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Deja vu all over again: Denialism of climate change and of evolution

Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
October 15, 2011
2011 Professional Development Conference
National Association of Biology Teachers
Anaheim Marriott
700 West Convention Way
Anaheim, California

Both evolution and global warming are “controversial issues” in education, but are not controversial in the world of science. There is remarkable similarity in the techniques that are used by both camps to promote their views. The scientific issues are presented as “not being settled”, or that there is considerable debate among scientists over the validity of claims. Denialists in both camps practice “anomaly mongering”, in which a small detail seemingly incompatible with either evolution or global warming is held up as dispositive of either evolution or of climate science. Although in both cases, reputable, established science is under attack for ideological reasons, the underlying ideology differs: for denying evolution, the ideology of course is religious; for denying global warming, the ideology is political and/or economic.

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