Thursday, September 08, 2005

Science and Reality

Why are so many U. S. citizens completely ignorant of the most basic concepts of science? Why do so many U. S. citizens hate science?

One reason is that science explains nature as it is in the raw. The truths of science are not always palatable. Science tells us there is higher probability than we once imagined that an asteroid will hit earth in the near future and will cause worldwide environmental devastation. Science tells us species evolve right before our eyes. We will always be fighting viral and bacterial diseases because those species mutate, which means they evolve. Science tells us that the rapid extinction of species will have deleterious and unpredictable consequences for the environment. Science tells us we are undergoing rapid global warming and what to expect when that happens.

These are not value judgments. Science studies nature as it is and predicts how things will be. Yet, people hate science for this. People want science to be about value judgments, but science doesn't care about value judgments. It cares about matters of fact.

People turn to their religious texts for science, but there is no science in those texts. Religion comes naturally to us. People find it far easier to superficially read a religious text than a popular science article in a newspaper, magazine, or on the Internet. They take the easy road to belief even if there is no basis for the belief.

Pseudo-science has proliferated on the Internet. The owners of these sites come mostly from Right Wing and New Age groups. The truly scary part is that a lot of college students turn to these sources for their basic scientific information. When you look at the source of the information from these sites, you quickly discover that none of it is sourced from reputable scientific research. The owners of these sites are going to one Hell of a lot of work to obfuscate scientific issues and facts.

It will do the haters of science no good to curse the facts of science. They may as well curse the multiplication table while they are at it.

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