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View Diary: Hunting Galileo: The Right's War on Science (125 comments)

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  •  Education is key (13+ / 0-)

    For someone with no relevant education, the decision whether to accept "evolution" or "intelligent design" is nothing more than the decision about which authority to accept. Some choose a church or a religious person, some choose institutionalized science, but neither choice is based on understanding. The phenomenon whereby, for sociological or political reasons, certain authorities are seen as allies and others are seen as antagonists, can only be overcome by education of the most serious sort, that which teaches the student to think for him or her self. The problem is that the discourse conducive to such education inevitably loses out in the media to the glib and truculent discourse of the snake oil salesmen. Nonetheless, one must persist.

    The Republicans, who are closely allied with the snake oil salesmen, understand this just fine, which is why they constantly attack funding of things that serve to educate.

    •  a really excellent observation (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ChemBob, Kysen, mightymouse

      if conservatives could find a reality-based leader with enough spine to stand up to the deniers, there might be a chance

      "We struck down evil with the mighty sword of teamwork and the hammer of not bickering!" - The Shoveler

      by Pandoras Box on Thu Mar 17, 2011 at 05:05:34 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  One can choose to believe the authorities (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Kysen, sricki

      with evidence or the ones who have nothing but belief based on a 2500 year old book.

      You are right about education; children MUST begin to be taught critical thinking, logic, and evidence-based reasoning from a very early age. Otherwise our society will continue to be manipulated by greed and charlatanism. They know this quite well, that's why they are constantly trying to destroy public education in favor of religious and technical training.

      •  evaluating the evidence (0+ / 0-)

        The problem is that the snake-oil salesmen also claim to have evidence. What is not so easily seen is that their evidence is not very solid. Debunking an ESP experiment often requires a highly trained statistician, savvy to the ways of professional tricksters, and then the debunking itself may be understandable also to others of similar training.

        What's easier is to show that the claims of institutionalized science rest on firm ground. While the use of transistors (the design of which depends on quantum mechanics), the use of GPS (which depends on relativity theory), the use of genetically modified foodstuffs( which depends on evolution and genetics), the use of etc. is quite generalized, folks are not aware that behind things they use every day lie confirmations of the claims of scientists and engineers. It's not that the message is difficult to communicate so much as that it is not being communicated, because the need to do so is not well understood, and because its reception does require some effort.

        One should also not discount the negative effect of widespread antagonism to pharmaceutical and drug companies, medical insurers, agribusiness, and even software companies - all these things are associated with science in many minds, and are also viewed as part of the infrastructure of the neofeudal order.

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