Cranks Sowing the Seeds of Doubt

They announced rain today - instead it is sunny, warm and ... a perfect distraction. Since I haven't yet decamped for lab and am waiting for my wife to shower so that we can have a short picnic by the river before i head out to work, I'll just leave you a few links to some VERY interesting and insightful articles in Slate.The three part series was written by Daniel Engber and focus on how certain elements of our society (i.e. climate skeptics, the ID movement, and the tobacco industry) have cultivated this notion of super-skepticism in an attempt o discredit current scientific consensus.

The idea is that these elements attempt to cast a wee bit of doubt and then illogically deduce that the whole structure of scientific research is corrupt. As mentioned in yesterday's Science Saturday, this pattern of thought resembles that of conspiracy theorists. A must read.

The Paranoid Style in American Science
Part I: A Crank's Progress
Part II: An Uncertain Truth
Part III: Contrary Imaginations

More like this

Thanks to Alex Palazzo for alerting me to the article The Paranoid Style in American Science by Daniel Engber of Slate. This is a three-part series on radical skepticism and the rise of conspiratorial thinking about science. Unfortunately it is all too familiar. As Alex notes, the series discusses…
Slate has a series of three articles on what editor Daniel Engber refers to as "the paranoid style". Starting with A crank's progress, sliding into a review of Doubt is their product, and finishing with a spot-on review of Expelled he runs the guantlet of modern denialism. He also happens to hit…
Daniel Engber's Slate article The Paranoid Style in American Science is well worth a read. He explains how the Creationists, AGW and HIV/AIDS skeptics go well past skepticism into conspiracy theries about science. Hat tip: Mark Hoofnagle.
This week hasn't been a particularly good week for science. It started out on Monday with news of the social media storm from over the weekend over a blatantly antivaccine screed published the Friday before by the director of The Cleveland Clinic Wellness Clinic. Then, towards the middle of the…