Hitting books. Why does your uncle keep refusing to believe in climate change?


Holidays that are full of complexity are neither fun nor comfortable. But when you finally get to them, be prepared.

In his latest book, How to talk to a science denier, author Lee McIntyre explores the phenomenon of denial by exploring conspiracy theories, explaining how you can most effectively address your loved ones’ misplaced concerns, from mRNA vaccines to why the country is not really flat.

MIT Press:

How to talk to a denier of science? Conversations with flat lands, climate deniers, and others who oppose reason, Lee McIntyre, published by The MIT Press.


Believing in conspiracy theories is one of the most poisonous forms of human logic. This does not mean that there are no real conspiracies. Watergate, a conspiracy by tobacco companies to cover up the link between tobacco and cancer, and George W. Bush’s NSA program to secretly spy on civilian users are examples of real conspiracies that have been uncovered through evidence. after an exhaustive investigation.

In contrast, the rationale for conspiracy theories is so disgusting that, despite the evidence, the theory is asserted as true, leaving scientists with no chance of being tested or refuted by other discoverers. Therefore, the difference must be between real conspiracies (for which there must be some evidence) and conspiracy theories (which usually do not have credible evidence). We can define conspiracy theories as “an explanation that refers to hidden, malicious forces seeking to achieve some nefarious goal.” Importantly, we must add that they are prone to “severe speculation [and] based on no evidence. “They are pure assumptions, in reality they have no basis.”

When we talk about the dangers of conspiracy theories for scientific reasoning, we must focus on their non-empirical nature, which means that they are not even capable of being tested in the first place. The mistake that can easily get your claim denied is to fail.

If you scratch the denier of science, chances are you will find a conspiracy theorist. Unfortunately, conspiracy theories are also quite common among the general population. A recent study by Eric Oliver և Thomas Wood found that 50 percent of Americans believe in at least one conspiracy theory.

This included the 9/11 Obama conspiracy, but also the idea that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) deliberately withheld cancer treatment, that the Federal Reserve deliberately orchestrated the fall of 2008. (It is noteworthy that the plot to assassinate JFK became so widespread that it was left out of the study).

Other common conspiracy theories, which have a wide range of popularity, are that the “chemtrails” left by the planes are part of a program to inject secret government control, that Sandy Hooke and Parkland’s school shootings were “fake flag” acts that the government disguises. The truth about UFOs is, of course, more “science-related” that the Earth is flat, that global warming is a hoax, that some corporations are deliberately creating toxic GMOs, that COVID-19 is because of the 5G cell towers.

At its most basic, conspiracy theories are not explicitly grounded in the belief that something unbelievable is still true, but we simply do not realize it because there is a systematic campaign by powerful people to disguise it. Some argue that conspiracy theories are especially prevalent in times of great upheaval. And, of course, this explains why conspiracy theories are not unique to modern times. Still AD During the great fire of Rome in 64, we saw conspiracy theories, when the citizens of Rome became suspicious because of a fire that had engulfed almost the entire city a week before Emperor Nero was out of the city. Rumor has it that Nero started it to rebuild the city with his own design. Although there was no evidence that this was true (nor of the tradition that Nero sang when the city burned down), Nero was probably so outraged by the accusation that he began his conspiracy theory that the Christians in fact were responsible for it. were: led to the spread of burning them alive.

Here one can immediately understand why conspiracy theories are anathema for scientific reasoning. In science, we test our beliefs against reality by looking for corroborating evidence. If we only find evidence that is consistent with our theory, then it may be true. But if we find any evidence that refutes our theory, it must be ruled out. However, in the case of conspiracy theories, they do not change their views even in the presence of incontrovertible evidence (և it seems that they do not require much evidence, other than intestinal instinct, that their views are first and foremost true). Instead, conspiracy theorists tend to use conspiracy theories to explain the lack of evidence (because clever conspirators have to hide it) or the existence of evidence to prove it (because the conspirators falsify it). Thus, the lack of evidence in favor of conspiracy theory is partly explained by the conspiracy itself, which means that its followers can count the “evidence” and the lack of evidence in their favor.

Virtually all conspiracy theorists are what I call “canteen skeptics.” Although they claim to uphold the highest standards of logic, they do so inconsistently. Conspiracy theorists are known for the double standards of their evidence. They insist on the absurdity of the evidence when it comes to something they do not want to believe, while with little evidence they accept what they want to believe. We have already seen the weakness of this type of selective reasoning with evidence of cherry picking. Add to this the kind of paranoid suspicion that underlies most of the conspiracy theories: և we face an almost impenetrable wall of doubt. When a conspiracy theorist raises his or her suspicions about the potential dangers of vaccines, chemicals, or fluoride, but then takes any conflicting or disproportionate information as evidence of cover-up, they are locked in a hermetically sealed box of suspicion when the facts can be uncovered. Despite all their skepticism, most conspiracy theorists are actually very gullible.

Belief in the earth is a perfect example. From time to time at FEIC 2018, I heard the hosts say that any scientific evidence in favor of the Earth’s curvature was false. “The moon did not land. It happened on the set of Hollywood. ” “All the pilots and astronauts of the airline are in fraud.” “These photos from space are Photoshopped.” Unconfirmed evidence of these allegations did not cause the flat lands to renounce their beliefs, but was used as further evidence of conspiracy. And, of course, to claim that the devil is behind the entire cover of Flat Earth could be a bigger conspiracy theory? Indeed, most Flat Earthers accept this. Such a chain of reasoning is often used in the denial of climate change. President Trump has long argued that global warming is a “Chinese hoax” designed to undermine the competitiveness of American manufacturing.

Others claim that climate scientists are falsifying the data or that they are biased because they benefit from the money and attention paid to their work. Some claim that the plot is even more insidious. Climate change is being used as a hoax to justify more government regulation or a global economy. Any evidence to refute this evidence is explained as part of a conspiracy. It was false, biased or at least flawed, and the real truth is being hidden. No evidence can ever convince a denier of science because they do not trust the people who gather the evidence. So what is the explanation? Why do some people (like those who deny science) engage in conspiracy theories while thinking and some do not?

Various psychological theories have been proposed that include factors such as inflated self-esteem, self-esteem, or low self-esteem. A more common consensus seems to be that conspiracy theories are a coping mechanism that some people use to combat anxiety and loss of control during large, unpleasant events. The human brain does not like random events, because we can not learn from them, therefore, we can not plan for them. When we feel helpless (because of a misunderstanding, the scale of an event, its personal impact on us, or our social position), we may be drawn to explanations that reveal the enemy we can face. This is not a rational process, ուսումնասիր Researchers who have studied conspiracy theories point out that those who tend to “go their own way” are more likely to engage in conspiracy theories. This is why ignorance is so closely intertwined with belief in conspiracy theories. When we are less able to understand something based on our analytical skills, we may feel more at risk.

There is the fact that many people are fascinated by the idea of ​​”hidden knowledge” because it serves their ego to think that they are one of the few who understand something that others do not know. In one of the most intriguing studies of conspiracy theories, Roland Imhoff devised a fictitious conspiracy theory and then measured how many objects he would believe, depending on the epistemological context in which it was presented. Imhoff’s conspiracy was a disgrace. He claimed that there was a producer of German smoke signals that made loud noises, which made people nauseous and depressed. He claimed that the manufacturer knew about the problem, but refused to fix it. When subjects thought this was secret knowledge, they probably believed it. When Imhoff introduced it as common knowledge, people were less likely to think it was true.

One should not think here of the six hundred congregations that took place in that hall in Denver. Of the six billion people on the planet, they were the self-determined elite of the elite. Few who knew the “truth” about the earth’s plane were now called to awaken others.

What is the harm from conspiracy theories? Some may seem favorable, but note that the most likely factor in predicting belief in conspiracy theories is to believe in someone else. And not everyone will be safe. What about an anti-vaccine who thinks there is government coverage?

According to Timerosal, who gives the child another measles? Or the belief that man-made (human-caused) climate change is just a hoax, so our government leaders feel belatedly delayed. As the clock rotates to prevent a catastrophe, its human consequences can be innumerable.

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