"Within the conservative political blogosphere, global warming is either
a hoax or so uncertain as to be unworthy of response. Within other
geographic or online communities, vaccines, fluoridated water and
genetically modified foods are known to be dangerous. Right-wing media
outlets paint a detailed picture of how Donald Trump is the victim of a
None of that is correct, though. The reality of human-caused global
warming is settled science. The alleged link between vaccines and autism
has been debunked as conclusively as anything in the history of
epidemiology. It’s easy to find authoritative refutations of Donald
Trump’s self-exculpatory claims regarding Ukraine and many other issues.
Yet many well-educated people sincerely deny evidence-based conclusions
on these matters.
In theory, resolving factual disputes should be relatively easy: Just
present evidence of a strong expert consensus. This approach succeeds
most of the time, when the issue is, say, the atomic weight of hydrogen.
But things don’t work that way when the scientific consensus presents a
picture that threatens someone’s ideological worldview. In practice, it
turns out that one’s political, religious or ethnic identity quite
effectively predicts one’s willingness to accept expertise on any given
Via Snopes.com and Paul Ferguson.
*** Xanni ***
Chief Scientist, Xanadu
Partner, Glass Wings
Manager, Serious Cybernetics