Sunday, September 16, 2012

Stand up for science!

It is interesting to me how science is largely misused, misquoted, and misunderstood by the vast majority of people around the world. We haven’t even come that far in our scientific understanding of the world, yet it seems to me that we are in danger of slipping back toward the times when scientists were feared and derided for their ideas, and churches and warlords made the decisions for us all.

I see it now all around: anti-vaccination movements, and anti-fluoridation movements, for example. Conspiracy theories and junk-science are beginning to over power public and private discussion. Even the very notion of intellectualism is no longer a desirable trait.

I’m thinking of Neil deGrasse Tyson, the astrophysicist, who at one point said at that he isn’t worried so much about today’s children. Instead, it is the adults we need to worry about; the adults whom are afraid of the number 13, read horoscopes, and insist schools stop using Wi-Fi connections.

I have three requests for everyone:

Don’t believe everything you hear or read, but be willing to trust the evidence of experts.
Be willing to stand up against unfounded and unreasonable claims made by pundits, crack-pots, and the delusional.
Enjoy and embrace the idea that we, as humans, don’t have all the answers, yet.


Brendan O'Brien
Alberta, Canada

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