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View Diary: Why People Distrust Science (250 comments)

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  •  OK, but (12+ / 0-)

    the CDC isn't run by DC politicians. Really that just isn't how it works, at all. But I work in the field so obviously I am not a neutral party. I have a lot more information on this than the average person.

    •  It's not that you're wrong! (13+ / 0-)

      I'm not disagreeing with you at all. But the trick here is, the charlatan doesn't have to argue anything correctly. He just needs to say something that makes a parent doubt.

      Most parents don't know how the CDC works. They do know, however, that news reports on congress changing guidelines for the EPA for various reasons, and that it might be possible to lobby the FCC, etc. And the parent, not having first-hand knowledge of how any of these things work, is reduced to trusting the authority of someone who claims they do.

      And the charlatan isn't focusing on proving his position with facts. He's focusing on undermining the authority of anyone who disagrees with him, using a mix of semi-facts, facts taken out of context, outright lies, and attempts to establish his own authority. Which means that before you even enter the argument, you're already suffering, to a certain extent, from damage to your own authority (pre-inflicted).

      You combine this with a parent feeling the stakes are very, very high, and it's a lot easier to make them doubt than anyone really wants to think possible.

      The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
      - Edward Young

      by The Baptist Death Ray on Wed Jun 19, 2013 at 09:37:23 AM PDT

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      •  Yeah (9+ / 0-)

        I've seen this in action on various parenting boards. I'm a parent as well. You will see people saying things like, "Do your research," which of course doesn't mean reading anything on Google Scholar, it means reading crap on natural parenting and anti-vaccine websites. Well of course if that is where you do your "research" you aren't going to have the right information. And, an awful lot of people are fundamentally cynical about anything the government says (hey, just read dKos any day of the week) so that feeds into it as well.

        •  Anytime someone says "do your research" (3+ / 0-)

          You come back with FUCK YOU, lazy ass-- DO YOUR HOMEWORK AND PROVE IT TO ME!!

          When someone won't defend their POV with anything but because I said so, I immediately respond that they must be too lazy to do their own thinking.

          I also like to point out that lazy thinking and sloppy thinking also lead to lazy, stupid, sloppy writing.  And you can usually see the latter in evidence to support the former.  Don't let them off the hook.  Their point is theirs to prove, always, never yours.

      •  Another point here ... the parent may (0+ / 0-)

        not see an obvious motive for the charlatan to be making this argument. What do they get out of it? If it appears that they have no financial incentive, that adds to their credibility.

        BTW, what DO they get from it?

        Help us to save free conscience from the paw Of hireling wolves whose gospel is their maw. ~John Donne

        by ohiolibrarian on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 07:52:12 AM PDT

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        •  I usually go with "money" (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          samddobermann

          I can't prove that the charaltans are always trying to make a quick buck off people, but it does seem to profit them immensely.

          The Baptist Death Ray (wrightc [at] eviscerati [dot] org) "We are all born originals -- why is it so many of us die copies?"
          - Edward Young

          by The Baptist Death Ray on Fri Jun 21, 2013 at 11:01:18 AM PDT

          [ Parent ]

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