Sunday, February 1, 2015

What Many People Get Wrong About Science

Getting children the necessary vaccinations and immunizations seems to be a no-brainer to me; the disturbing outbreak of measles in California and the fact that a number of supposedly educated people are refusing to get the inoculations is weird enough.  What is unfathomable, moreover, is the fact that in that quintessential nanny state, California, allows them to do so.  It would seem that public health would be an overriding interest that would override those dumbasses' right to be parental in their own way.  And the stronghold of the antivaxx movement happens to be in those nominally liberal areas of that state.  What gives?  A recent article  indicated that there is a big gap between scientists and the general public on certain issues:

1.  Climate change

2.  Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)

3.  Evolution

4.  Gluten

5.  Vaccinations

6.  Using animals in research

7.  Safety in using pesticides

8.  The dangers of overpopulation

9.  Homeopathy is good science

It's the same on both sides of the political spectrum, though perhaps each side has their own views on specific topics.

Here is what seems to be the overwhelming scientific consensus on these topics:

1.  The data indicate that climate change affected in part by man-made causes is taking place.  The world is getting incrementally warmer, and the polar ice caps are melting.

2.  GMOs are safe.  

3.  Evolution of species through natural selection has taken place; and continues to take place.  By the way, man did not descend from apes; man and present-day apes descended from a common ancestor.

4.  There's no reason for most of us to be concerned about gluten.

5.  Vaccinations are a safe and effective way of minimizing the risks of a number of diseases.  Contrarily, failing to vaccinate is really risky.

6.  The use of animals in research is necessary to really test drugs and other substances.  There is no real substitute.

7.  Pesticides, if properly used, are safe.

8.  There is a real danger due to overpopulation.

9.  Actually, there's no established scientific validation of homeopathy, naturopathy, or other quaint beliefs.  Using homeopathic "medicines" has no other result besides expensive urine. 

The problem is very likely due to most citizens having gotten a second-rate education in science.  And, because of that, they are distrustful of real science.


  1. Your article link needs fixing. But it may be the same article that I found and have used for my post tomorrow. Great minds.....

  2. Great post! The climate change deniers and the anti-vaxx people are different cheeks on the same buttocks.