Digital Chum - Virtual fish guts and other nonsense

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Wireless is nice to me

I’m sitting outdoors on my deck under our pavilion with my netbook and a frosty beverage. Granted, it’s only grape soda (diet, at that), but only because I didn’t feel like having a beer.

The temperature is about 74 degrees and there’s a nice cool breeze. I’m in the shade. I’m connected to the internet IM’ing with friends, checking email, perusing Twitter, blogging, and surfing the web.

20 years ago, I’d be burned as a witch for this. 😉

Newly added to my favorite blogs…

Yesterday, while searching for some information on climate change, I happened upon a blog called The Way Things Break and was delighted. Not only did I find the information I was looking for, but I found all kinds of content related to the shenanigans of the anti-science crowd.

Here is the post, titled The Land of Make Believe, that won my heart…

Science denialism involves a lot of make believe and pretending:

  • Pretend as though claims made by an individual, conclusions of a single paper, etc. are actually the underlying science, so as to hold up any disagreement or revision as though it is evidence that the core science is somehow incorrect; alternatively, pretend such ‘one offs’ are definitive rebuttals to the core science.
  • Pretend as though areas explicitly acknowledged to be in need of further study are actually the underlying science, so as to hold up any disagreement or revision as though it is evidence that the core science is somehow incorrect.
  • Pretend that a non-representative sample selected so as to give the appearance of disagreement with the conclusions of the core science is evidence that the core science is somehow incorrect.
  • Pretend that the mere presence, absence, or relative amount of a substance is somehow a legitimate rebuttal to the real world effects (if any) it has been demonstrated to have.
  • Pretend that the existence of media hype, past examples of pseudoscience, etc. are somehow a legitimate rebuttal to the science.
  • Pretend non-sequiturs [Evolution can’t explain how life started!] are somehow a legitimate rebuttal to the science.
  • Pretend lay misunderstanding of the science is somehow a legitimate rebuttal to the science.
  • Pretend that personal ignorance or disbelief of the science is somehow a legitimate rebuttal to the science.
  • Pretend that a scientific consensus is somehow akin to religious faith; similarly, pretend that there is an “orthodoxy” being enforced that amounts to religious or political “persecution”, silencing of “dissent” etc. for failing to understand/accept the science. [Bonus points for claiming such in a high-profile media outlet such as a newspaper or television show]

And perhaps most importantly of all:

  • Pretend to be “skeptical” rather than anti-science.

I think I’ve seen almost every one of those points used at one time or another, whether used to deny evolution, climate change, or vaccinations (among other things).

Pure awesome.