"Denialism is the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none. These false arguments are used when one has few or no facts to support one's viewpoint against a scientific consensus or against overwhelming evidence to the contrary. They are effective in distracting from actual useful debate using emotionally appealing, but ultimately empty and illogical assertions."

"5 general tactics are used by denialists to sow confusion. They are conspiracy, selectivity (cherry-picking), fake experts, impossible expectations (also known as moving goalposts), and general fallacies of logic."

And, of course, arguments from incredulity and outright denial, lies, pseudoscience . . . you name it, they've tried it.

also : denialism blog


MarkH said...

I've actually looked up some of the early uses of the word. Using Google book search for instance I've found examples of the word "denialism" in use as early as 1923 and "denialist" as early as 1953.

Google is so wonderful.

Quoth the Ravens said...

So, not quite a neologism, Mark, though definitely a relatively new word. I had encountered the phenomenon of denialism, but first encountered the word on a certain blog that I like.

Yes, googling is wonderful. I do not mourn the bad old days of ploughing through volumes of Index Medicus to find research articles!