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Science denialism and the evidence double standard

Science denialists have a deeply fraught relationship with scientific evidence. On the one hand, even the most outlandish forms of denialism attempt to invoke the imprimatur of science. Claims range from the simple (“studies show …”) to the elaborate (lists of scientific citations of papers that appear to support the claims being advanced, but actually […]

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Science denial, Dunning Kruger and the Tuteur Corollary

I spend my days wrangling with science denialists on the Skeptical OB Facebook page. I don’t really argue with them since a doctor can no more argue science with a denialist than a mathematician can argue calculus with a four year old. Neither denialists nor four year olds know enough to come to grips with […]

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Who’s responsible when an anti-masker gets COVID?

Imagine this scenario: A woman, after reviewing the evidence from both sides, after carefully considering the increased risks, and after deciding that she is willing to accept the responsibility for the outcome, decides to … smoke cigarettes. This situation happens all the time. Indeed, a substantial portion of the population smokes cigarettes. In 2021, everyone […]

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Forcing pregnant people who request a C-section to see a psychiatrist is obstetric violence

It’s one of the oldest tricks in the misogynist playbook: declare that any woman who tells inconvenient truths is mentally ill. Physicians of the 19th and early 20th Century even had a name for the purported mental illness: hysteria. That’s why it is the bitterest irony that Australian midwives have declared that women who request […]

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Why do denialists delude themselves?

Why do people believe things that even the most cursory exploration would reveal to be untrue? Why do people fervently embrace vaccine denialism, climate denialism and even election denialism? It’s only partly because they find these delusional beliefs comforting. The real reason is because belief in fantastical delusions has become a form of identity signaling, […]

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Scientists create first vaccines against stupidity

It’s been a dream for so long, but scientists have finally created the first vaccines against human stupidity. Early tests show that they are more than 90% effective at selectively extending the life and promoting the health of intellectual elites. They have the added advantage of also protecting those who are smart enough to follow […]

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Antivaxxers will be begging for the new COVID vaccines!

As the new COVID vaccines begin to come to market, there is concern among public health officials that a substantial proportion of the population will refuse the vaccine. I doubt it. In fact, I suspect that it’s just a matter of time before antivaxxers will be begging to get it. Why? Because they’ll witness it […]

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Breastfeeding ableism

Recently Chrissy Teigen issued a full throated defense of infant formula. ok I’m gonna say something and you all are definitely gonna make it a thing but here goes: normalize formula. [N]ormalize breastfeeding is such a huge, wonderful thing. but I absolutely felt way more shame having to use formula because of lack of milk […]

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Science denialism is motivated ignorance

In 2020 BC those who believed the earth was flat suffered from ignorance. In 2020 AD, those who believe the earth is flat suffer from motivated ignorance. What’s the difference? According to philosopher Daniel Williams: Motivated ignorance involves a form of ignorance that is driven … by an active aversion to possessing [knowledge]… It’s not […]

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Who is a better COVID scientist, Trump or Fauci?

Science denialists don’t understand science. It’s not that they are ignorant of scientific facts although they are. The real problem is that they don’t understand the scientific method. This is the scientific method (adapted from All In One High School): It involves making an observation, offering a hypothesis, conducting an experiment, collecting and analyzing data […]

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