What is it about denialist commenters? Whether they are creationists, anti-global warming, or whatever, they have no staying power.
I some thoughts on why this is the case.
First, they are not used to people questioning them. This is a common argument from authority type of conceptual system. Many of them are very conservative Christians and they are quite used to the ‘Because I said so’ version of argumentation. Their preachers, parents, etc are not to be questioned and that’s the way it is. Questioning results in some painful life experiences. They cannot conceive that any one would not believe them or their pastor/parent/leader type.
When they post on this blog or in other forums, they literally cannot understand why people are questioning what they know is the truth. Since they don’t get the instant ‘yes, of course, it all makes sense now’ replies that they expect, they are confused and disappear.
Second, of course, is that they cannot answer the questions that are asked of them. Let’s make it very clear. These people do not understand the science, they barely understand the concept of science, much less a level of detail that is required for many of these highly complex topics.
When they get questions they either retreat to catatonia, spend an inordinate amount of time at denial websites looking for answers to the questions, or more commonly just ignore the questions. This is the usual response to me. My goals are to try and keep the denialist on topic and answering questions. Of course, I routinely get ignored and no answers to questions. Unfortunately, this is not the correct method for dealing with hard questions. The correct answer, of course, is to buckle down, study and figure out how to answer the questions.
Third, and almost painfully, is that these people have no stamina. They just aren’t interested in a dialogue. They don’t want to learn or discuss. They want to preach and then run away.
They’ll go to their pastor or teacher and tell them how awesome they are for bearding the lion in its den. Of course, we all know what the reality is.
They basically have no clue.