Mark Hoofnagle

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Mark Hoofnagle is an American surgeon, skeptic and blogger known for his commentary on the phenomenon of denialism. He earned his M.D. as well as a Ph.D. in physiology from the University of Virginia, and is a graduate of the general surgery residency program at the University of Maryland.[1] Hoofnagle's "denialism blog" is hosted by ScienceBlogs, and he also runs the website jointly with his brother Chris.

In his overall summary of denialist positions — whether regarding global warming, evolution, vaccines, HIV/AIDS, 9-11 or anything else — Hoofnagle describes denialism as being defined by "the employment of rhetorical tactics to give the appearance of argument or legitimate debate, when in actuality there is none", identifying five main tactics used by denialists: conspiracy theories, cherry picking, false experts, moving the goalposts and general logical fallacies.[2] He contends that denialist positions almost always degenerate into conspiracism, because "…denialist theories that oppose well-established science eventually need to assert deception on the part of their opponents to explain things like why every reputable scientist, journal, and opponent seems to be able to operate from the same page."[3] He's also written a how-to-guide on being a crank scholar.[4]

Mark Hoofnagle is responsible for coining the useful phrase "crank magnetism".[5]

See also[edit]

External links[edit]


  1. Graduate Fellowship and Employment History University of Maryland Medical Center (archived from September 24, 2020).
  2. Hoofnagle, Mark (11 March 2009). "Climate change deniers: failsafe tips on how to spot them". The Guardian. Retrieved 10 October 2017. 
  3. Hoofnagle, Mark. "Conspiracies". Retrieved 10 October 2017. 
  4. Hoofnagle, Mark (31 May 2007). "Everything You Wanted to Know About Being a Crank Scholar but Were Afraid to Ask". The Chronicle. Retrieved 10 October 2017. 
  5. Hoofnagle, Mark. "Crank Magnetism". Retrieved 10 October 2017.