Ignoring facts for belief

fail by griffithchris
A crazy mixed up kid comes up with a crazy mixed up conspiracy theory about a crazy mixed up blog collective:
[Via Respectful Insolence]

That Jake Crosby, he’s a crazy mixed-up kid, but I kind of like him.

He seems like a nice enough and smart enough kid, but, sadly, he’s fallen in with a bad crowd over at the anti-vaccine crank propaganda blog, Age of Autism, so much so that he’s even blogging there, helping, whether he realizes it or not, to promote the message that vaccines cause autism and that various forms of biomedical quackery can somehow “cure” autism. I say “whether he realizes it or not” because he seems to have settled into the role of AoA’s token young adult on the spectrum who promotes the party line. Indeed, he’s truly drunk the Kool Aid–big time–as I pointed out a few months ago when I noticed that he had written in my comment section in response to my observation that “no amount of science…will ever convince them [anti-vaccinationists] that vaccines don’t cause autism.”:

“Amount” doesn’t matter. A million “studies” claiming the Earth were flat wouldn’t make it true. Likewise, pseudostudies claiming no association to autism consistent with overwhelming evidence of a CDC-cover up will only further convince me that vaccines cause autism.


This is a frequent problem of many people. WHen presented with evidence and facts demonstrating that their belief is wrong, they simply ignore the facts. It appears to be a basic human problem.

One of the major aspects of science as a philosophy is that most scientists are trained in processes to counterbalance this basic problem. We use a framework that helps protect against bias and then use a fairly open and transparent vetting process to further build bulwarks against fantastical thinking.

Denialists seldom have any of these frameworks to prevent bias. In fact, they are very reminiscent of various doomsday cults that state the world will end on a certain date. Seldom do these cults lose members when the date passes. They just find some other ad hoc approach to the world.

When your framework requires a vast conspiracy involving hundreds or thousands of people in order to be maintained, your framework is seriously flawed and potentially destructive. Yet, that is what most denialists require.

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