Evil Liberal Science Conspiracy

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Some dare call it
Icon conspiracy.svg
What THEY don't want
you to know!
Sheeple wakers
Judge Grady: Where's you jetpack, boy?

Chuck: I don't have one, your honor.

Judge Grady: That's right, because technology is a lie sent by liberals to kill us! ...Apart from weapons technology, which we use to kill other people.
—Judge Grady, Just or Unjust[1]

The Evil Liberal Science Conspiracy (ELSC) is an imagined group that would need to exist for some crank beliefs to be true. Notable examples are characterised by their political angles and include global warming denialism and creationism. However, this does not include conspiracies that blame Big Oil, Big Pharma, or other similar organisations, as these are characterised by distrust of corporations and capitalism rather than of science itself.

Beliefs requiring the ELSC tend to have as one of their core axioms that some commonly-held scientific theories are utterly, totally wrong, and that a secretive, world-spanning cult of "scientist-priests" are suppressing this knowledge for their own evil ends. This belief generally stems from the conflict between ingrained ideological positions and reality, and any manufactroversy is simply the most convenient "handle" for the theorist to latch onto to confirm their a priori convictions.[note 1]

Most people with any understanding of how science is supposed to work find the ELSC highly unlikely at best, and more probably delusional.

Scientist conspiracy[edit]

Today, all across America (and indeed the rest of the world), scientists everywhere are swimming in dough courtesy of various dark, sinister forces paying them to conceal The Truth from you, the sheeple. These vast, complex conspiracies, bankrolled by vast corporations with almost unlimited wealth and power, run entirely unchecked...that is, until they're unravelled by a tiny but determined handful of unsung Web site owners, who pierce the veil of conspiracies by revealing the real truth, often given to them by...people who stand to make money from getting others to believe the conspiracy theories.
—Franklin Veaux[2]

There is apparently a conspiracy among thousands of scientists to withhold the truth from the public, which is especially apparent in regard to the theory of evolution. Since creationists disagree with the conclusions of biologists, they must either claim that scientists are incompetent or that scientists support evolution despite the knowledge that it is an unsound theory.

In Icons of Evolution, author Jonathan Wells attempts to demonstrate that scientists promote evolution by presenting a handful of proofs that they know are fraudulent. Further, Wells claims that scientists are pressured not to reveal the truth about evolution. In the introduction to the book, Wells notes:

If [biologists] believe in the fundamental correctness of Darwinian evolution, they may set aside their misgivings about the particular icon they know something about. On the other hand, if they voice their misgivings they may find it difficult to gain a hearing among their colleagues, because (as we shall see) criticizing Darwinian evolution is extremely unpopular among English-speaking biologists. This may be why the problems with the icons of evolution are not more widely known.

The scientist conspiracy idea is effectively countered by ScienceBlogs’ "What is denialism":[3]

The idea that scientists would keep some kind of exceptional secret is absurd, or that, in the instance of evolution deniers, we only believe in evolution because we've been infiltrated by a cabal of "materialists" is even more absurd. This is not to say that real conspiracies never occur, but the assertion of a conspiracy in the absence of evidence (or by tying together weakly correlated and nonsensical data) is usually the sign of a crackpot.

ScienceBlogs further explains:

Another common conspiratorial attack on consensus science (without data) is that science is just some old-boys club (not saying it's entirely free of it but…) and we use peer-review to silence dissent. This is a frequent refrain of HIV/AIDS denialists like Dean Esmay or Global Warming denialists like Richard Lindzen trying to explain why mainstream scientists won't publish their BS. The fact is that good science speaks for itself, and peer-reviewers are willing to publish things that challenge accepted facts if the data are good. If you're just a denialist cherry-picking data and nitpicking the work of others, you're out of luck. Distribution of scientific funding (another source of conspiracy from denialists) is similarly based on novelty and is not about repeating some kind of party line. Yes, it's based on study-sections and peer-review of grants, but the idea that the only studies that get funded are ones that affirm existing science is nuts, if anything it's the opposite.

Well said.

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External links[edit]



  1. Yes, it sadly is far easier for most people to dive into madness than to modify their worldview.