Mark Hoofnagle on Autism, Vaccines, and Conspiracy Theories

From Mark Hoofnagle, writing at the Denialism Blog: the autism/vaccines fraud.

It is obvious to me that no matter what the field, the problem is crankery – the defective thought processes that allow people to believe in nonsense, no matter what obstacles reality throws in their path. Every description of every crank in every field ultimately boils down to these same factors. Cranks believe in something contrary to observable reality. They will do anything to prove it. When reality gets in their way, they ignore, subvert, lie, cheat, or obfuscate to create confusion. And when it’s proven beyond all doubt they’re wrong? That’s when the conspiracies come out.

One Response to “Mark Hoofnagle on Autism, Vaccines, and Conspiracy Theories”

  1. knarlyknight Says:

    That’s a slimy article.

    Starts off by defining cranks in a derogatory manner as people who fail to acknowledge mathematical proofs constructed within mathematical confines. So it is established that there are people who will fail to acknowledge a mathematical proof with elaborate intellectual exercises; this group comprises a relatively small number of often otherwise highly intelligent people. Fine, there is nothing surprising in that.

    Then the logical fallacy is made by extrapolating the crank definition beyond the rigid rules of mathematical problems by asserting that far greater numbers of people who fail to acknowledge the findings of authorities or the majority of experts in a particular field are all “cranks” too.

    Sure, a small component of those people may fit nicely into the pre-established derogatory crank category, but only a slime-ball would attempt to tar and feather every other intellectual dissenter with the same brush.

    Hoofnagle could use a basic philosophy 101 class in logical reasoning.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.