Show 469: Science Denial in the 21st Century w/ Darryl Cunningham

Science Denial in the 21st Century w/ Darryl Cunningham

Climate change and evolution are both crucially important scientific theories and both have been fully accepted by the scientific community. Why then is there so much doubt and controversy about both among the general public? When the first human being stepped onto the moon, that step was seen across the world on TV and has been verified many times by many sources. Why then are so many convinced it was nothing but a conspiracy?

Science, the scientific process, has proved itself again and again in more ways than can be counted. It has saved lives, enabled communication in ways never before thought possible, and given us an amazing understanding of the universe around us. So why is there so much doubt and denial of science?

We will discuss these issues and more with British cartoonist Darryl Cunningham, a respected science writer and author of the book How to Fake a Moon Landing: Exposing the Myths of Science Denial, in which Cunningham tackles a variety of science denial issues in comic book form. Cunningham has also written other graphic books, including Psychiatric Tales. He was the keynote speaker at the Graphic Medicine Conference in Leeds, England in 2011.

Show 310: Conspiracy!

Special 2-Hour Fund Drive Program: Conspiracy!

For much of the last century, mainly Far Right groups or individuals engaged in conspiracy theorizing often to scapegoat other groups or individuals who were considered legitimate targets for the mainstream to blame their overall sociopolitical dilemmas of the time.  European Jews conspiring against Germany and Christian Germans, according to the NAZI’s, is one famous example. The KKK and Neo-Nazis targeting blacks by trying to re-interpret the US Constitution is another.

Chip Berlet, senior analyst for the independent think tank Political Research Associates, has explained when talking about modern examples of this via the Tea Party Movement and Anti-Obama-isms in the United States, “Right-wing pundits demonize groups and individuals in our society, implying that it is urgent to stop them from wrecking the nation. Some angry people in the audience already believe conspiracy theories in which the same scapegoats are portrayed as subversive, destructive, or evil. Add in aggressive apocalyptic ideas that suggest time is running out and quick action mandatory and you have a perfect storm of mobilized resentment threatening to rain bigotry and violence across the United States.”

But what about Progressives, Liberals and others on the Left who have also engaged in what some have called Conspiracy Theories? Who are the people to be scapegoated in their case? Of course… the rich or powerful elites.  But while the so-called elites thought up by the Far Right never existed as advertised, we do live in a society where the rich and powerful can be shown to indeed manipulate the masses through indoctrination via the public school system, the media, and other means of propaganda.  So how can one separate fact from fiction as they exist with Left-leaning Conspiracy Theorizing?

For years on WBAI-NY, you’ve heard mainly one side of the story, while all others are often taken on these airwaves and among the Left in general, with great suspicion and seen as establishment apologetics.

Equal Time for Freethought’s mission advocates using critical thinking and scientific method to understand the world around us; and, moreover, trying to understand how such can help us implement progressive social change.

So in this light, we will look at the most recent, infamous conspiracy theorizing regarding 9/11 as well as the history of Right-Wing and Left-Wing Conspiracy theorizing via the History Channel special “The 9/11 Conspiracies: Fact or Fiction,” and a research document edited by progressive Chip Berlet called “Toxic to Democracy.”

Joining us on the phone will be skeptic and author Robert M. Price, and Kathyrn Olmsted, author of “Real Enemies: Conspiracy Theories and American Democracy, World War I to 9/11.”