* denialism

Climate change, round Earth, vaccines, you name it. Aren’t the people who deny these things just doing exactly what they should be doing as citizens, being skeptical and questioning authority? How do I know it’s not people like me who are doing a piss poor job of convincing deniers to our viewpoint?

Actually, how am I supposed to know I’m not the sucker here? It’s not like I conducted my own double blind studies on these things.

There’s a difference between being skeptical and ignoring evidence/proof.


I think round earth is the easiest, you just need a tall-ish building to be able to do the math.

More often they are not questioning “authority.” Their beliefs are being questioned, so they push back. Oftentimes, they have a personal interest (money) in their own beliefs and in making sure no one gets in the way of it (money).
Not sure about the flat-earthers. Seems more like a Sasquatch hoax, testing to see just how gullible some people are. (Spoiler: very.)
“Denialism” is not “skepticism.”

a person who does not acknowledge the truth of a concept or proposition that is supported by the majority of scientific or historical evidence; a denier.

Skepticism or scepticism is generally a questioning attitude or doubt towards one or more putative instances of knowledge which are asserted to be mere belief or dogma. Formally, skepticism is a topic of interest in philosophy, particularly epistemology.

Be more concerned when a government decides that people cannot be exposed to ideas or learn about things.
Like, say, Critical Race Theory (states are trying to ban the teaching of it, just because they can, which to me sounds extremely unconstitutional).

Or when it wants to decide science or math by fiat.
Like when the state of Indiana tried to legislate what the value of pi was.

Flat earth probably causes the least harm to others so concerns me the least :man_shrugging:

A lot of these types of folks will pull out “Galileo didn’t just follow the scientific consensus”, which is true - but Galileo didn’t just say “nuh uh”. He had a bunch of evidence that couldn’t be explained by the current model, and a model that explained the new evidence along with the old evidence.

If deniers want to put forward that sort of thing - let’s talk. They usually stick closer to “nuh uh” though.


Was this the case where one side used 3.14159 and the other used 22/7 and the judge ruled that since 22/7 had more digits, it was therefore more precise?

Or something else?

Although the bill has become known as the “Pi Bill”, its text does not mention the name “pi” at all, and Goodwin appears to have thought of the ratio between the circumference and diameter of a circle as distinctly secondary to his main aim of squaring the circle. Towards the end of Section 2 the following passage appears:

Furthermore, it has revealed the ratio of the chord and arc of ninety degrees, which is as seven to eight, and also the ratio of the diagonal and one side of a square which is as ten to seven, disclosing the fourth important fact, that the ratio of the diameter and circumference is as five-fourths to four[.][9]

This comes close to an explicit claim that π = 4/1.25 = 3.2, and that √2 = 10/7 ≈ 1.429.

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big assumption

It’s pronounced, “ascension.”

I think there are different reasons for denialism.

Some of it is a failure of a particular heuristic we all use. When we do not have time to learn about something ourselves then we trust people who we think share our values. We all do this. Unfortunately some political leadership has chosen to support lies. This is a failure of leadership. Climate change is in this bucket in my opinion.

Sometimes it is a failure of intellectual humility and objectivity. This happens when we find people to tell us what we want to hear.

Sometimes it’s a cynical distrust of our scientific establishments. (We don’t have cold fusion because the hot fusion physicists conspire with the fossil fuel companies!)

Sometimes it’s because we give the claim extra philosophical baggage that we cannot accept. Some people equate creationism with scientific reductionism for example.

I’m sure there are other reasons i’m forgetting…

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I think we just need to help these guys build their own lab or something, then they’ll kind of just figure it out on their own.

See also:


Pi equals, what?

Given that it has taken several thousands of people in several thousands of labs over a couple centuries - most of those people ending up going up blind alleys - to “figure it out” as well as we have, I doubt some idiot with a lab is going to come up with quantum physics on his own.

Yeah, but some stuff - flat earth being the obvious one - is easy to see the proof. Just go on Youtube for many relatively easy verifications/proofs/debunkings

It would be nice if YouTube put these rebuttals in the queues of those watching the “proofs” of a Flat Earth. That would be responsible… but not as profitable.

It’s easy to see the proof. It’s also very easy to say “nuh uh”.

I used to enjoy watching flat earth videos. Several of the leaders in the community put in a LOT of work to try and dispell all of the “proofs” that the earth is round. They can actually be quite clever, and completely unwilling to let go of their beliefs in the face of evidence. They are quite good at twisting the evidence enough to keep their followers happy.

One of their favorite things to say is “the best way to become a flat earther is to try and prove that flat earth is false”.