APS blogger didn’t get Lewandowsky’s title “joke”
September 18, 2012 4 Comments
My mouse and I took a stroll through the In the News archives of the Association for Psychological Science (APS) in search of entries that might have mentioned Lewandowsky’s ground-breaking “research” paper entitled:
“NASA faked the moon landing -Therefore (Climate) Science is a Hoax: An Anatomy of the Motivated Rejection of Science”
We went all the way back to circa July 23, 2012, because I expected to find mention of Adam Corner’s Guardian article of July 27 – as noted in my previous post. Alas, we found no discernible mention of Lewandowsky’s opus.
Elsewhere on the APS site, though, we did find various opinion pieces by Wray Herbert.
Herbert seems to have beaten Corner to the punch on Lewandowsky’s not quite yet “published” opus with an article dated July 19 (my bold):
Tags: anti-science views, climate science, cognitive bias, conspiracy thinking, global warming, irrationality
I am writing this article knowing full well that it will be used as evidence against me—evidence that I have been duped by a powerful cabal, a vast conspiracy to . . . to do what? Well, take your choice. Perhaps to convince a naive public that NASA landed men on the moon? Or to hide the fact that our President is African? Or the fact that al Qaeda didn’t mastermind 9/11? Or to falsely link HIV with AIDS, or smoking with lung cancer?
Psychological scientists are very interested in this particular brand of irrational thinking—especially the link between conspiratorial thinking and anti-science world views. [...]
Or consider global warming. More than 90 percent of climate scientists agree that the global climate is shifting, largely as a result of human activity. Scientifically, this is essentially a closed case. Yet conspiracy theorists continue to spin wild tales [...] What are the motives of these climate deniers, who reject even overwhelming scientific consensus? [...]
Cognitive psychologist Stephan Lewandowsky of the University of Western Australia has been studying climate deniers and conspiratorial thinking—and the link between the two. He suspected that climate deniers—as opposed to climate “skeptics,” who actually use the tools of science to verify facts—are highly prone to unrelated kinds of conspiracy thinking, and also to a conservative, pro-business ideology. He decided to test these ideas by questioning people who write and read blogs related to global warming.
The results were unambiguous, and unsettling. [...]
Second, conspiracy thinking was clearly linked to climate denial—and to the rejection of scientific propositions in general. This was true even of conspiracy theories unrelated to the environment or climate—the belief that NASA staged the moon landing, for example [...]
YMMV, but it seems to me that – not unlike Corner – Herbert didn’t get “the joke”, either.
Calling Booster Bostrom … you need to set Herbert straight. So that he can amend his article.
And on a somewhat related note … If you’re interested in seeing Lewandowsky proudly wearing his green-activist heart on his sleeve … he does it in spades in http://permaculturenews.org/2010/03/12/climate-debate-opinion-vs-evidence/ [h/t BetaPug via comment at Bishop Hill]
Lewandowsky’s magnificent obsession clearly precludes any critical examination of the evidence in support of the tropes ‘n factoids on which he depends for his beliefs about those who do not share his views.