prediction.

The effect behind astrology “fitting” so well, for so many, is known as the Forer effect and is defined as “the observation that individuals will give high accuracy ratings to descriptions of their personality that supposedly are tailored specifically for them, but are in fact vague and general enough to apply to a wide range of people.” It leads people to think statements to which almost everyone could agree with are specifically tailored to them, and it makes the reader feel, ironically, special.

The National Science Foundation study actually brings up a more important point than a growing misguided belief in astrology, and that is the growing belief in pseudoscientific principles. We all have that friend, the one who continues to claim studies and science support their beliefs but can never actually say which studies or scientific theories support these beliefs. To most of us, this seems harmless, except that this very type of person is making use of social media and YouTube to gain cult-like followings. Without naming any names: these types of people are actually doing far more damage than we tend to believe.

The increasing belief in pseudoscience like astrology is, in my opinion, directly linked to the increasing dominance of social media as a source of information. The fact is that the type of algorithms that Facebook and others use actually give an advantage to factually wrong but exciting texts. The scary part is that a large number of people who see these essentially false or misleading headlines, or read the pseudoscientific articles, are not exercising sufficient critical thinking to grasp the real picture. These people then perpetuate their false impressions further, causing all the bullsh!t to float to the top and be believed by even more people.

This is not just some abstract threat, some theoretical loss: I meet people perpetuating disinformation, even within my university, relatively often. When I discuss topics like biosphere stability or species loss, I am very frequently greeted by relatively easily disproveable excuses as to why this is no reason to worry. The majority of these people base these beliefs on articles they read on Facebook or beyond, almost always shared by their friends or into groups they belong to, and which in their eyes warranted no further investigation.

Part of the problem is that human evolution did not anticipate the emergence of science, empirical data, and statistics. Most of us primarily rely on our intuition and accept the beliefs of our friends because, in the history of humanity, that was usually the best way to understand the world around us. Unfortunately for all of us alive today, our friends are no longer the best source of information. In fact, the many views held by members of the media are vastly divorced from available statistical data: leading them to continue misinforming even those who have reason to consider themselves well-informed.

The problem is not insurmountable, but solving it does require us to exercise a degree of discipline and critical thinking: not simply believing an unnamed study or completely unsourced claims. Many websites make more money than any of us by simply writing what people already believe, want to hear, or are excited or upset to hear. A lot of readers simply bite this bait hook, line, and sinker: upping its online relevance and oftentimes pushing misinformation into popularity.

The world of online media is both a blessing and a minefield. It enables the skilled seeker to find a wealth of information far beyond the dreams of even the most resourceful librarian of 100 years past. Unfortunately, it also has the capacity of making liars look like heroes and trick well-meaning people into arrogantly defending disinformation.

Original article here

 

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Filed under Rogue's Gallery

13 misconceptions about global warming

Derek Muller is a science communication expert. He has a well known YouTube channel called Veritasium. His videos are always informative and entertaining. He has a real knack at taking complex science and making it accessible to many. He is also very good at dispelling common scientific misconceptions. Many of his early videos highlighted just how poor average people’s understanding of basic everyday physics, chemistry and biology is and I urge you to go and check them out.

In this video, Derek dispels 13 of the most common denier canards that we all come across. Enjoy.

 

 

 

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Filed under Climate Change

Dear stalker

Dear Stalker/Troll

Thankyou. Through your obnoxious and somewhat disturbing harassment, you have forced my hand.

For a long time now, you have persisted in commenting to my blog or on my Facebook page knowing full well that your comments will not be published as they consistently breach my blog rules and you have proven yourself a serial pest. Why would you do this? The way I see it, there are three possible reasons.

1. You are a moron with very little understanding of the internet or how it works. This is a distinct possibility given your demographic.

2. You are a sociopathic sexually impotent stalker suffering from the Dunning Kruger effect who gains some sort of perverse pleasure in making me facepalm and bang my head on the desk reading your inane comments when they appear in my spam folder.

3. You are insane.

I’m betting on option 2…..or 3. There is something seriously wrong with you and you should seek help.

Anyway, like I said, you have forced my hand. I am no longer allowing any comments on my blog. This is not really a problem for me and you have done me a favour. Most of my subscribers…..actually all of them except for you, accept the scientific consensus on climate change and so don’t really feel the need to comment on any of my posts. In the meantime, morons like you clog up my spam folder and moderation queue with idiocy. You and your idiotic denier friends are a waste of my time. Now that I will NEVER see any of your comments again, I will have extra time to post important information about climate science. I feel that this is what is important to the vast majority of my subscribers. I’m sure they will be silently thanking you too.

As for my Facebook page, I have blocked you personally. Just to be sure that you can’t comment on my posts there by changing your name, I have made my page unavailable for everyone in Thailand so I guess you will have to to travel over the border to comment or get one of the 3 Facebook friends who don’t have you muted to comment on your behalf. That’s right stalker, Facebook “friendship” is a fickle thing.  Oh but wait…they can’t.  Facebook filters and all.

Of course you could still try and force you lunacy on me by emailing me but it will end up in Spam with the viagra pushers, never to be seen again. Quite apt really.

NOTE: To my sane followers, this is the last post of this type you will see.

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Filed under denier contradictions, Rogue's Gallery

Hunt launches personal attack on head of Australian solar lobby

Is this any way for a government minister to behave? The fact is, Greg Hunt is a AGW denier like the rest of his lunatic fringe party. He says he accepts the science underpinning climate change but then flags and implements policies that don’t reflect the science. He is either a fraud, completely incompetent or stupid…..or all three.

Hunt launches personal attack on head of Australian solar lobby.

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Filed under Uncategorized

Free Online Course: Everything You’ve Ever Wanted to Know About Climate Change

Nothing like getting to the basics. It is sadly missing for many people and especially deniers. So, if you are reading this blog and are genuinely interested in the science underpinning climate change then here are the basics. If you’re a denier and you want to remain wilfully ignorant, sit still, don’t move and I’ll go and get your sippy cup for you.

Free course

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Filed under Climate Change, Uncategorized

The Psychology of Denialism

Everything you ever wanted to know about denialism.

http://jcmooreonline.com/2014/03/03/climate-change-denial-machine-the-psychology-of-denialism/

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Filed under Uncategorized

climate change – evidence and causes

I feel that every now and then it is good to get back to the basics of climate change science andlook at the big picture. The Royal Society in conjunction with the US National Academy of Sciences have released a primer in a straight forward Q and A style, presenting the evidence for and causes of climate change. It is written in a style that even the simplest of deniers should be able to understand….. maybe.

Climate Change – Evidence and Causes

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