As Cornelius Hunter noted in a recent post on the growing public mistrust of science, a HuffPost/YouGov poll showed that nearly three out of five Americans trust information from scientists “only a little or not at all”. Four out of five feel that way about information from science journalists. (Poll here.)
Poll results are revealing, but principally if you understand what conversations, debates, and struggles underlie them.
Here’s an example: From the December 16, 2013, Harris poll, we learn: that “Americans’ Belief in God, Miracles and Heaven Declines” but “Belief in Darwin’s theory of evolution rises.” Here are the detailed tables, which contain some highly significant and much less publicized information: The young, who credit Darwin much more than their elders, also credit UFO’s, astrology, witches, and reincarnation much more than their elders.
The poll probably captures the slow decline in rationally held belief. That is, the same person who is unsure whether there is a God may very well believe in ghosts, witches, and Darwin all at once. And that is no surprise. The message from cosmology today is, the universe need not make sense. And that’s okay.
And you should trust science to about the same extent as you trust that girl who said she wouldn’t tell anyone what you told her.
See also: ”Science Fictions”
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