Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

Personal attacks in science denial

Orac, of Respectful Insolence, has a post about how global warming wasn’t "invented" by Al Gore, contrary to what many global warming deniers seem to think. However, the part I find especially interesting in his piece is his explanation of why denialists tend to attack people.

Here’s an excerpt:

If there’s one characteristic of denialists of all stripes, it’s that they have a strong tendency to personalize their dislike of their particular bete noir science.


The reason, of course, is that cranks can’t attack the science using good science and, of course, it’s far easier to attack a person than well-supported science. After all, all people have flaws that can be ridiculed or used as the basis of ad hominem attacks.

Like Orac, I’ve seen this from global warming deniers, anti-vaxxers, religious fundamentalists, and anti-evolution creationists. Whatever motivates them in their denial, it seems they share this common tactic of attacking the messenger.

…any messenger.


  1. Thomas Shafer says:

    The ‘UN IPCC climate model prediction of scary, positive AGW-feedback has now been vanquished by scientific empirical research…IPCC’s Climategate scientists conjured up scary prediction of a 3 to 5 C temp increase from a doubling of CO2…But latest research finds CO2 doubling causes increase of only 1.64 degrees, which is within range of outcomes that skeptical scientists have been saying for decades.’
    This goes along with conclusion by so-called ‘denier’ scientists that the atmospheric CO2 is already saturated.

    Reference #1
    Reference #2
    Reference #3

    When scientists embedded with the established technocrats try to tell me how I need to live my life based on dubious and highly debatable science, it is definitely personal.
    As I’ve said before, FAITH is the willingness to believe in things unproven.
    Merry Christmas Dan.

    1. Dan says:

      I had to edit the links to keep the long ones from breaking the page. Sorry.

      Merry Christmas to you as well, Tom.

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