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Denialism, also known as pseudo-scepticism, is the deliberate culture of denying scientific facts or theories, regardless of overwhelming evidence in their favour, for purely ideological or political reasons. This is what is playing out in the anti-GM (genetically modified), anti-climate change, anti-nuclear and anti-vaccinations arena in the 21st century.
Then, there is a sub-section of people among the deniers who concoct their own parallel science to counter the mainstream scientific consensus. In India, Kerala declared itself a No-GMO state, egged on by some “parallel” scientists. Using parallel science arguments, former environment minister Jairam Ramesh clamped a so-called temporary moratorium on Bt brinjal.
Another tactic of science deniers is the use of false equivalence. There are two or three NGOs in India that fight against GM crops using false equivalence. The most abhorrent idea that decision-making bodies and organizations have come to accept is to bring a sense of “false balance” to the debate by giving a seat at the table to these deniers.
The public falls for the false equivalence logical fallacy, because often they don’t trust governments, and it is comforting to hear an authority-like figure trying to protect their interests by stopping governments ‘doing harm’ to their subjects or the environment. Modern day sociologists call this democratization of science, which is actually mobocratization of science.
Science deniers are creating havoc in the science and technology space, whether or not they understand what they are talking about. Science deniers must not be allowed to prevail and must be denied.
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