I've spent some time observing amateur religious apologetics, and my feeling is that #science and apologetics are precise opposites.

Science starts with observation and reaches conclusion.

Apologetics start with a conclusion and re-interpret observations to fit.
The same rational method (starting from a conclusion) is observable in other types of denialism. #FlatEarthers are a clear illustration, as they reinterpret everything we know about our Solar System, but you see it in vaccine denial and AIDS denialist movements.
Lastly, I think you can see it in how we rationalize our political positions. You may have noticed that no matter what Trump does, his base find a charitable or positive interpretation. Same is no doubt true for past Democratic presidents.
I keep hoping that people will finally cross a line and come to a realization by sheer force of fact... but that assumes a rational, evidence->conclusion mentality. For so many emotional topics, we humans revert to conclusion->evidence apologetics.
No matter what happens, there will still be a solid group who are in apologetics mode. The more painful it becomes to admit they are wrong, the more deeply invested they become, the more fervent the rationalization process.

I don't think you convince an apologist with facts.
To be honest, I don't know how you convince an apologist at all... I never managed it directly.

Any ideas?

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More from @c0nc0rdance

Sep 18, 2018
#Texas political affiliation, according to 2014 Pew Survey.

Top level: Texas is a preponderance Democrat state run almost entirely by Republicans. In some areas, the only challenger to Republican candidate is a Libertarian.

Let's drill down one level...
A mystery starts to unravel. Texans who are strongly Republican. Latinos are mixed/lean Democrat, and blacks are Democrat.

This makes voting rights and gerrymandering issues extremely important to how a Republican minority dominates elections in a state with equal D & R.
Correction: Texans who are *white are strongly Republican.
Read 4 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
Richard Feynman, "The Uncertainty of Science"
"Scientists, therefore, are used to dealing with doubt and uncertainty. All scientific knowledge is uncertain. This experience with doubt and uncertainty is important." /1
"I believe that it is of very great value, and one that extends beyond the sciences. I believe that to solve any problem that has never been solved before, you have to leave the door to the unknown ajar." /2
"You have to permit the possibility that you do not have it exactly right. Otherwise, if you have made up your mind already, you might not solve it." /3
Read 7 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
Strap in for some crazy #Texas #history:
"The time they lynched Santa Claus for robbing a bank."

Let me set a scene:
1927: Texas Banker's Assn. responds to rash of bank robberies (3-4/day) by offering $5K reward for shooting a bank robber in the act.
Group of 4 criminals plan December 1927 heist of Cisco, TX bank:
1. Robert Hill
2. Harry Helms
3. Marshall Ratliff
4. Louis Davis
Ratliff was veteran bank robber, Helms and Hill he knew from Huntsville prison.
Davis was a cousin of Helms brought in because safe cracker got flu.
Ratliff borrows a Santa Claus suit from boarding house, dropped off blocks away, followed by children as decoy for entry of the 4 men through alley entrance of bank.
Read 11 tweets
Sep 16, 2018
Unintentional drowning rate tells an interesting story to me.
It's *almost* completely preventable, in principle...
but are there narratives we can construct from the data?
By age:
- Under 1 yr old are high risk for drowning in bathtubs.
- 1--4 yr olds more likely to drown in swimming pools or lakes/ponds
- Older ppl drowning deaths show a broad distribution of locations.
Breaking out just 1-4 yr old deaths, boys more than twice as likely as girls to die from drowning, and the rates are largely unchanged for drowning 1999-2010.

Over that same period, MVA deaths decreased, likely reflecting public health regulation and education.
Read 5 tweets
Sep 4, 2018
I understand a lot of people don't like George W. Bush for very legitimate reasons (he was deeply flawed & not up to the job most days) ... but you have to admit that he really seemed to have cared about people, individually.
He would have made a fine youth minister, or small business ower, because I believe in his heart, he cared about people he met.

My wife met him during his years as TX Gov. when she was donating blood, and he spent some time joking with her, thanking her, being kind.
If I'm being critical: he was the Peter Principle, applied to the US Presidency. He was barely an adequate Gov, and he failed his way upwards.

But, again, I think he had heart and compassion, at least for the people he met in person.
Read 4 tweets
Aug 31, 2018
In 1784, a Royal Commission headed by Benjamin Franklin & Antoine Lavoisier designed a series of experiments to debunk France's greatest medical rogue, Anton Mesmer, and his bizarre healing of illnesses based on his bogus theory of animal magnetism.
Let that sink in:
Lavoisier was the father of chemistry.
Franklin did experiments in physics, was an avid inventor.
They took on the fraud that gave us the word "mesmerize".
And the process they developed was the blueprint for every CLINICAL TRIAL of modern times.
Also on the commission that invented the concept of blinded clinical trials, was a Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, whose invention was to become important in French politics.
Read 6 tweets

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