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The question isn’t how scientists lose the average layman

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It’s why we pay taxes for this stuff:

I had occasion to read a rather lengthy essay this week by the Washington Post’s science reporter, Joel Achenbach, which left me feeling not only annoyed but somewhat insulted. Titled, “Why science is so hard to believe” the article didn’t spend much time talking about specific theories under debate, but rather chose to focus on all of you out there in the hoi polloi and why you have such a difficult time sitting down quietly and listening to your betters.

I invite you to go through it yourself because there’s a lot of material to cover. But I would point out just one example of the overriding theme which is present throughout and it relates to plenty of contentious issues debated in political circles today. In this section, the author cites a study which he provides as compelling evidence that the stupid people (and that would be most of us) aren’t really evil or disingenuous when we don’t accept every conclusion spoon fed to us by the scientific community… we just don’t know any better. And the cause is rooted in our lizard brain genes. More.

They might be right if we all swallow it and no one protests. And no one is accountable for grievous wrongs or silencing any reporting thereof.

But hey, closing our religion coverage for the day: This is not a convention of BioLogos (Christian Darwinists). We think that that a consensus could be wrong.

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27 Replies to “The question isn’t how scientists lose the average layman

  1. 1
    bornagain77 says:

    OT: Newest lecture by Dr. Paul Giem
    Eugene Koonin and the Origin of Life 3-7-2015 by Paul Giem – video
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gkB8VcfvcBQ&index=17&list=PLHDSWJBW3DNUUhiC9VwPnhl-ymuObyTWJ

  2. 2
    rvb8 says:

    Most of humanity is pretty stupid News, hence safety belt and helmet laws, smoke free zones and sugar substitutes. If scientists didn’t tell us to buckleup, and legislators didn’t accept their findings, you would probably be happily driving your car without protection.

    Condoms help prevent AIDS, pollution is not a good thing, ‘A Silent Spring’ woke us up.

    Scientists largely drag us kicking and screeming into the reality we created; they do a good job.

    Your reluctance to accept their findings is a phenomenon which is shared by many. This is one of the reasons our world is so butchered.

    If you have to trust someone, trust scientists. The alternative, polsters, politicians, bloggers, businessmen, the clergy, is simply not an alternative. If they are arrogant it’s probably for a reason, and that would be that they know most other people are just really dense.

  3. 3
    Seversky says:

    The consensus of ordinary people had the sun going around the Earth for thousands of years because that’s what it looks like. That consensus, as we now know, was wrong. But it took the patient work of a few dedicated scientists to show how and why it was wrong and, most importantly, to replace it with a better explanation.

    It doesn’t matter whether it’s the consensus or some maverick genius who’s right. What matters is what’s the best explanation.

  4. 4
    humbled says:

    “If you have to trust someone, trust scientists.” Yeah right. Scientists today are no different than politicians and since the evolution industry is calling the shots (and paying the bills) science is corrupted and forced to fit the evolutionary narrative.

    Take for instance creation science. All the experiments and evidence they produce provides evidence for a young earth and supports a strict literal genesis account of creation. They achieve this by manipulating results, conducting predetermined experiments and interpret the evidence in a way the supports their worldview.

    The global warming nutters do the same and so do the evolution sponsored science establishments. Science is made to support whoever is paying the bills.

    The public is very right to question and remain highly sceptical of the motives of today’s so called intellectual elite. The evolution industry pays well. Scientists got bills to pay 😉

    Oh and Rvb8, “the reasons our world is so butchered” is because atheist’s and their anti human agenda(s) have been allowed to dominate science in the past. The public will hopefully not make that same mistake again.

  5. 5
    humbled says:

    Resistance is most likely due to the public’s distrust of big business. Since science today is married to big business it is easy to see how our scientific establishments can be coerced and manipulated.

    Science was dictated to and dominated by the catholic church back in the day just the same as it governed and manipulated today by the evolution industry.

  6. 6
    humbled says:

    Global warming, over population and Darwinian evolution are just a few of the many pseudo scientific theories the public are expected to accept nowadays. Perhaps before easy access to education and the internet, people could be forgiven for being misled, but today, there is no excuse.

    The so called “brights” are just frustrated because their personal philosophical and religious agendas and not moving along as quickly as they had hoped.

  7. 7
    rvb8 says:

    It appears I am more humbled than ‘humbled’. I have no problem ‘humbled’, in accepting that there are people considerably more intelligent than me, News and yourself appear unable to recognise this.

    The whole point of many of News’s posts seem to be directed at some poorly defined conspiracy; as a matter of fact much of ID postings seem similarly motivated.

    The beauty of science of course is that it is impervious to these fatuous emotions and continues in its slow painstaking progress.

    This gives me hope. As to the ‘global warming nutters’. Sorry, the world wide insurance industry, the US government, the EU, India, and China, and the US Navy, etc are all on board with the SCIENCE. Your lonely squawking is becoming lonelier, I know this is bitter for you to accept. But who knows, the damage done by the markets may mean global devastation is unavoidable any way; Christ might turn up.

  8. 8
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Rvb. The problem isn’t science . It’s when scientists bring their worldview into science and make philosophical statements through their biased interpretations of the data .

    Your belief that only scientists know truth is one such philosophical contention called scientism, and it’s the worldview of people that don’t spend enough time doing critical thinking and real reasoning .

    Your whole post is an example if just such a person.

    If you believe that science knows it all then tell me how science can determine whether something is objectively good or objectively evil.

    Your post shows a disturbing lack of critical thinking and reasoning , and this is why we should never let some guy working in lab attempt to make statements of truth.

    And for your information there have been a great many theologian that have come up with some brilliant masterpieces of philosophy which takes a different kind of reasoning that science provides .

    Do us all a favor buddy and leave the critical thinking to the critical thinkers .
    Your post is filled with unsubstantiated drivel .
    Scientism is trash which belongs in the garbage .

  9. 9
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Rob, no one here has a problem believing that there are people here smarter then us . The problem we have is when they start to make pronouncement a that are outside of their field of expertise .

    And science is unfortunately littered these days with such people .
    Dawkins , neil degrassi tyson are 2 of many such examples .

    And when they go out of their field of expertise they seem to me exactly how u are looking to me . A person who simply doesn’t know what their talking about, and every village has one of those , and lo and behold , they have something in common with u besides making category mistakes in their statements , they are atheists .

    And like anything else science can be hijacked by people with an ideological agenda , just as it is being hijacked now by methodological materialists and physicalists .

    Sorry but scientists are supposed to do science , not make stupid statements like neil tyson did by saying that the designer makes stupid designs , he I I could demolish him on that statem et within 5 minutes and make him look like a sophomoric philosophical nitwit.

    Dude peddle your horse manure in a place where people may believe it .

  10. 10
    Mapou says:

    rvb8:

    If you have to trust someone, trust scientists.

    Don’t trust anyone, especially the ones who ask for your trust. They are the least worthy of trust. Soon, we’ll have robots to replace them all. LOL.

  11. 11
    wallstreeter43 says:

    “”The consensus of ordinary people had the sun going around the Earth for thousands of years because that’s what it looks like. That consensus, as we now know, was wrong. But it took the patient work of a few dedicated scientists to show how and why it was wrong and, most importantly, to replace it with a better explanation.””

    Very good man, so that also means that Darwinian evolution which is the consensus should be allowed by the scientific community to be critiqued be chase as you have so eloquently shown us just because something is the consensus does t mean that it’s the truth.

    Seversky , thank you so much for such a very well thought out post .
    Is say it’s post of the year , and why we should keep fighting to make sure that true science is practiced as no scientific theory should be immune from critique as science would never progress if it did, and also thank you for telling that scientists are out of their element in making philosophical statements .

    Seversky I’m officially nominating you for post of the year here. I’ll be waiting for you to come out of the closet and join us theists

    Amazingly brilliant post 😉

  12. 12
    Curly Howard says:

    At the very least, “if you have to trust someone on a scientific topic, trust a scientist who studies that topic.”

    Unfortunately, you guys choose to ignore 99.999% of biologists on the topic of evolution and instead listen to the 0.001%

    Oh well, you can’t fix stupid.

  13. 13
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Mapou at least with the robots they will be worldview neutral as science is supposed to be instead of the religious cult of atbeism that pervades the philosophically simple thought patterns of the atheists on this blog .

    This was written so eloquently by sir francis bacon when he said
    “”A little philosophy inclineth man’s mind to atheism; but depth in philosophy bringeth men’s minds about to religion.””

  14. 14
    Curly Howard says:

    Unfortunately, wallstreaker, the geocentric idea was an unscientific consensus.
    Evolution is a scientific consensus. You’re going to need to refute it with a lot of what I assume is “creation science” to support your worldview. Good luck with that.

  15. 15
    kairosfocus says:

    Curl, wrong. First, geocentrism stands on the fact that the earth seems to be at rest and the sky and its objects to be in motion. Those are strong apparent facts that deserved to be taken at face value until shown to be relative. By 300 or a little later BC, it was understood that the shadow of Earth on the moon in a lunar eclipse points to a ball-like shape and a good estimate for circumference was calculated. Distance and scaling of the Moon followed, Scaling distance to the sun is harder. But in Almagest it was understood distance to the stars was immense, reducing Earth to a dot by comparison. Columbus’s dispute was over the SIZE of earth, and his critics were right, though he knew how to sail out and back on observed winds and also that something was in about 3 months’ sailing reach. By c 1600, the debates over overly complex wheels within wheels put Brahe’s system as best simplest explanation. (Galileo cheated by putting the debate between Copernican and Ptolemaic.) Kepler’s work on Brahe’s explanation — largely passed over by Galileo — led to the concept of heliocentric, elliptical orbits. But full empirical confirmation was not there until C19. Geocentrism, at its time, was not anti- or un- scientific stupidity, but a reasonable empirical picture, replaced after observation and analysis. And, on the pessimistic induction, long term scientific theories can expect to be overturned. We need to move on beyond naive school science scientism to a broader understanding of the underlying logic, epistemology and general worldviews issues. KF

  16. 16
    wallstreeter43 says:

    Kairos, this is the part where curly ignores what you just said because his religiously atheistic motivations and ignorance of scientific history has been exposed.

    Curly will follow the scientific consensus …….. As lomg as it agrees with his atheistic worldview but as soon as it doesn’t (his apparent ignorance of geocentrism ) , he will deceive of ignore .

    This is why no one calls atheists freethinkers but atheists themselves .
    So much for the brites critical thinking in action 😉

    And instead of an intellectual objection we see an exposed objection coming from pure emotion 😉

  17. 17
    kairosfocus says:

    Wall, sadly, you are likely to be correct. Often, it takes an existential crisis and linked deep pain to shake up comfortable, socially reinforced views. KF

  18. 18
    awstar says:

    In referenced tweet:

    Theory to me == established truth.

    a sincere question.

    Which theories turned out NOT to be established truth?

  19. 19
    Box says:

    Kairosfocus:

    Often, it takes an existential crisis and linked deep pain to shake up comfortable, socially reinforced views.

    Like lying on one’s deathbed? Maybe for some of them experiences of that magnitude finally take away the urge to pray long and hard for life to be meaningless.

  20. 20
    kairosfocus says:

    AW, Try the line of thought: Aristotelian & Ptolemaic thought on physics, the scholastic impetus synthesis, the Copernican- Keplerian- Galilean- Newtonian revolution and Newtonian Dynamics, Classical Electromagnetism and now Relativity and Quantum physics. Across time major accepted theories get materially modified or outright replaced. KF

  21. 21
    kairosfocus says:

    Box, sometimes. Sometimes it takes a cultural or institutional crisis such as the collapse of Marxism. It was amazing to see what happened to staunch Communists in their old stomping grounds when that happened. KF

  22. 22
    Curly Howard says:

    Kairos, the publication of “On the revolutions of heavenly bodies” was the first scientific study of cosmology. It was not until this study that a truly scientific approach was used and the results challenged the views of both Copernicus’ peers and the church.
    Sure geocentric ideas were “reasonable” at the time, but as you said, “after observation and analysis,” a clearer picture emerges of what’s really going on.
    Evolution is backed by “observation and analysis” from the past 200+ years.
    Like I said, you guys are going to need a lot of “creation science” to support your worldview. Good luck!

    What’s wrong wallstreaker? You need kairos to fight your battles for you?

  23. 23
    Axel says:

    ‘If you have to trust someone, trust scientists.’

    The first impression on reading that is that it’s a joke. Like, ‘Trust me. I’m a politician.’ Well, of course there is a close connection there, as was pointed out upthread by humbled.

    On the other hand, where our hegemonic atheist science is concerned, I’m not sure a closer analogy might not be the very officious woman pushing her way through a crowd at the scene of a traffic accident, calling out, ‘Let me through!Let me through! I’m a beautician!’

  24. 24
    Robert Byers says:

    Scientists are seen as more intelligent and then more careful in drawing their conclusions. In short scientists practice the scientific method.
    Its hard for regular people to deny their conclusions once asserted.
    Hard to deny anybody who knows their job.
    The creationist point is about probing things.
    We say they don’t prove and we can prove the opposite.
    We are the scientists to be trusteed if you will on origin matters.
    It can come down to cage fights about the facts however authority means much to everyone.

  25. 25
    rvb8 says:

    The post by News is how science is creating a wall between itself and the public; I don’t believe it is, in fact I would say it is the reverse of this absurd claim.

    Science writers are extremely popular and read widely, evolution wins in all court cases (barring Tennessee in 1925). Scientists increasingly influence policy (the acceptance by all countries of AGW), and science is squarely central to News’s Vatican policies.

    Recently the 2015 National People’s Congress of China concluded with a stark warning from Scientists about threats to the environment.

    Certainly in parts of Midle America science is ostracized, but the EU, USA, China and other governments are accepting of their findings: Sorry News, this doesn’t sound like, losing laymen.

  26. 26
    Marfin says:

    The people who have commented so far about trusting science don’t understand you can only trust the science if its done correctly, science is a methodology not an absolute.I trust in mathematics,can a maths professor make a mistake of course he can so trusting in maths is not the same as trusting in mathematicians.Every great leap forward in science come`s from going against the consensus not going along with it.So the mothers of thalidomide children right to trust the scientist who made the drug or not, please tell me, Maybe the scientist were trying to tell them that there children were fine sure you mothers are not scientist`s what would you know.

  27. 27
    liljenborg says:

    The reason the “average layman” doesn’t trust “science” is because we read about science all the time. For most of my life “scientists” warned us not to eat eggs or too much sodium. Now scientists say, “not so much.” Coffee is net beneficial according to the latest studies out this week, and chocolate not (I think, it’s hard to keep up with what the “experts” say we should eat.) When I was in elementary school, scientists said pollution was reducing the amount of sunlight hitting the earth’s surface and would cause an ice age. Now scientists say human generated pollution will cause the earth to warm up, or maybe not so much warm up as change. I either case there appears to be a common bug-a-boo: human generated pollution. In other words, it doesn’t take a PhD in environmental science to detect a political agenda here driving the “science”.

    Rvb, you mentioned up in your first post that “Silent Spring” woke us up, yet what little “science” Ms. Carson (note: not doctor, she had no degree) based her conclusion that DDT was going to kill all the birds has been thoroughly debunked. And the public policy based on her “science” (a word which here means her sensational, unscientific claims) has, since the international DDT ban, caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of people. In fact, scientists now are claiming that back in the 70s scientists weren’t actually saying that pollution would cause an ice age, even though the theory was all over Life, Time, and the 1974 world’s fair I went to in Spokane (which also, as I recall, featured a cute little skit with ladybugs battling and evil can of bug spray based on “Silent Spring”). Sure “global cooling” it was in the popular media back then, they say, but not the Journals. Of course, now-a-days the popular media generally presents a united front on issues like global warming and evolution, but the technical journals reveal a lot of holes in those theories no one is supposed to talk about, lest they confuse the “laymen” out there.

    When watching Dr. Neil Tyson’s reboot of Cosmos, it didn’t take a degree in astrophysics to notice how much of his broadcast time was eaten up, not by science, but on attacks on religion. It doesn’t take a degree in English to note how in Nature or National Geographic articles on evolution the science (the actual experiments and observations made by the biologist) suddenly shifts to subjunctive “maybes”, “mights”, and “possiblies” when they actually get to the part of the article that deals with their evolutionary extrapolations. Maybe we’ve just been trained by all those postmodernists too well to look for the political agenda buried in communication. This is even more true the more we find out about how the gatekeepers at the journals prevent the publication of studies and articles that don’t fit the narrative of the “consensus”.

    The “laymen” have done the science: we’ve learned by experience to take scientists shouting “wolf”, with a grain of salt, especially when the cry is intended to shape public policy. The “new studies out” next week will all show that the “new studies out” this week were all off base somehow.

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