Monday, April 22, 2019

From the New Scientist: “Living in denial: Why sensible people reject the truth”

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Mike is a writer, animator and the creative director of Rebel Dispatch. He works in Washington, DC as a visual effects artist and freelance web designer.

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May 25, 2010
Filed under Politics

There was a very interesting article on Denialism in the New Scientist that dissects the mindset and psychological underpinnings that motivate people, despite evidence to the contrary, to reject certain truths grounded in hard facts and real evidence.

“HEARD the latest? The swine flu pandemic was a hoax: scientists, governments and the World Health Organization cooked it up in a vast conspiracy so that vaccine companies could make money.

Never mind that the flu fulfilled every scientific condition for a pandemic, that thousands died, or that declaring a pandemic didn’t provide huge scope for profiteering. A group of obscure European politicians concocted this conspiracy theory, and it is now doing the rounds even in educated circles.

This depressing tale is the latest incarnation of denialism, the systematic rejection of a body of science in favour of make-believe. There’s a lot of it about, attacking evolution, global warming, tobacco research, HIV, vaccines – and now, it seems, flu. But why does it happen? What motivates people to retreat from the real world into denial?”

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