Skip to main content

View Diary: Unscientific America — Denying Science at Our Peril (20 comments)

Comment Preferences

  •  I'm with you, although (0+ / 0-)

    I am so fed up with all political parties I am an unaffiliated independent voter.

    Although I am a card carrying member of the skeptical movement I don't view the problem as being ignorance of science per se, but a more fundamental one where people simply don't know how to think logically. The Greeks were on to something when they focused on grammar, logic and rhetoric as the foundation of their "classical education". The Greeks then built on that base to include "sciency" topics like geometry, arithmetic and astronomy. But the core subjects of logic and rhetoric are life skills that can be brought to bear in lots of daily decision making that do not require a knowledge of science. Too many people today confuse rationalization with reason. If people, for example, were taught about Ad Hominem arguments and the Appeal to Authority Fallacy as children, they might be more likely to formulate sane arguments as adults.

    But speaking of science, I read recently (sorry I lost the link) about a scientific paper that basically says it is all but mathematically impossible for a democratic society to pick the best, most competent leaders among its citizenry. In a nutshell, the number of people who only think they are intelligent and informed outnumbers those of us who are (/irony). That was Alexander Hamilton 's point when he strenuously argued, ultimately unsuccessfully, against giving every man the right to vote at the Constitutional Convention. Of course, the meritocratic government he was advocating would have had its own issues. Ultimately we are left with Winston Churchill's line that "Democracy is the worst form of government, except all the others that have been tried." He also said, "The best argument against Democracy is a five minute discussion with the average voter."

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site