37 thoughts on ““Science Deniers””

    1. Why? Philosophy lies at the root of science. That’s what’s being undermined in the service to ideology, and why so much of “science” is little more than Lysenkoism.

  1. It’s sometimes hard to remember that calling someone stupid doesn’t make them any smarter. Sometimes even more difficult to remember that calling someone a liar also won’t make them any more honest. Most effective in my experience is to let them dig as deep a hole as they want while filing the information for action. Action as in firing employees or customers mostly. And remember the Heinleinism “a polite smile doesn’t slow the trigger finger.”

      1. “Winning the argument” by infuriating them to the point they ‘go silent’ and stop arguing does not mean that you have persuaded anyone. Rather the opposite because the next person that advances your point of view will be met with reflexive dismissal.

        …But you can tell your ‘friends’ on FB/Twitter how “smart you are”.

        1. I was more in lines of not argue or agree, but learn where they are coming from. If they are mistaken, then decide whether it is worthwhile, possible, or desirable to try to change their minds. Most of the time it is not, and being noncommittal may preserve a working relationship. If they are dishonest, feed them as much rope as you can without getting burned yourself.

          Infuriating people is usually a no win, as you point out.

  2. When it comes to COVID vaccination why bother with argumentation when you can simply fire a person? Starvation is a great motivator to the desired behavior which is actually independent of any belief system for many people.

  3. Flat-earthers and climate deniers… What in the world is to be done about them.

    And it’s true that all five groups are wrong, or at least their central claims are. The earth is in fact an oblate spheroid; the climate is warming, due to human influence, and will likely have severe negative impacts

    But not to worry, Mr. Chivers has noted that the author has brought to bear an extremely effective “trick”: asking what evidence would it take to make you change your mind? Personally I think most flat-earthers are just practicing a human trait that’s probably as old as Australopithecus: pissing off all the right people, making them easier to identify. As far as climate, it would be a good start if likely have severe negative impacts could be occasionally offset with likely have severe positive impacts but I’m sure that’s just an indicator of my inability to mentally process what evidence would make me change my mind. Or even an occasional reference to the famous scientific study that found 97% of all geologists agree that the earth is currently experiencing an interglacial. But that’s all just noise from someone who denies climate, so please disregard.

    Judy Curry’s latest is here. An excerpt:

    Exactly which climate state is too hot versus too cold? Some answer this question by stating that the climate we’re adapted to is ‘just right’. However, the IPCC uses a preindustrial baseline, in the late 1700’s. Why anyone thinks that this is an ideal climate is beyond me.

    Ms. Curry, you’ve just outed yourself as someone who denies climate. If you think you can manage without a complete emotional breakdown, please consider asking yourself what evidence would convince you that climate really does exist.

    1. I had a classmate in 5th grade who was way ahead of the Science of his time. In fact when it came to climate control he was the first person to demonstrate that attitude, above all else was the single most important contributing factor. As our fifth grade teacher pointed out: on many occasions his attitude effected the entire climate of our 5th grade class.

    2. Curt, your last paragraph is completely nonsensical. You excerpted three correct uses of “climate”; how does this translate into denial of climate?

      If you were trying for sarcasm, it was a clean miss.

      1. McIntyre wants to help us change people’s minds. Specifically, to help us change the minds of these strange, incomprehensible people called “science deniers”. He addresses five main groups of “deniers”: flat earthers; climate deniers; anti-vaxxers; GMO sceptics; and Covid deniers.

        Science deniers in quotes, deniers in quotes, but then climate deniers sans quotes. Chivers words there but the complete title of the book is: How to Talk to a Science Denier –
        Conversations with Flat Earthers, Climate Deniers, and Others Who Defy Reason
        . Sorry you think my sarcasm missed the mark; in my defense those two words used with seriousness might be beyond parody. And obviously I mean no disrespect to Prof. Curry, I just thought her latest was worth the link.

    3. asking what evidence would it take to make you change your mind?

      I’ve seen people play that game. My response is “a preponderance of evidence”. I’m not interested in people looking for the bare minimum to convince me. Nor people just looking to make the argument about me by falsely claiming that they’ve provided the necessary level of evidence.

    4. Thanks for linking to Judy Curry’s latest. She makes some excellent points:

      So what’s wrong with the crisis narrative? It is my assessment that

      We’ve vastly oversimplified both the problem and its solutions
      The complexity and uncertainty surrounding climate change is being kept away from the public and policy debates.
      Rapid reductions in emissions are technologically and politically infeasible on a global scale
      And it overemphasizes the role of climate change in societal problems, distracting from real solutions to them.

      1. The problem with the crisis narrative is that they say we are in an apocalypse while it is one of the best climates humans have ever lived in and alarmists are too impatient to wait 100 years before their prophecy is supposed to come true. So we get people thinking we wouldn’t have forest fires or hurricanes if we lived under Marxism.

        How will they react when their policies don’t end forest fires or hurricanes? Not very kindly if the history of Marxism tells us anything.

    5. How many people know what climate we adapted to?

      Glaciation has dominated our evolution and the wild swings in climate then were a lot more extreme than the last ten thousand years of relative stability. No one wants to live in the climate we had 100,000 years ago.

  4. –Even with climate change scepticism, sure, there are people who literally don’t believe that anthropogenic greenhouse gases are warming the planet. But those people are relatively rare.–

    No one knows how much anthropogenic greenhouse gases are warming the global average surface air temperature.

    Some can claim that they are highly confident that it is more than .2 C. But one can be highly confident about anything- such as Joe Biden would be a good or better President.
    I might even agree it’s possible Joe is a good or better President.
    But I would tend to guess rising CO2 levels have probably not warmed the global average surface air temperature by more than .2 C.
    I have expressed my opinion fairly accurately, I believe/think/guess
    that a doubling of CO2 levels would warm global surface air temperature within a 100 year period by 0 to .5 C.
    I have a high confidence that increasing CO2 levels will not cool the global average surface air temperature.
    I think it rather important to know what causes the global surface air temperature to cool. And I have high confident that higher CO2
    levels does not cause cooling.
    It has been claimed that rising CO2 level can cause global cooling, and expect/predict that in future more people will try to argue it does.
    What is known is that we are living in an Icehouse global climate,
    and what is most important if living in an Icehouse global climate is what causes global cooling.
    For example it is known that for over 5000 years, Earth global average surface air temperature has been cooling.
    It also known the the average temperature of the entire ocean is why we in an Ice Age. And it’s assumed the entire ocean average temperature is about 3.5 C.
    And it’s said that over 90% of all global warming has warm the entire ocean temperature. You can simply google “over 90% of all global warming has warm the entire ocean temperature” or go here:

    How about since the beginning I am what is called a lukewarmer.

  5. On one of my final check rides before getting my pilots license:

    me: “Ugh, that sun is right in our faces… I’ll just keep climbing and get above it.”

    instructor: “Um, you know you can’t do that, right?”

    Sometimes, being a flat earther is just fun!

  6. I told a nurse last week that I’d been “accinated” — gained immunity by accident as a result, I believe, of an undiagnosed bout of Death Plague 2020 before its presence in the U.S. had been acknowledged. And then I mentioned that the politicians want everybody vaccinated regardless.

    “That doesn’t make sense to me. Natural immunity is — ”

    “You’re forgetting: politicians aren’t about science, they’re about power.”

    Even career health-care people recognize what’s wrong with the COVID overreaction. I can’t wait to see how this philosopher speaks to them.

    1. Reduced Risk of Reinfection with SARS-CoV-2 After COVID-19 Vaccination — Kentucky, May–June 2021


      “Although laboratory evidence suggests that antibody responses following COVID-19 vaccination provide better neutralization of some circulating variants than does natural infection (1,2), few real-world epidemiologic studies exist to support the benefit of vaccination for previously infected persons. This report details the findings of a case-control evaluation of the association between vaccination and SARS-CoV-2 reinfection in Kentucky during May–June 2021 among persons previously infected with SARS-CoV-2 in 2020. Kentucky residents who were not vaccinated had 2.34 times the odds of reinfection compared with those who were fully vaccinated (odds ratio [OR] = 2.34; 95% confidence interval [CI] = 1.58–3.47). These findings suggest that among persons with previous SARS-CoV-2 infection, full vaccination provides additional protection against reinfection. To reduce their risk of infection, all eligible persons should be offered vaccination, even if they have been previously infected with SARS-CoV-2.”

      1. Hey retard – that’s already been shown to have used cherry-picked data. Nobody in their right mind trusts the CDC anymore.

        1. Eric Weder, thank you for calling me a “retard.”

          In the beginning of this very comment thread, just a quick scroll up this page, John Hare said “It’s sometimes hard to remember that calling someone stupid doesn’t make them any smarter.” In reply, you said: “A corollary – calling someone else stupid doesn’t make YOU any smarter.”

          I think you made a good point!

          1. It would have been more persuasive if you had shown me a reason to believe your claim that the data was cherry picked. In the paper I linked to, the authors discuss various limitations of their study, but I don’t think that’s what you’re referring to. What cherry picking are you referring to? Better yet, can you show me any reason to believe that a covid infection gives superior or equal protection from re-infection compared to a covid infection plus a later vaccination? If you google the subject (for example, use this query: “covid reinfection rate after vaccine-19”) you’ll see that the overwhelming majority of hits are for studies showing at least one vaccination shot after a covid infection gives superior protection against reinfection, serious illness and death. If you think I’m wrong about something, why not try some of the techniques discussed in this thread?

          2. Bob, you can start here or here.

            An award-winning scientist himself, Massie quickly found that vaccine studies showed no benefit to people who’ve had coronavirus. Vaccination didn’t change their odds of getting reinfected. The controversy began when Massie noticed the CDC was claiming the exact opposite.

            why not try some of the techniques discussed in this thread?

            Because over the years you’ve demonstrated an overwhelming partisanship that renders logical argument useless. Here you are simply mouthing what your “news” sources have been pounding into your brain for over six months: “Get Vaccinated. Period.” Anything, literally anything that distracts from or dilutes that message should be attacked and marginalized.

            I’m wondering Bob, what was your initial reaction to the “news” that Oklahoma hospitals couldn’t treat COVID patients because too many people were overdosing on Ivermectin horse deworming chemical?

  7. A number of my friends (people in their 60s and 70s) with STEM educations from high end institutions in the days before Intersectionality (i.e., pre-1980) lap the “science” narrative right up, even though they absolutely must know better. Part of it seems to be an acceptance of authority. “Fauci is *the* expert in his field and has led a major government lab for going on 40 years. Why would he lie? Why would I believe some conspiracy nut racist instead?”

    I do not have a degree, but I do have a first-class science education, with a broad spectrum of studies, including coursework in biology, chemistry, and physics, proceeding well beyond the basics. I have a degree’s worth of credits, but am missing calculus and the required phys ed courses. As near as I can tell, the only reason I’m immune to the Narrative is, well… Obama. I guess that makes me some conspiracy nut racist.

  8. “It’s mainly a book designed to tell readers that people they already think are dumb are, in fact, dumb. It is, really, How to Talk to A Contemptible Idiot Who Is Kind of Evil.”

    Hmm, if I read the review correctly, the book is less about how to talk to people you disagree with and more about how to talk to people you agree with about people you despise. That gives new meaning to the alternate title.

  9. The real way to convince me is to not consistently advance a theory that requires you to be put in charge of humanity to save us from climate change, COVID, Martian tripods, etc. No matter how cleverly constructed they are, arguments that are solely designed to put your group in charge of the entire world are going to be opposed. It also does not help your cause if the arguments keep shifting as new facts arise (carbon dioxide, water vapor, or methane . . . which one absolutely causes Global Warming now?), but the solution remains constant.

    When engineers fail, the bridge falls or the radar screen is all white; when scientists fail, somebody else gets the grant money.

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