|Images (mostly) by Basil Wolverton|
Here's an argument I get from one particularly rabid Science True Believer (specifically about man-made global warming, but it could apply to any controversy):
"Oh, are you kidding me! If somebody could disprove global warming (evolution, vaccines, etc.) do you know how famous they'd be? Scientists would LOVE to make a discovery like that. They can't do it though!
But yeah, scientists love to pick apart each other's ideas... they're always sniping at each other, trying to find the flaws in each others' research... If anybody could disprove global warming, they'd ABSOLUTELY do so, because it would make their career!"
Et cetera, and so on. I think I have given the gist of the argument, and the tone, if not the exact words used.
There are two things that make this difficult to refute, in the midst of a lively conversation with multiple parties jumping in and diverting:
1) The total incredulity at any challenges to their idea (note exclamation points, and emphatic all-caps words.) They basically don't want to hear another point of view, and barely listen to anything you say.
2) My response is sort of complex, difficult to put in a sound-bite or short phrase. It strains the amount of attention-span they are willing to give me. I have, like, 5 seconds to make my case, and then they may interrupt, go off on something else, make a joke, get distracted, etc.