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Eugenie Scott on the nexus of Climate Denialism and Creationism

We’ve long known that the more likely you are to deny the overwhelming evidence for evolution, the more likely you are to deny all other aspects of extraordinarily well-supported science. I don’t know whether, at this point, eliminating all creationism will stem the tide of antiscience — there are too many vested interests in play now, trying to astroturf misinformation about scientific concepts, trying to manufacture controversies about them, and making them politically polarized issues when they frankly shouldn’t be.

It’s a shame Eugenie didn’t mention the political aspect of this. The people who believe in creationism and deny evolution and global warming are almost uniformly for one party, a party that explicitly denies any number of aspects of reality. Education is key, of course. The problem is in educating people with scientifically derived, evidence-based facts about reality, instead of the nonsense that these vested interests are peddling. These shouldn’t be political issues,

Comments

  1. abb3w says

    Of course, even among those who accept evolution, those who reject global warming tend to be of that same party.

    I’d disagree slightly; the question of what (if anything) ought be done about global warming is an “ought” question, and thus an issue legitimately within the arena of politics. The question of whether or not it’s going on (and to what extent), however, is an “is” question, and thus the answer shouldn’t be a political issue but merely an input to assessing the political question.

  2. 'Tis Himself, OM says

    Many global warming denialists are afraid of the social, economic and political changes that will result from doing what needs to be done about global warming. But most of those are too chickenshit to admit their real concerns. So instead they attack the science. Viscount Monckton might have to forgo having a Jaguar XJ if certain changes come about, so he whines about a subject he’s completely ignorant about.

  3. VeritasKnight says

    If you’re willing to ignore facts in one area of your life or education, what’s to stop you from extending that lack of facts to other areas? Nothing. It’s the case you see PZ make all the time (Francis Collins comes to mind).

  4. Pierce R. Butler says

    It’s a shame Eugenie didn’t mention the political aspect of this.

    She has no choice: IRS 501(c)(3) regulations require that non-profit organizations like NCSE stay completely clear of electoral/partisan politics, and are strongly and consistently enforced against anyone criticizing Republicans.

  5. sailor1031 says

    “They despise efficient light bulbs (and many other things including global warming) precisely because liberals like them. How’s that for a reasoning process?”

    Not too good actually. How about CFL bulbs:
    – are too expensive
    – don’t work with dimmers
    – don’t work very well with timers
    – catch fire
    – provide crappy light
    – don’t last longer than incandescents
    – don’t save you any money
    – create a hazardous waste disposal problem

  6. says

    Can you provide evidence for any of those claims, sailor1031?

    Dude@7: I wasn’t following, thanks for the tip! And by the way, by all means feel free to advertise for your podcasts here whenever you think my readers might be interested.

  7. sailor1031 says

    Well first there are my own experiences with CFLs. I have had two actually catch fire emitting smoke and flame. One damaged the light socket beyond repair. Several others have expired in what seems to be the standard scary manner i.e. they got very hot, turned brown at the base, emitted enough stinky smoke to trigger the fire alarms and make the house uninhabitable until sufficiently ventilated (this happened twice in winter – very fricking inconvenient to say the least). My brother had a couple burn up too and there are numerous webposts etc. describing more CFL fires (see sites mentioned below).

    As regards their claimed life – it is not noticeably better than incandescents. Given the high initial cost ($3.00+ each in this part of rural VA) they have to last better than about 1400 hours to break even. So far we don’t have any that seem to qualify. And we’re surely not seeing, or ever likely to see the claimed savings of anywhere from $30 – $70 per bulb, depending on who is doing the claiming. Perhaps it is to do with frequency of switching on/off which apparently reduces CFL life considerably. But then we don’t save watts if we leave the lights on continuously to promote longer CFL life! And it makes it hard to sleep.

    Another problem is that CFLs don’t work with dimmers, of which I have several here; nor do they work well with electronic timers of which I also have a few. Nor do they work well with photovoltaic on/off modules. Nor are they suitable for many light fixtures. Typically these facts were not listed on the CFL packages.

    The instructions for coping with a CFL breakage are on the EPA website. I can tell you, having had to follow them a couple of times (yes CFLs are not highly robust either) that the cleanup is a royal pain because of the highly toxic mercury these things contain.

    A while back when I didn’t know about the downside of these things I bought a whole bunch, wanting to do the right green thing. After my experiences I have gone back to incandescents for most applications. Now I am using CFLs that we still have in stock, only in certain fixtures that are easy to reach in an emergency. As they expire I replace them with incandescents.

    The disposal of expired CFLs is also problematic as we have no good options locally for recycling them or disposing of them.

    All that said, don’t even get started about halogens which I think are worst of all.

    I’m still interested in replacing the incandescent bulbs. I’ll certainly look at the more efficient ones allegedly being manufactured if they become available. I’m hoping LEDs will drop in price to the point where they will make some kind of sense.

    The following web pages have lots of information:

    Info re. disposal and hazardous nature of CFLs:
    http://www.epa.gov/epawaste/hazard/wastetypes/universal/lamps/faqs.htm

    Info re: disposal of CFLs in Virginia: Note that none of the recyclers is closer than 50 miles to Topping, VA. where we live
    http://www.deq.state.va.us/p2/mercury/fluorescents/vendors.html.

    A few horrors and comments here:
    http://www.candlepowerforums.com/vb/showthread.php?190185-CFL-Ballast-Fire

    This site has some more comments plus a lot of interesting links:
    http://greenwashinglamps.wordpress.com/2010/03/09/cfl-fire-hazard/

    more good information here:
    http://www.execulink.com/~impact/fluorescent_lights.htm

    and here:
    http://sound.westhost.com/articles/incandescent.htm#cbasic

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