Great article in the latest Scientific American by Daniel T. Willingham. He is a professor of psychology at the University of Virginia and the author of “Why Don’t Students Like School?”. His article discusses why so many people choose not to believe what scientists say, so is of direct interest to skeptics.
A friend of mine has long held that a vaccination his son received as an infant triggered his child’s autism. He clings to this belief despite a string of scientific studies that show no link between autism and vaccines. When the original paper on such a link was recently discredited as a fraud, my friend’s reaction was that it will now be more difficult to persuade people of the dangers of vaccination. He is not alone: nearly half of all Americans believe in the vaccine-autism link or are unsure about it.