There is a phenomenon which encompasses such groups. It is loosely described as 'Group Conformity', but it is also now recognised in the journal, Nature - [link] which offers a scientific perspective on such stupidity and intransigence in the face of bare facts. The paper deals with political conformity, but may just as easily describe the attitude of most of the high profile badgerists 'networking' under Dr. May's banner, 'Save Me'..
Some snippets from the paper:
"... resistance to evidence may entail disengagement from external reality and increased inward focus."and ...
"Defending one’s beliefs against challenging evidence is a form of internally directed cognition, involving both disconnection from the externally presented evidence and a search through memory for relevant counterarguments."and ...
".... when people are confronted with challenges to their deeply held beliefs, they preferentially engage brain structures known to support stimulus-independent, internally directed cognition".In other words, when people have settled on their particular beliefs, they shut off external stimuli and rely on an internal stock of arguments to validate them. They create their own bubble and dwell within it.
Having witnessed this over two long decades, (twenty years in which GB slaughtered half a million sentinel reactor cattle) we'll go with that explanation from our co-editor..
And then there is, as we have pointed out before. the 'gold standard' of disease transmission, familiar to epidemiologists if not to many others with obscure degrees, or no scientific background at all. These are a short list of 'postulates' which, if fulfilled, it may be assumed disease transmission will occur to any vulnerable species. A 'scientist' does not need to observe such transmission happening or have recorded such an event.
First described by Professor Koch in 1884, updated several times since, most notably by Evans in 1977 and then again by our co-editor a century after the initial finding.
This is pure epidemiology, where if certain events happen, (causality) then how transmission occurs does not need further investigation. Such transmission can be assumed. And searching Parliamentary questions aimed at just that conclusion, formed the anchor of this website in 2004. The answers we received showed that the postulates of zoonotic Tuberculosis transmission from badgers were fulfilled. There was no need for the £squillions spent on spurious research, which sadly still goes on. The recipients of this largesse are not any sort of solution, but the main part of the problem.
These early postulates from Koch upgraded by Evans include:
* Disease should follow exposure to the putative agentBut as we pointed out in 2014 - [link] , how this Grade 3 zoonotic, bacteriological killer has been handled in this country over the last three decades make no sense whatsoever; biological, epidemiological or any other descriptive term Defra can dream up.
• Exposure increases disease incidence prospectively
* Exposure increases disease prevalence
• Exposure to the cause more common in those with the disease than those without ceteris paribus
• Dose-response relationship.
* Experimental reproduction of the disease possible
• Measurable host response following exposure to the cause
• Elimination of putative cause reduces incidence
• Prevention of the host‘s response eliminates the disease
• The whole thing should make biologic and epidemiological sense.
And from the past history of the listed attendees at Brian May's Symposium, we do not expect any more sense to emerge. Only Oliver Twist's begging bowl, for more research.
As one of our more acerbic contributors pointed out, the most helpful thing anyone could do to eradicate zoonotic Tuberculosis from our country's cattle, goats, sheep, pigs, alpacas, cats and their owners - and its maintenance host, badgers - was when Dr. May's badgerists were all safely in one place, lock the door.
And throw away the key.