How our why study political science pdf fool us on climate, creationism, and the vaccine-autism link. The science of why people don’t believe in science. Looking for news you can trust?
Subscribe to our free newsletters. Tell him you disagree and he turns away. Show him facts or figures and he questions your sources. Appeal to logic and he fails to see your point. Americans today, of what we know about global warming and its human causes. The group was led by Dorothy Martin, a Dianetics devotee who transcribed the interstellar messages through automatic writing.
Through her, the aliens had given the precise date of an Earth-rending cataclysm: December 21, 1954. Some of Martin’s followers quit their jobs and sold their property, expecting to be rescued by a flying saucer when the continent split asunder and a new sea swallowed much of the United States. The disciples even went so far as to remove brassieres and rip zippers out of their trousers—the metal, they believed, would pose a danger on the spacecraft. Festinger and his team were with the cult when the prophecy failed. Then December 21 arrived without incident. It was the moment Festinger had been waiting for: How would people so emotionally invested in a belief system react, now that it had been soundly refuted?
Read also: the truth about Climategate. At first, the group struggled for an explanation. But then rationalization set in. A new message arrived, announcing that they’d all been spared at the last minute. The little group, sitting all night long, had spread so much light that God had saved the world from destruction. Their willingness to believe in the prophecy had saved Earth from the prophecy!
From that day forward, the Seekers, previously shy of the press and indifferent toward evangelizing, began to proselytize. The devastation of all they had believed had made them even more certain of their beliefs. In the annals of denial, it doesn’t get much more extreme than the Seekers. They lost their jobs, the press mocked them, and there were efforts to keep them away from impressionable young minds. But while Martin’s space cult might lie at on the far end of the spectrum of human self-delusion, there’s plenty to go around. And since Festinger’s day, an array of new discoveries in psychology and neuroscience has further demonstrated how our preexisting beliefs, far more than any new facts, can skew our thoughts and even color what we consider our most dispassionate and logical conclusions.