Distrust of science is killing us

Some people distrust science to the point where they destroy their kid’s economic futures.   By not encouraging their kids to learn science but actively teaching them non-science (creationism, for instance), we end up with adults who do not understand logic, proof, evidence, and the scientific theory and can’t compete with those who are actually educated.

But this hatred of science hurts us in other ways, too.  For instance, denying climate change means we are doing nothing about it — leading to deadly storms, mudslides, fires, and devastation.  vaccine

And this isn’t limited to conservatives (as I have pointed out before).  There are liberals who laugh at those who deny evolution while they refuse to vaccinate their kids because of some internet rumor they read somewhere.

This is killing us.

You can’t pick and choose what science to believe.  Science doesn’t care what you believe, anyway — the fact that you don’t believe in science doesn’t make it not true.

But for some reason, people listen to non-scientists when they make up their minds.  Donald Trump is one of those idiots who tweets about vaccinations while his New York city suffers from record-breaking measels and mumps outbreaks.  Washington state has a whooping cough epidemic.  There’s even a worry that polio could come back.  Polio!

Somehow, there is a complete independent streak in America that is so strong that we refuse to listen to experts and “elitists” who know things, and almost always to our detriment.  As Isaac Asimov once said, “There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that “my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge.”

 

2 thoughts on “Distrust of science is killing us

  1. “You can’t pick and choose what science to believe.”

    I disagree with this statement. It is through the disbelief of what people hold as scientific fact that advances are made. It is really easy for us to look back at what was scientific fact one day and then disproven the next and say “well of course that was wrong.” But what do we hold today in science that will be disproven tomorrow?

    Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that removing vaccines will be proven later to be the correct course. But science is advanced when it is challenged, reinvestigated and new theories arise. Is wide spread disbelief dangerous? Absolutely. But picking which ones to believe ((Evolution is how the world came to be the way it is)) and which ones to doubt ((Time Travel is an impossibility)) leads to new discoveries.

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    • I think you’re reading more into that sentence than was meant. 🙂

      What people are doing is picking and choosing science based on their personal beliefs and not on facts and evidence. Disbelieving in evolution or climate change or vaccines because it disrupts your world view is wrong; disbelieving because new evidence has come to light to challenge these things is completely different.

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