Sunday, November 09, 2008

So, can we now discard this notion in this country that science is something not to be trusted?

I really want to blog about something other than politics. It was always my intention to have this blog be about a whole lot of different things, a place on the web that a few people might stumble upon once in a while and say, “Hey, that was kind of interesting. I wonder what else is on here?” Lately, though, unless something has just fallen in my lap, it has pretty much been exclusively about politics. I don’t suppose I can blame myself. It’s been a pretty brutal, thuggish, surreal and ultimately inspiring and history-making two years. I’m so tightly wound about the whole situation that it will probably take some time for me to unwind and be able to actually concentrate and write something worthwhile. Hopefully, I will get there.

One of the many things that I hope will change for the better in these United States is the view that science is suspect and not to be trusted. It seems as if the United States, as a whole, has come to the viewpoint that ignorance is not something to be ashamed of, but to actually be celebrated. It’s those pointy-headed intellectuals who are causing all the trouble, such as pointing out that the Earth, our Earth, is in trouble and the human race may suffer from our neglect of the only planet we have, or by observing that religious fundamentalists who insist on a 6000 year-old universe are at odds with every scientific conclusion in every realm of science (e.g., geology, cosmology, genetics, archeology, etc.) Somehow, the people who promote logical thinking based on scientific facts and reasoning have become “the enemy.” I find that beyond comprehension, and that must change if (in the short term) we want to remain competitive with the rest of the world and (in the longer term) want to survive as a species.

Knowledge, and the ability to act upon that knowledge, one of the few things that sets us apart from the rest of the animal kingdom. Oh sure, opposable thumbs really helped. Willful ignorance, on the other hand, is likely to sentence us to irrelevance, if not total oblivion. I hope this distrust of science and the conclusions about the universe we inhabit that have been reached by using the scientific method is discarded as a primary motivation in our country.

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