I’ve “always” been a proponent of the scientific method, and thus been stricken with curiosity as to how others can deny scientific study, review, and scholar. A friend from L.A., Chris, suggested I read an article regarding human ability to do just that. I read it, enjoyed it, and felt the need to share – as it directly applies to our topic.
The article comes from National Geographic and you can read it here:
Here are some of my favorite excerpts (although, there were many worth noting):
“Science will find the truth,” Collins says. “It may get it wrong the first time and maybe the second time, but ultimately it will find the truth.” That provisional quality of science is another thing a lot of people have trouble with. To some climate change skeptics, for example, the fact that a few scientists in the 1970s were worried (quite reasonably, it seemed at the time) about the possibility of a coming ice age is enough to discredit the concern about global warming now.”
“Americans fall into two basic camps, Kahan says. Those with a more “egalitarian” and “communitarian” mind-set are generally suspicious of industry and apt to think it’s up to something dangerous that calls for government regulation; they’re likely to see the risks of climate change. In contrast, people with a “hierarchical” and “individualistic” mind-set respect leaders of industry and don’t like government interfering in their affairs; they’re apt to reject warnings about climate change, because they know what accepting them could lead to—some kind of tax or regulation to limit emissions.”
“In the U.S., climate change somehow has become a litmus test that identifies you as belonging to one or the other of these two antagonistic tribes. When we argue about it, Kahan says, we’re actually arguing about who we are, what our crowd is. We’re thinking, People like us believe this. People like that do not believe this. For a hierarchical individualist, Kahan says, it’s not irrational to reject established climate science: Accepting it wouldn’t change the world, but it might get him thrown out of his tribe.”
I’m really interested in knowing your thoughts. Why, in your experience, do many doubt science? Do you “trust science?”