Why We Deny Science in the Age of Corona Virus and Climate Change – A Podcast with Philosopher Adrian Bardon

Adrian Bardon, Professor of Philosophy and author of the 'Humans are hardwired to dismiss facts that don’t fit their worldview'

Incredulously, seven governors of republican-led states held out until early April to close their states down with a ‘stay in place’ order, claiming that that the coronavirus pandemic was overblown by a mainstream media set on wreaking president Trump and the GOP.

The data is clear, however, and by the time you finish reading this short article, two people in the United States will have died from the virus. Why is it some people cannot be convinced to change their worldview, despite inalterable and attributable physical measures proving they are wrong?

Adrian Bardon, PhD is a philosopher at Wake Forest University. He is a foremost expert in the field of truth and denial. In this edition of The Sustainable Century Solutions Podcast, Adrian addresses the dilemma of why you might accept some ‘facts’ while rejecting others, when someone with an opposite worldview, might reject those very same ‘facts’ you approve of, while accepting those you dont.

If ever there was a need for philosophers like Adrian Bardon, it is today when American political life is so polarized friends and families from different political perspectives barely talk to one another and are ever more “informationally insulated…. occupying their own factual universes.”

Denialist phenomena,” Bardon writes, “are many and varied, but the story behind them is, ultimately, quite simple. Human cognition is inseparable from the unconscious emotional responses that go with it. Under the right conditions, universal human traits like in-group favoritism, existential anxiety and a desire for stability and control combine into a toxic, system-justifying identity politics.”

Join host Marc de Sousa Shields and philosopher Adrian Bardon as they discuss how we got into the mess of truth and denial, and what might be done to get out of it.


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