[identity profile] ddstory.livejournal.com
Hitting straight on the monthly topic. Indeed, it's a horse I've been flogging for, like, forever. I'd argue that the current anti-scientific trend among modern societies largely comes from the fact that science is not about knowing "The Truth"(TM), it's about looking for a better understanding of reality. Which implies a great deal of uncertainty, and the acknowledgement that we don't possess the monopoly on "Truth", but rather we're on an eternal journey towards it. At least that's what the scientific method is about. And there's the problem: people want to have a sense of certainty, security, a feeling that they're stepping on firm ground. Which is where superstition comes from, and irrationality, and religion, etc.

And I'm not talking about usual fringe battle-fronts like creationism or flat-Earthers, I'm actually talking of much more down-to-Earth topics like climate change for example. The fact that we might be fast approaching an era where the staple defenses such as evidence and not being suddenly censored are probably going to be under increased threat, is not helping much in that respect, either. Something tells me it'll be ever harder to argue with people who don't even know the full extent of what they don't know - and on top of that, do not want to know.

A recent (and quite intriguing) paper called "When science becomes too easy: Science popularization inclines laypeople to underrate their dependence on experts" argues that it's the rise of science communication that might be the cause of rising distrust in experts, which is quite a unusual thought, but it may have a point when you think of it. Again, the disadvantage of science communication is that it's full of words like probably, maybe, possible, roughly, estimated, hypothesized - which hardly sounds convincing enough to the layperson, who, like I said, would rather deal in absolutes. Be it due to intellectual laziness or some other reason.

So how do we deal with this problem? Before a rather lengthy rant - here's an informative laugh with John Oliver on the subject:

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Talk Politics.
A place to discuss politics without egomaniacal mods



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It's said that "If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention." Sadly most people think being outraged is the point, and the paying attention part is optional.

July 2017

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