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The Mistrust of Science

The Scientific Mind

The Scientific Mind

The mind of a scientist cannot be that just a set of beliefs. It has to be an objective, open and experimental mind. A scientific way of thinking is always systematic, based on testing, building knowledge and factual observation.

According to physicist Edwin Hubble, a scientist has a healthy scepticism, suspended judgement and disciplined imagination.

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The Mistrust of Science

The Mistrust of Science

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-mistrust-of-science

newyorker.com

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Key Ideas

The Scientific Mind

The mind of a scientist cannot be that just a set of beliefs. It has to be an objective, open and experimental mind. A scientific way of thinking is always systematic, based on testing, building knowledge and factual observation.

According to physicist Edwin Hubble, a scientist has a healthy scepticism, suspended judgement and disciplined imagination.

Not Trusting Scientific Knowledge

Though science has helped humanity for centuries, it is not fully trusted. Part of the reason is that scientific knowledge is incomplete.

It is often resisted by a section of people, who don’t believe in vaccines, climate change, or the man-made genetic advancement in crops. As an example, many families believe vaccination causes autism in children, and no matter what is done to counter it, the belief is stuck in people’s brains.

Science And Pseudoscience

Many people from all sections of society do not trust in science, as they don’t trust the authority of the scientific community. The Pseudo Scientists try to debunk science by:

  • Arguing that the entire scientific consensus is a conspiracy.
  • Getting fake experts to produce information that contradicts scientific findings.
  • Argue using selective data, and using a small example to discredit the entire field.
  • Deploying false analogies and other fallacies that appear logical.
  • Setting impossible expectations and counter-arguments towards the scientists.

"Debunking" Science

  • Funnily enough, a study showed in 2011 that debunking science actually makes the core belief stick longer in the people’s minds.
  • Describing why something does not work actually strengthens the conviction and provides more mileage to the scientific theory in question.
  • Talking in the negative about the so-called ‘bad science’ without providing an alternate explanation that is equally good only makes the argument incomplete and helps insert the core theory (however wrong) in the listener’s mind.

The Healthy Dose of Doubt

Education has a countervailing effect of making people stick to certain beliefs and ideologies, and their minds unable to flow. They are static beings which will resist any new advancement in science.

Scientific endeavour is a never-ending process that can only be studied by an open mind that doubts all kinds of dogma, beliefs and theories.

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Marcia McNutt  - Geophysicist

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“Science is not a body of facts. Science is a method for deciding whether what we choose to believe has a basis in the laws of nature or not.”

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Arguing for our opinions

The problem with the statement “I’m entitled to my opinion” is that it's used to protect beliefs that should've been given up. It is a damaging element of public discourse for som...

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There is a difference between opinion or common belief and specific knowledge.

Opinion has a level of subjectivity and uncertainty. It varies according to someone's tastes or preferences. (You like chocolate more than ice-cream.) It is pointless to argue about this kind of opinion. 

“Entitled” to an opinion

If 'entitled to have your opinion' means everyone has the right to say what they want, the statement is true, but not necessarily important.

If 'entitled to have your opinion' means your statements are serious candidates for truth, then it's false. And this too is a distinction that tends to get blurred.

Secularism's Rise is Halted

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A decline in Religious Belief

  • Religious belief has seen a steady decline across the world.
  • Close to 30% of people in Australia claim to have no religion, and countries like western Europe report low levels of religious commitment.
  • Even in the U.S., the number of atheists has risen to 3%.

David Martin

David Martin

"There is no consistent relation between the degree of scientific advance and a reduced profile of religious influence, belief and practice.:

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