Deny, Deny, Deny

Is a Fact Not a Fact If You Disagree With It? Or If Its Existence Inconveniences You?

What’s with all this denial of facts? Why deny there is dangerous climate change going on? Why deny that the vast human population is influencing climate? Why deny that evolution has been the dominant force of change in living organisms? Why deny that species are going extinct under human assault? Why deny that we are over-fishing the oceans? Why deny … well you get the drift.

Once facts are established, then proven and re-proven and confirmed and re-confirmed, the “ ”s go away, and they are then just facts. But the denying just keeps on going. And the simple fact is that nearly all of this kind of denying comes from the right side of the political spectrum. As if your political position should have any effect on facts.

Is there something inherent about “conservative” thinking that makes denial a central tenet? It’s often difficult to see what the connection is between a given political position and the factuality of facts. Perhaps there is, and I just can’t grasp it. Or are there self-serving motivations among the deniers and they just happen to coalesce under the conservative banner? I suspect the deniers would deny that.


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