Jo Nova’s blog today had an article that concerned the blog “WatchingtheDeniers”. Seems one writer on the blog has determined the DK effect is why deniers are deniers.
The Dunning-Kruger (KD) effect theorizes people with limited knowledge over-estimate their ability and knowledge. The claim is made that many of the commentors on Jo Nova’s blog lack a full understanding of science. This is a prime example of “assuming facts not in evidence”. A similar claim might be made that climate scientists are actually frustrated politicians, seeking the limelight and caring nothing about science. That’s the best thing about fantasy facts, they can “prove” anything.
A serious question here is why have studies shown people with higher science degrees are more apt to express doubt about climate science? A National Science Foundation study found this—while expecting the opposite. The study suggested teaching people more science, as the WtD blogger suggests, would actually increase the number of skeptics. Educating people on science is probably not a good idea if one is hoping to increase climate change acceptance.
The blogger suggests sharing science is something climate believers would enjoy. The general reaction of the AGW crowd has historically been to avoid all discussion of science and simply resort to name-calling and demanding “consensus” be followed (consensus is NOT proof of theory in science). If this group is willing to come forth and share science, so much the better.
“Deniers” is not really an accurate term. There would need to be open debate concerning the science so people could make up their own mind. Currently, there are statements like “the science is settled”, “there is consensus” and “you’re not smart enough to understand even if we tried to explain”. One cannot deny that which is hidden. That’s why the group is called “skeptics”. Produce the science, allow open discussions with FULL data available to ALL scientists, then we can decide if there is denial of the theory or if the theory is actually flawed and needs to be reworked or discarded.
Moving into social science and marketing techniques is strong evidence that the science fails. So is claiming only those anointed with grants and publishing are capable of understanding the theory. It’s arrogant. However, since people are inclined to bow to authority figures, the technique does work well in those who do not understand science and scientific method. There are no authorities in science. Only the data and the manipulations applied to said data matter. If the data or the manipulations are wrong, even if the janitor points this out, the science is flawed and needs to scrapped.
There has been a lot of “research” trying to connect “deniers” to conspiracy theories, etc. It’s interesting to note that AGW is very appealing to the anti-vaccine, hate Big Pharma, organic crowd. These are usually considered to be other than scientific beliefs (more into the pseudoscience arena).
Does that mean AGW’s following is people who are not scientific? Maybe, maybe not. For every following there exists a huge variety of individuals with very diverse beliefs that happen to have one belief in common.
Then there’s the theory that politics determine one’s belief in AGW. This is the chicken/egg problem. Does one’s political beliefs affect one’s science beliefs or does one’s science beliefs affect one’s politics? The “research” does not address this in any way.