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Psychologists Warn of a Festering ‘Anti-Enlightenment Movement’

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The Rise of the Anti-Enlightenment Movement
(Arthur Sasse/AFP/Getty Images)


In late January 2017, thousands of psychologists met in San Antonio, Texas, at the Society for Personality and Social Psychology’s annual meeting to discuss, among other subjects, why so many intelligent people have seem to be calling b.s. on science.

While some might be quick to finger the Trump administration as ground zero for the ethic, deniers of fundamental scientific fact have been around a lot longer than that. (See the Scopes Monkey Trial.) University of Oregon social psychologist Troy H. Campbell told the Los Angeles Times that the reason for the symposium would be to:

“[ask], “What are these biases leading people to resist science? Where do they come from? How do they operate, and what can be done about them?'”

Psychologists have now provided a name for this growing issue: the Anti-Enlightenment Movement. Matthew Hornsey, a professor of psychology at the University of Queensland in Australia, put it this way:

“We grew up in an era when it was just presumed that reason and evidence were the ways to understand important issues; not fear, vested interests, tradition or faith….But the rise of climate skepticism and the anti-vaccination movement made us realize that these enlightenment values are under attack.”

For more on the symposium, click here. Read the full piece from the Los Angeles Times here.

RealClearLife Staff