Monday, November 10, 2014

Breaking: Study Shows Liberals Have Been Right All Along

And Conservatives will continue to aggressively ignore all such studies.
Denialists have learned to use the vocabulary of critical thinking against their opponents. To begin with, of course, they think of themselves as “skeptics,” thus attempting to appropriate a word with a venerable philosophical pedigree and which is supposed to indicate a cautiously rational approach to a given problem. As David Hume put it, a wise person (i.e., a proper skeptic) will proportion her beliefs to the evidence. But there is nothing of the Humean attitude in people who are “skeptical” of evolution, climate change, vaccines, and so forth.

Denialists have even begun to appropriate the technical language of informal logic: when told that a majority of climate scientists agree that the planet is warming up, they are all too happy to yell “argument from authority!” When they are told that they should distrust statements coming from the oil industry and from “think tanks” in their pockets they retort “genetic fallacy!” And so on. Never mind that informal fallacies are such only against certain background information, and that it is eminently sensible and rational to trust certain authorities (at the least provisionally), as well as to be suspicious of large organizations with deep pockets and an obvious degree of self-interest.


n1ck said...

Reality has a libruul bias.

Science is the study of objective reality.

Hence, real science is the study of libruul bias. Boom.

This A->B->C logic is why conservatives should continue being ignored by anyone who cares about observable, objective reality.

Anonymous said...

"Yawn." That's what you have to say about Pigliucci's essay? (It's not a "study.")

One reason I refuse to vote is that "my" side is represented by completely stubborn assholes like this. "Science is the study of objective reality." The fuck?

Robt said...

In so many ways, it sometimes looks as if the South is in fact rising again.

Not sure if there is anything new under the sun. But the return f fascism or confederacy does offer a distinct odor.
Pessimistically speaking,

Optimism is the madness of insisting that all is well when we are miserable.

And mad (minus the "ness"). is where I was after the 2010 election when the GOP took control of the House and many state legislatures.
This was after the census. This locked the House for a decade to Michelle Bachmann-ites and Eric Cantor-ists.

To me,
That major 2010 blunder (the LEFT gave the house to the GOP by "not showing up to vote). Surpasses this now show and handing the Senate with the House to the GOP.

America moves to slow for humanities inspirations to to motivate the present to effectively change the future. It's heart warmth retention fades from arriving generations to carry the torch.

Horace Boothroyd III said...

@Robt Careful with those charges that the Left has a history of sabotaging elections in order to [something, something] Victory! It tends to upset the unicorn ranchers and the sparkleponie devotees. With any luck, big cheese blogger David Atkins might show up, to lecture us about how he is a kingmaker in his county political machine and his friends at the Daily Kos and FireDogLake would never, ever, throw an election out of spite nor make common cause with an odious fuck like Grover Norquist.

n1ck said...

@ Anonymous 12:46

the intellectual and practical activity encompassing the systematic study of the structure and behavior of the physical and natural world through observation and experiment.

What, exactly, do you think science, is? Does it involve sorcery?

Anonymous said...


What "exactly"? A loaded question, my friend. Who ever has exactly defined science, or anything, for that matter? Look, "the study of objective reality" rather stacks the deck, don't you think? Oh, no, you object, "objective reality" simply means "how things really are." That's one motherfucker of an adverb, homie.

So let's look at your proffered definition. I see "systematic" and "structure" and "behavior" and "observation" and "experiment." Doing science, one attempts to execute objectively all this shit, but every one of them invites fuck-ups that are, pardon my French, objectively wrong. My system fails. My definition of the structure and behavior of the natural world is inadequate. The experiment is bogus.

If you have faith that a method devoted to rigorous observation will assure right results, then I think you might be a proponent of sorcery.

n1ck said...


Yes, science is sorcery because you don't understand how it works. Fair enough.

Here, you're probably way more comfortable with this kind of logic: "Tide goes in, tide goes out. Never a miscommunication. You can’t explain that. You can’t explain why the tide goes in.”

Here, I'll point you in the right direction so you can have some vigorous debate with like-minded individuals on what is and isn't s̶o̶r̶c̶e̶r̶y̶ science.

Have a great week!

Anonymous said...

@n1ck: I do understand how science works. My understanding begins with the observation *that* it works, that it involves trials, operations, reproductions, arguments... ("[S]cience is a human epistemic activity, and as such it is fallible."--Pigliucci) It isn't just out there serving as a foil to sorcery.

The Pigliucci piece (not a "study"!) doesn't say anything about liberals or the left being correct, which is the point it's being enlisted to support. It describes the author's impressions of a potentially promising avenue of study of denialism. It invites approaches to confronting hyper-committed ideologists, including contrary opinions from individuals otherwise sympathetic (to those denialists) and ridicule.

In spite of the richness of Pigliucci's arguments and opinions and accounts, you read him to be saying, "science is the study of objective fact," full stop?

n1ck said...


You find where I explicitly or implicitly mentioned Pigliucci and what his view of science is.

I'll wait.