Hello! Dawn here your A Clean Cigarette blogger. Being the A Clean Cigarette blogger means that I tend to focus most of my web surfing time on electronic cigarette related things. My husband Tyler, on the other hand, tends to look at a wide variety of topics. Every now and again a topic he stumbles across that seems unrelated to e-cigs perks my interest. That is exactly what happened today while Tyler was reading an article that talked about a new strain of fact resistant humans.
Fact Resistant Humans?
Okay I know it sounds crazy and maybe even a little condescending but let’s look at that phrase a bit. Are we in fact moving towards a fact resistant culture. One that is less driven by the evidence then they are public opinion? If so how do we inform and educate people who are resistant to facts and truths?
With all of that whirling around in my head I set off to surf and click my way to answers. What I found was both hilarious and scary.
The funny part is the original article that Tyler was reading, this is a New Yorker humor piece called “Scientists: Earth Endangered by New Strain of Fact-Resistant Humans”
“The normal functions of human consciousness have been completely nullified,” Logsdon said. While reaffirming the gloomy assessments of the study, Logsdon held out hope that the threat of fact-resistant humans could be mitigated in the future. “Our research is very preliminary, but it’s possible that they will become more receptive to facts once they are in an environment without food, water, or oxygen,” he said.”
With quotes like that one it’s pretty easy to see this was meant to be humorous but with the way the world is going, it’s hard to ignore the similarities that this “humorous” article has with our culture today.
Whenever I am interested in a topic I do what most other people do. I start with Google. As with most topics it only took a few minutes to find a few places to start. From what I could find there are actually studies done on this topic starting in the early 1900’s.
In 1994 a large peer-reviewed essay was published in Scientific America. This essay claimed to have reviewed the evidence on the topic and found that the evolution of human emotion could be having some major impact on our ability to make logical decisions based on facts and evidence.
In 2011 Mother Jones did an article called:
“The Science of Why We Don’t Believe Science”
In this article, they also talk about emotions but in the context of “motivated thinking”. Motivated thinking is the idea that we tend to find information to ration out our predisposed opinion. It can also lead to being a fact resistant human.
A very interesting quote:
“Evolution required us to react very quickly to stimuli in our environment. It’s a “basic human survival skill,” explains political scientist Arthur Lupia of the University of Michigan. We push threatening information away; pull friendly information close. We apply fight-or-flight reflexes not only to predators, but to data itself.”
I can totally see this. Even in myself. I mean I try very hard to stay unbias but let’s face it. The way we view things has to affect the way we see them too.
From there I ended up reading articles on the way the cognitive brain accepts and rejects the information that it takes in. One of these articles is called “3 Cognitive Bias that alter your thinking”
According to this article, there are three cognitive bias that we humans have.
Predictable Cognitive Biases.
“While this is slightly tongue-in-cheek, these are a few biases that are fairly consistent among people. It doesn’t take long to spot yourself using these and adjust for them.”
Cognitive Biases Effect:
- Decision making
- Probability judgments
- Perceived causes of events
- Group evaluation and selection
- Having a positive attitude towards oneself
“The tendency to look for or interpret information that confirms your preconceptions.”
After all of this I feel safe to say that it is, in fact, possible that many people in our society are fact resistant humans, but not necessarily because they want to be fact, resistant humans. It may be just a case of evolution and nature. But that does not make it okay. We as a people need to break this trend and start really putting facts and evidence above social norms.
How it all relates to electronic cigarettes…
To me the link between fact resistant humans and e-cigarettes are direct. We see opposition from every corner, most of which is based on the emotions of people vs the facts of the matter. And we get it.
Burning tobacco has killed soooooooo many people how could folks NOT be affected by emotions? When these people see e-cigarettes they just see another cigarette, not an option. They do not see the millions of smokers who are changing their lives and they refuse to see the evidence but not because they are horrible people. It’s just because they may be a fact resistant human.
We owe it to our fact resistant buddies to help them overcome this issue. We can do that by repeatedly sharing the evidence and facts. They may be fact resistant but that does not mean they are fact immune. With enough facts and enough education, the truth will have to prevail.
The Evidence Needed to Win the Fight
Like I said above, we need to get the evidence out there. So here I am going to link a bunch of options from this blog for you to share. Please help us spread this information. Planting the seeds of truth will take every click possible.
Nicotine, Carcinogen, and Toxin Exposure in Long-Term E-Cigarette and Nicotine Replacement Therapy Users: A Cross-sectional Study (blog)
As long as they are resisting facts we need to push facts. If you have questions or comments about this or any of our blogs feel free to leave a comment. Or you can reach out to me on our A Clean Cigarette main headquarters Facebook page. I would love to hear from you. Thanks again for stopping by!