Some (but not all) creationists are evolution deniers: never happened, they say. And some (but not all) global warming skeptics are global warming deniers: no evidence that's happening, they say. These positions, to put it mildly, are so contradicted by a wealth of evidence that there is little point in treating those who hold them as anything other than misinformed fanatics. They will inevitably end up calling you names for threatening their belief systems.

In contrast, other creationists admit billions of years of evolution, they simply remain skeptical that the Darwinian model is sufficient to explain all of life's diversity. And, of course, there are global warming skeptics who admit that global warming occurs, but they remain unconvinced as to the seriousness of the situation, or the role of human activity in promoting it, etc. I happen to think these guys are wrong, too, but I think I can have a meaningful discussion with most of them that doesn't degenerate into name-calling.

Now here's another species of denialist: the HIV-causes-AIDS skeptic, a contrarian viewpoint that has won the approbation of some well-known scientists, such as the eccentric Nobelist Kary Mullis.* There's been a fascinating and often ferocious exchange here on Tara Smith's site. A person interested in debating denialists on the question of how a matter should be investigated will find some food for thought there.

* I'm being kind. A believer in astrology who has a troubled history with women, Mullis also believes he has had an encounter with an extraterrestrial that looked like a glowing raccoon.

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