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Steve Novella on Science Denial and Evolutionary Theory… and Climate Change?

At the 2020 Darwin Day Dinner, speaker Dr. Steve Novella spoke about "Science denial, Darwin and Evolutionary Theory."  He talked about the several logical fallacies science deniers use and how he and other scientists refute them. 

During his talk I kept wondering, "Why is Novella focusing on denial of evolution when denial of climate change is having such a huge impact now and for future generations?"  So after his talk, I asked him.  Steve's response had several parts: 

1) It's not a matter either/or, but and.  It's not refuting evolution denial or refuting climate change denial.  We need to refute science denial about evolution, climate change, vaccines and other areas.  Since his talk was for the Darwin Day Dinner, and Charles Darwin was so key to evolutionary theory, talking about evolution was most appropriate. 

2)  The same people are engaged in evolution denial and climate change denial. ( I didn't know this, but I guess I shouldn't be surprised.) 

3)  The approaches for science denial in climate change are very similar to those used in denial of evolution. So if you understand how to refute one kind of science denial you are in better position to refute another. 

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Feb 10, 2020

This was a most disappointing talk. I have seen Steve Novella speak at 3 prior HFFC events and his presentations were far more interesting and engaging. If he wished to make the point that we need to apply the same skill set in responding to Creationists to other issues of science denial, then he should have done so and focused on that - but he never made the connection.

What was most disappointing was his conclusion - that we remember Darwin for his courage in publishing his theory which is no longer considered a scientific theory but considered as a scientific fact. He neglected to mention how Darwin's theory of evolution and natural selection is the basis of evolutionary biolo…

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