Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The age of unenlightenment

People don't like science, do they? It's all hard, and makes you think, and stuff. A lot of people who don't like it really have no idea what it really is. Science is all about what you know and why. The rest is details, and it's the details that are hard.

That's what they object to. They'd rather pick and choose what they believe and disbelieve based on personal preference. Evidence is not a factor. Apparently there are more of these people than I would have believed. That would explain the last election and the continued popularity of people like Rush Limbaugh, as Evolutionblog points out:
Twenty million people a day listen to Limbaugh's show, and most of them come away believing they know more after listening to him than they did before. These are people who believe that if on the one hand you have the entire scientific community saying that global warming is a real threat, and on the other you have Limbaugh saying that's all a lot of liberal nonsense (he has said precisely that on many occasions), then Limbaugh is the one who knows what he is talking about and the scientists are just liberal hacks. We are talking about a large segment of the population who don't know anything about anything, and haven't the faintest idea how to distinguish reliable sources of information from unreliable sources. Not about scientific issues anyway.
This could become the major conflict of the new century. Faith-based versus reality-based. Superstition versus enlightenment. After all this time, I couldn't believe that the forces of credulity still have enough fight left in them for a struggle against the forces of skepticism. I thought it was all about crackpots who see UFOs and consult with fortune tellers and faith healers. I thought it was all for laughs. Now the rush to embrace ignorance is getting people killed. It's not a joke any more.


Post a Comment

<< Home