About people who are “Anti-Science”

May 2, 2017 | By | 8 Replies More

Good article in Scientific American reminding us that those who are science-adverse or science-ignorant in some ways embrace science in other ways.  That should be obvious, in that creationists are willing to fly in airplanes and those who reject vaccines love to use their smart phones.  But this article goes further, and warns us that slapping people with with a general anti-science label risks driving them further into scientific ignorance.

People’s relationship with science is much more complex and nuanced than “pro-science” or “anti-science.” We need to correct some of the misconceptions we have and show that what is often labeled as “anti-science” or “science denial” is often better understood as isolated incidents of motivated bias. In general, trust in science is much higher than we often realize, in part because it includes a lot of people we might often consider “anti-science.”

The conclusions of this article:

  • There is a deep respect for scientists and the scientific process.
  • People often use what they believe to be credible scientific findings to argue against actual, credible scientific findings.
  • It is often the implied solutions of scientific findings that motivate denial.
  • People often deny the relevance of facts, not just their correctness.
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Category: Anti-science, Science

About the Author ()

Erich Vieth is an attorney focusing on consumer law litigation and appellate practice. He is also a working musician and a writer, having founded Dangerous Intersection in 2006. Erich lives in the Shaw Neighborhood of St. Louis, Missouri, where he lives half-time with his two extraordinary daughters.

Comments (8)

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  1. Edgar Montrose says:

    So I wonder if the same anti-science climate change deniers are also denying the predictions of next week’s eclipse …

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Edgar: Same scientific method applied to both!

    • Edgar Montrose says:

      I’ll be in a location dead-center in the path of totality … and very disappointed if it turns out that I drove to rural Missouri for nothing.

    • Edgar Montrose says:

      Not only did the scientists correctly predict the location and the timing, but they also correctly predicted how amazing it would be. They’re getting pretty good at this prediction thing.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      But I don’t think that even the scientists could have predicted that the President of the United States would step outside and stare at the sun.

    • Edgar Montrose says:

      Perhaps not, but I’ll bet that the psychiatrists could.

    • Edgar Montrose says:

      By the way, speaking of science, climate, and prediction; the fact that meteorologists were able to correctly predict – several days in advance – that Hurricane Irma would make a sharp 90-degree right turn in the Straits of Florida and follow a path up the Florida Peninsula is about the most impressive feat of forecasting I have ever witnessed. The scientists and mathematicians and engineers who did it deserve our congratulations and appreciation and respect.

    • Erich Vieth says:

      Absolutely! It was a job well done, using scientific principles. It illustrates the sad state of political affairs, Edgar, that your comment was worth making.

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