The Antique Roadshow: How Denier Movements Debunk Evolution, Climate Change, and Nonlocal Consciousness
This paper describes the rise of three “denier” movements in the United States, and describes how each is actively engaged in trying to debunk and impede the free development of science: the Creationist Anti-evolutionists, the Climate Change Deniers, and the Consciousness Deniers. The last, a group that cannot, or will not, consider consciousness as anything other than physicalist processes. Each Denier group is described, and something of its history is given. The charges of a lack of ethics that dog these movements are discussed through examples. The strategies and tactics of the three groups are detailed, showing that Denier movements have a great deal in common, and are growing closer. The lack of substance in the Denier arguments is described, as is the fact that regardless of this lack these movements represent powerful forces in the American culture that have already produced detrimental effects, which are described and discussed. The paper argues that while the controversies involving the three Denier movements might superficially appear to be “inside baseball” arguments of interest only to the various research communities these three Denier movements all, in one way or another, impede the quest for fact-based knowledge. All are manifestations of the growing anti-intellectualism arising against science, a trend of willful ignorance with profound implications for America in the 21st century. The paper concludes that Deniers are like pranksters putting up false direction signs; they waste precious resources and time. Worse, they poison the atmosphere of scientific inquiry itself, serving not truth but bias.
consciousness, denier movements, parapsychology
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