Sometimes, words matter. Crispian Jago brought this up recently on his blog, discussing the difference between the words "skeptic"and "denier".
I have used the phrase "global warming denialists" in the past and gotten some people upset. A lot of them complain because they say the word denial puts them in the same bin as holocaust deniers.
That’s too bad. But the thing is, they do have something in common: a denial of evidence and of scientific consensus.
Moon hoax believers put themselves in this basket as well; they call themselves skeptics, but they are far from it. Skepticism is a method that includes the demanding of evidence and critical analysis of it. That’s not what Moon hoax believers do; they make stuff up, they don’t look at all the evidence, they ignore evidence that goes against their claims. So they are not Moon landing skeptics, they are Moon landing deniers. They may start off as skeptics, but real skeptics understand the overwhelming evidence supporting the reality of the Moon landings. If, after examining that evidence, you still think Apollo was faked, then congratulations. You’re a denier.
Really, it’s this difference that biases people against skeptics like me. I am always accused of having a closed mind — of being a denier. But that’s not only not true — I can be convinced I am wrong by evidence or a logical argument — but it’s usually the person accusing me that has a mind closed against reality. No matter how much evidence you put in front of them showing them clearly and obviously that they are wrong, they refuse to see it. Just go read the comments on my latest UFO post for evidence of that.
I guess the most ironic thing of all is that people who say I should be more open-minded are too open-minded, and have closed their mind to the one true thing: reality itself.
Links to this Post
- edcrypt's status on Wednesday, 10-Jun-09 03:22:46 UTC - Identi.ca | June 9, 2009
- Distinguishing Skepticism | June 9, 2009
- BELIEVE IT OR NOT - The Public Interest : WTVC NewsChannel 9: Chattanooga News, Weather, Radar, Sports, Lottery | June 10, 2009
- Link: « Surplus Cats | June 10, 2009
- The Future of Planet Earth « One Astronomer’s Noise | June 18, 2009
- Bill Maher schooled by… Bill Frist?? | Bad Astronomy | Discover Magazine | October 13, 2009
- Should Scientists’ Waste Time with Conspiracy Theories « Perspicacity | November 30, 2009
- Escolar.net » Indicadores | August 3, 2010
- A firehose of global warming news, both good and bad | Bad Astronomy | From Shack To Mansion | November 29, 2010
- The Dark Side of Journalism: Forbes Repeatedly Lies Regarding Global Warming | feasiblegreen.com | August 2, 2011
- Denialism in the Mainstream: Forbes Big Player in Lies About Global Warming | feasiblegreen.com | August 2, 2011
- Al Mohler on Adam and Eve vs. The Facts | slacktivist | August 11, 2011
- A criticism of global warming science defenders | The Thinker | January 26, 2012
- Al Mohler on Adam and Eve vs. The Facts | slacktivist | June 24, 2012