The science myths that will not die.

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bindeweede
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The science myths that will not die.

Post by bindeweede » Fri Dec 18, 2015 11:17 pm

I recently came across this article. An interesting read.
Once a myth is here, it is often here to stay. Psychological studies suggest that the very act of attempting to dispel a myth leads to stronger attachment to it. In one experiment, exposure to pro-vaccination messages reduced parents' intention to vaccinate their children in the United States. In another, correcting misleading claims from politicians increased false beliefs among those who already held them. “Myths are almost impossible to eradicate,” says Kirschner. “The more you disprove it, often the more hard core it becomes.”
http://www.nature.com/news/the-science- ... ie-1.19022

Croydon13013
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Re: The science myths that will not die.

Post by Croydon13013 » Sun Dec 20, 2015 1:11 pm

bindeweede wrote:I recently came across this article. An interesting read.
Once a myth is here, it is often here to stay. Psychological studies suggest that the very act of attempting to dispel a myth leads to stronger attachment to it. In one experiment, exposure to pro-vaccination messages reduced parents' intention to vaccinate their children in the United States. In another, correcting misleading claims from politicians increased false beliefs among those who already held them. “Myths are almost impossible to eradicate,” says Kirschner. “The more you disprove it, often the more hard core it becomes.”
http://www.nature.com/news/the-science- ... ie-1.19022
But this can't be entirely true can it? Some false ideas and myths have died out or reduced.

Most people now accept the facts around evolution while at one time everyone was a creationist. Many have changed their minds about climate change, from David Attenborough to members of this forum. Sure there are still many who are digging in, claiming it is all a conspiracy, etc. But the numbers are shifting.

There's all manner of ancient and medieval myths that have gone away completely.
thIS sIGnaTure iS an

Tony Williams
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Re: The science myths that will not die.

Post by Tony Williams » Sun Dec 20, 2015 3:55 pm

Croydon13013 wrote:Some false ideas and myths have died out or reduced.
But is that because people have been persuaded to change their minds or (more likely, IMO) the old adherents to the myths have simply died out?

What's that saying about science making progress one funeral at a time? I don't think that Fred Hoyle ever did accept the Big Bang theory that he was responsible for derisively naming, but once he had gone, so did the opposition.

And I'm reminded of this one:
The door of a bigoted mind opens outwards so that the only result of the pressure of facts upon it is to close it more snugly. - Ogden Nash

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