From: William Treurniet <wtreurniet.nul> Date: Sat, 28 Apr 2012 16:17:33 -0400 Archived: Sun, 29 Apr 2012 08:11:41 -0400 Subject: Re: Science Denial In The 21St Century >Source: ScienceNews.Org >http://tinyurl.com/c324zul >Tuesday, April 24th, 2012 >Science Denial In The 21St Century >By Nathan Seppa >MADISON, Wis. =97 The arc of science has faced roadblocks for >centuries, but the pattern of denying the weight of evidence has >taken on new virulence recently. Highly motivated people openly >cast doubt on well-established evidence =97 the theory of >evolution, the human effects on climate change, the value of >vaccines and other findings that have achieved an overwhelming >consensus in the scientific community. >Researchers and science writers tasked with reporting on these >issues gathered April 23--24 at the University of Wisconsin at a >meeting titled, =93Science Writing in the Age of Denial.=94 Some >noted that seemingly spontaneous denial of science in the >populace is quite often a carefully choreographed attack. When it comes to public policy based on science, the public is typically treated like children with no ability to judge the evidence for themselves. The "weight of evidence" is rarely presented in a form accessible to the public, and in some cases, there is reason to believe that it may not even exist. This is especially true when big money wants public policy to go a certain way. This was evident in the recent push to vaccinate against the H1N1 flu virus. No comprehensive studies about safety and effectiveness could have been available because of time constraints, yet we were told to believe it was safe and effective. Again, we were treated like children. If the evidence existed, why didn't public health officials show it to us? I found a study published in 2006 on the effect of seasonal flu vaccinations on hospital admittances in Ontario, Canada, over several consecutive years which showed that there was no effect. But much was made after the fact of the study's possible limitations, arguing that the conclusion should be ignored. This elimination of the evidence that contradicted public policy was followed in the same article by the recommendation that people should still be vaccinated. Another study published in 2006 from the USA concluded that "the yearly U.S. mass influenza vaccination campaign has been ineffective in preventing influenza in vaccine recipients". If Nathan Seppa is looking for reasons why there is "science denial in the 21st century", perhaps it is this paternalistic attitude that is responsible. If there is a "pattern of denying the weight of evidence", it may be because there is often little evidence presented. Overwhelming consensus is not evidence. Scientists have a responsibility to explain their conclusions and make the reasoning accessible, especially when people are directly affected. And to bring it home to us, the same paternalistic attitude in the science community itself about what is proper to study, may account in part for the denial of UFOs as a worthwhile phenomenon. I personally encountered this impediment from a university department chairman many years ago when I expressed interest in doing graduate research in parapsychology. William Listen to 'Strange Days... Indeed' - The PodCast At: http://www.virtuallystrange.net/ufo/sdi/program/ These contents above are copyright of the author and UFO UpDates - Toronto. They may not be reproduced without the express permission of both parties and are intended for educational use only.
[ Next Message | Previous Message | This Day's Messages ]
This Month's Index |
UFO UpDates - Toronto - Operated by Errol Bruce-Knapp