Denialism

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Hanna
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Denialism

Post by Hanna » Fri Dec 04, 2009 3:12 pm

Denialism
How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives
Michael Specter - Author
$27.95

Book: Hardcover | 6.14 x 9.25in | 304 pages | ISBN 9781594202308 | 29 Oct 2009 | The Penguin Press | 18 - AND UP

In this provocative and headline- making book, Michael Specter confronts the widespread fear of science and its terrible toll on individuals and the planet.

In Denialism, New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter reveals that Americans have come to mistrust institutions and especially the institution of science more today than ever before. For centuries, the general view had been that science is neither good nor bad—that it merely supplies information and that new information is always beneficial. Now, science is viewed as a political constituency that isn’t always in our best interest. We live in a world where the leaders of African nations prefer to let their citizens starve to death rather than import genetically modified grains. Childhood vaccines have proven to be the most effective public health measure in history, yet people march on Washington to protest their use. In the United States a growing series of studies show that dietary supplements and “natural” cures have almost no value, and often cause harm. We still spend billions of dollars on them. In hundreds of the best universities in the world, laboratories are anonymous, unmarked, and surrounded by platoons of security guards—such is the opposition to any research that includes experiments with animals. And pharmaceutical companies that just forty years ago were perhaps the most visible symbol of our remarkable advance against disease have increasingly been seen as callous corporations propelled solely by avarice and greed.

As Michael Specter sees it, this amounts to a war against progress. The issues may be complex but the choices are not: Are we going to continue to embrace new technologies, along with acknowledging their limitations and threats, or are we ready to slink back into an era of magical thinking? In Denialism, Specter makes an argument for a new Enlightenment, the revival of an approach to the physical world that was stunningly effective for hundreds of years: What can be understood and reliably repeated by experiment is what nature regarded as true. Now, at the time of mankind’s greatest scientific advances—and our greatest need for them—that deal must be renewed.

“Specter is both provocative and thoughtful in his defense of science and rationality—though he certainly does not believe that scientists are infallible. His writing is engaging and his sources are credible, making this a significant addition to public discourse on the importance of discriminating between credible science and snake oil.”—Publishers Weekly

“A lucid and insightful book about a very frightening and irrational phenomenon—the fear and superstition that threaten human science and progress. A superb and convincing work.”—Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker staff writer and author of Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point

“Denialism tells stories I know well, at least in outline. But Michael Specter very valuably gathers them under one roof and gives them a name. Specter describes the increasing public willingness to deny the hard-won facts of science in favor of myths and shoddy investigation. In the process, the denialists are enabling disease and poverty, denying the advances of science to those in need.”—David Baltimore, president emeritus, Biology California Institute of Technology

“We are bombarded with information and misinformation about the foods we eat, the medicines we take, the water we drink, the very air we breathe. Michael Specter shows us how to accurately assess the impact of science on these and other essential elements of our daily lives. Written in clear and accessible language, this uniquely valuable book explains an often confusing world."—Jerome Groopman, M.D., Recanati Professor, Harvard Medical School, author of How Doctors Think

http://booksellers.penguin.com/nf/Book/ ... 08,00.html

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sbayhills
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Re: Denialism

Post by sbayhills » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:03 pm

Hanna wrote:Denialism
How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives
Michael Specter - Author
$27.95

Book: Hardcover | 6.14 x 9.25in | 304 pages | ISBN 9781594202308 | 29 Oct 2009 | The Penguin Press | 18 - AND UP

In this provocative and headline- making book, Michael Specter confronts the widespread fear of science and its terrible toll on individuals and the planet.

In Denialism, New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter reveals that Americans have come to mistrust institutions and especially the institution of science more today than ever before. For centuries, the general view had been that science is neither good nor bad—that it merely supplies information and that new information is always beneficial. Now, science is viewed as a political constituency that isn’t always in our best interest. We live in a world where the leaders of African nations prefer to let their citizens starve to death rather than import genetically modified grains. Childhood vaccines have proven to be the most effective public health measure in history, yet people march on Washington to protest their use. In the United States a growing series of studies show that dietary supplements and “natural” cures have almost no value, and often cause harm. We still spend billions of dollars on them. In hundreds of the best universities in the world, laboratories are anonymous, unmarked, and surrounded by platoons of security guards—such is the opposition to any research that includes experiments with animals. And pharmaceutical companies that just forty years ago were perhaps the most visible symbol of our remarkable advance against disease have increasingly been seen as callous corporations propelled solely by avarice and greed.

As Michael Specter sees it, this amounts to a war against progress. The issues may be complex but the choices are not: Are we going to continue to embrace new technologies, along with acknowledging their limitations and threats, or are we ready to slink back into an era of magical thinking? In Denialism, Specter makes an argument for a new Enlightenment, the revival of an approach to the physical world that was stunningly effective for hundreds of years: What can be understood and reliably repeated by experiment is what nature regarded as true. Now, at the time of mankind’s greatest scientific advances—and our greatest need for them—that deal must be renewed.

“Specter is both provocative and thoughtful in his defense of science and rationality—though he certainly does not believe that scientists are infallible. His writing is engaging and his sources are credible, making this a significant addition to public discourse on the importance of discriminating between credible science and snake oil.”—Publishers Weekly

“A lucid and insightful book about a very frightening and irrational phenomenon—the fear and superstition that threaten human science and progress. A superb and convincing work.”—Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker staff writer and author of Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point

“Denialism tells stories I know well, at least in outline. But Michael Specter very valuably gathers them under one roof and gives them a name. Specter describes the increasing public willingness to deny the hard-won facts of science in favor of myths and shoddy investigation. In the process, the denialists are enabling disease and poverty, denying the advances of science to those in need.”—David Baltimore, president emeritus, Biology California Institute of Technology

“We are bombarded with information and misinformation about the foods we eat, the medicines we take, the water we drink, the very air we breathe. Michael Specter shows us how to accurately assess the impact of science on these and other essential elements of our daily lives. Written in clear and accessible language, this uniquely valuable book explains an often confusing world."—Jerome Groopman, M.D., Recanati Professor, Harvard Medical School, author of How Doctors Think

http://booksellers.penguin.com/nf/Book/ ... 08,00.html
It sure doesn't help when emails written by climate experts seem to show that they are politically driven.

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GOODave
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Re: Denialism

Post by GOODave » Fri Dec 04, 2009 4:35 pm

sbayhills wrote:
It sure doesn't help when emails written by climate experts seem to show that they are politically driven.
Yeah I was going to say "...we don't trust anyone who lies to us"

But you said it better.

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kramer
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Re: Denialism

Post by kramer » Tue Dec 08, 2009 5:51 pm

Hanna wrote:Denialism
How Irrational Thinking Hinders Scientific Progress, Harms the Planet, and Threatens Our Lives
Michael Specter - Author
$27.95

Book: Hardcover | 6.14 x 9.25in | 304 pages | ISBN 9781594202308 | 29 Oct 2009 | The Penguin Press | 18 - AND UP

In this provocative and headline- making book, Michael Specter confronts the widespread fear of science and its terrible toll on individuals and the planet.

In Denialism, New Yorker staff writer Michael Specter reveals that Americans have come to mistrust institutions and especially the institution of science more today than ever before. For centuries, the general view had been that science is neither good nor bad—that it merely supplies information and that new information is always beneficial. Now, science is viewed as a political constituency that isn’t always in our best interest. We live in a world where the leaders of African nations prefer to let their citizens starve to death rather than import genetically modified grains. Childhood vaccines have proven to be the most effective public health measure in history, yet people march on Washington to protest their use. In the United States a growing series of studies show that dietary supplements and “natural” cures have almost no value, and often cause harm. We still spend billions of dollars on them. In hundreds of the best universities in the world, laboratories are anonymous, unmarked, and surrounded by platoons of security guards—such is the opposition to any research that includes experiments with animals. And pharmaceutical companies that just forty years ago were perhaps the most visible symbol of our remarkable advance against disease have increasingly been seen as callous corporations propelled solely by avarice and greed.

As Michael Specter sees it, this amounts to a war against progress. The issues may be complex but the choices are not: Are we going to continue to embrace new technologies, along with acknowledging their limitations and threats, or are we ready to slink back into an era of magical thinking? In Denialism, Specter makes an argument for a new Enlightenment, the revival of an approach to the physical world that was stunningly effective for hundreds of years: What can be understood and reliably repeated by experiment is what nature regarded as true. Now, at the time of mankind’s greatest scientific advances—and our greatest need for them—that deal must be renewed.

“Specter is both provocative and thoughtful in his defense of science and rationality—though he certainly does not believe that scientists are infallible. His writing is engaging and his sources are credible, making this a significant addition to public discourse on the importance of discriminating between credible science and snake oil.”—Publishers Weekly

“A lucid and insightful book about a very frightening and irrational phenomenon—the fear and superstition that threaten human science and progress. A superb and convincing work.”—Malcolm Gladwell, New Yorker staff writer and author of Outliers, Blink, and The Tipping Point

“Denialism tells stories I know well, at least in outline. But Michael Specter very valuably gathers them under one roof and gives them a name. Specter describes the increasing public willingness to deny the hard-won facts of science in favor of myths and shoddy investigation. In the process, the denialists are enabling disease and poverty, denying the advances of science to those in need.”—David Baltimore, president emeritus, Biology California Institute of Technology

“We are bombarded with information and misinformation about the foods we eat, the medicines we take, the water we drink, the very air we breathe. Michael Specter shows us how to accurately assess the impact of science on these and other essential elements of our daily lives. Written in clear and accessible language, this uniquely valuable book explains an often confusing world."—Jerome Groopman, M.D., Recanati Professor, Harvard Medical School, author of How Doctors Think

http://booksellers.penguin.com/nf/Book/ ... 08,00.html
Funny how the believers are now denying the content of those emails.
“We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

- Scientist James Lovelock

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GOODave
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Re: Denialism

Post by GOODave » Tue Dec 08, 2009 6:42 pm

kramer wrote:
Funny how the believers are now denying the content of those emails.
I saw a clip on CNN of one of the leaders of that community ... he was trying to suggest the writers (apparently all of them) were "just letting off steam." and that he has "used worse language than that" in his personal messages that were never intended for public scrutiny (no doubt!)...

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Fordama
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Re: Denialism

Post by Fordama » Tue Dec 08, 2009 7:47 pm

That book has been on my reading list for a couple of weeks. The anti-science movement in this country has been picking up steam for a while.

Fordama
This country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.---JFK

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GOODave
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Re: Denialism

Post by GOODave » Wed Dec 09, 2009 4:53 am

Fordama wrote:That book has been on my reading list for a couple of weeks. The anti-science movement in this country has been picking up steam for a while.

Fordama
Yeah, I'm sure "science" has done NOTHING to bring this on themselves: Must just be some big Christian, right-wing conspiracy to discredit the Pollyanna scientist who are so misunderstood.
the increasing public willingness to deny the hard-won facts of science in favor of myths and shoddy investigation...
OR, put another way:

The increasing public awareness of some of the fatal flaws in the conclusions inaccurately arrived at by some scientists. Damn that internet, anyway.

:roll:

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Fordama
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Re: Denialism

Post by Fordama » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:24 am

GOODave wrote: The increasing public awareness of some of the fatal flaws in the conclusions inaccurately arrived at by some scientists. Damn that internet, anyway.
Not really. Take this hullaboo about the emails. So far pretty much no scientific mistakes have been exposed or have been found needing in revision.

Fordama
This country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.---JFK

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GOODave
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Re: Denialism

Post by GOODave » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:35 am

Fordama wrote:Not really. Take this hullaboo about the emails. So far pretty much no scientific mistakes have been exposed or have been found needing in revision.

Fordama
No no ... of course not. didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

Image

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Fordama
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Re: Denialism

Post by Fordama » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:45 am

GOODave wrote: No no ... of course not. didn't mean to suggest otherwise.

Image
Good representation of denialists.


Fordama
This country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.---JFK

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GOODave
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Re: Denialism

Post by GOODave » Wed Dec 09, 2009 6:53 am

Fordama wrote:Good representation of denialists.


Fordama
Agreed...

Good representation of those who categorically accept scientific "findings" without any level of critical review, too.

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kramer
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Re: Denialism

Post by kramer » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:20 am

Fordama wrote:That book has been on my reading list for a couple of weeks. The anti-science movement in this country has been picking up steam for a while.

Fordama
So now we are "anti-science?" That's a crock and you know it.

Speaking of crocks:
Image

The blue line is the raw unadjusted data from one temperature station in Australia, the red line is the 'adjusted' (value-added) data after the Global Historical Climate Network 'corrected' it. This was discovered by one scientist and so far, it hasn't been refuted.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/james ... oking-gun/
“We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

- Scientist James Lovelock

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GOODave
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Re: Denialism

Post by GOODave » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:25 am

kramer wrote:
So now we are "anti-science?" That's a crock and you know it.

Speaking of crocks:
Image

The blue line is the raw unadjusted data from one temperature station in Australia, the red line is the 'adjusted' (value-added) data after the Global Historical Climate Network 'corrected' it. This was discovered by one scientist and so far, it hasn't been refuted.
http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/james ... oking-gun/
You should be careful, here, Kramer.

You REALIZE you are forcing them to respond:
Image

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kramer
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Re: Denialism

Post by kramer » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:35 am

Fordama wrote:Not really. Take this hullaboo about the emails. So far pretty much no scientific mistakes have been exposed or have been found needing in revision.

Fordama
The emails are damaging:
UN climate chief: hacked e-mails are damaging
Email this Story

Dec 6, 7:52 AM (ET)

By ARTHUR MAX and KARL RITTER


E-mails stolen from the climate unit at the University of East Anglia appeared to show some of world's leading scientists discussing ways to shield data from public scrutiny and suppress others' work. Those who deny the influence of man-made climate change have seized on the correspondence to argue that scientists have been conspiring to hide evidence about global warming.

"This correspondence looks very bad," de Boer said.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20091206/D9CDQI000.html

The code is even more revealing.
“We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

- Scientist James Lovelock

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kramer
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Re: Denialism

Post by kramer » Wed Dec 09, 2009 7:36 am

GOODave wrote:You should be careful, here, Kramer.

You REALIZE you are forcing them to respond:
Image
Ha! Who would have ever thought the believers would now become the deniers?
“We should have been warned by the CFC/ozone affair because the corruption of science in that was so bad that something like 80% of the measurements being made during that time were either faked, or incompetently done.”

- Scientist James Lovelock

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Fordama
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Re: Denialism

Post by Fordama » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:35 am

GOODave wrote: Agreed...

Good representation of those who categorically accept scientific "findings" without any level of critical review, too.
Fortunately for science, it is rigorously and continuously reviewed.

Fordama
This country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.---JFK

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Fordama
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Re: Denialism

Post by Fordama » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:37 am

kramer wrote: The emails are damaging:
.
In terms of some public relations, but not to actual scientific findings and conclusions.

Fordama
This country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.---JFK

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GOODave
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Re: Denialism

Post by GOODave » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:39 am

Fordama wrote:Fortunately for science, it is rigorously and continuously reviewed.

Fordama
Apparently not all of it... as some of those e-mails suggest.

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Fordama
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Re: Denialism

Post by Fordama » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:39 am

kramer wrote: So now we are "anti-science?" That's a crock and you know it.
What's this "we" stuff. You personally are as you dishonestly call yourself a skeptic yet only bring in one-sided material--usually out of context and almost always information that has been reworked by industry activists and rarely-if ever--information from original research.

Fordama
This country of the United States was not built by those who waited and rested and wished to look behind them.---JFK

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GOODave
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Re: Denialism

Post by GOODave » Wed Dec 09, 2009 8:40 am

Fordama wrote:In terms of some public relations, but not to actual scientific findings and conclusions.

Fordama
The thread was started because some guy wrote a book criticizing those who dismiss flawed science. Nice to see you're finally acknowledging there MIGHT have been reasons OTHER than simplistic "denialism."

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