The Denial Of Science, How We Should Approach It.

For thousands of years our ancestors stumbled around in the darkness of their own ignorance, holding on to falsehoods and failed beliefs! And Though we would like to think otherwise, the darkness still surrounds us for the most part. Science is the only candle we have in that darkness.
Sure, through the illuminating ideals of a few great minds the illusion of progress is upheld for the masses, but this is easily reduced to the illusion it is.
The sad truth is that the majority of the human species is still wholeheartedly consumed in the ancient ignorance of their forebears. The majority still hold ancient text as literal truth. Personally, I find this to be quite disheartening!
It seems to me that a myriad of issues not only here in the United States, but across the globe are caused by this lack of scientific inquiry. In fact, this denial of science is actually very detrimental to the progression of our society as a whole.
Don’t get me wrong, the denial of science is not by any means a new phenomena. From its very beginnings some have chosen to reject objectivity and critical thinking out of ignorance or fear. Ironic because never before have the beneficial consequences of scientific discovery been so overwhelmingly evident in the life of common humans. Thus making its denial even less plausible, yet none the less abundant!
These individuals I fear suffer from a sort of cognitive dissidence, a mental conundrum where they use the very tools science has created for them to deny it. In the individual this denial can usually be weakened with the explanation of the hypothesis, concept, or theory in doubt. The true problem arises when these negative notions towards scientific objectivity are allowed to fester, and infect others.
  Unfortunately, the targeting victims of this mental infection are in most cases our most defenseless, and our future; the children.
The negative ramifications of this denial already abound, ranging from global climate change, and reproductive rights, to stem cell research the consequences of their denial is already affecting all of us. I find this a pity simply due to the fact that science has already given us so much. In fact science “Scientific thought” has given us everything we have.
So how is it possible that the very thing providing us with many of the luxuries we enjoy has become the target of our skepticism and denial? It simply boils down to a misunderstanding of what science is. Science isn’t a dogma, or a belief system. Scientist don’t believe, we hypothesis, we think and draw conclusions based on overwhelming evidence. Part of the difficulty of conveying the true idea of science I feel stems from semantic issues with our language. In order to sway those who reject scientific inquiry, a foundation of objectivity, and rational must first be established. Additionally, those who advocate for scientific inquiry must attempt to avoid dogmatism at all cost, especially because to the scientific neophyte this expression of the scientific seems almost religious in nature. Probably because from a philosophical viewpoint religion is simply a failed hypothesis. Religion is simply failed science, this doesn’t mean that the positive philosophical ideals portrayed in some religions should be completely abolished. We as objective societal beings should gather the good, and drop the folly.
One of the errors many modern science advocates commit is this  dogmatic approach when discussing science to those who don’t have a full understanding of its underplaying concepts. Human beings by nature build their identities around the ideas, and beliefs they hold. Thus directly attacking the beliefs held by the individual in a crass, and offensive manner equates to attacking the ego of the individual itself. I love listening to Dawkins, Lawrence Krauss, and the late Hitchens… however I think their approach is one that is detrimental to science, and only helps to further the gap between the deniers, and the progression we seek. This method though it may be able to shake free the individual who is already somewhat of an objective rational, the the irrational person it is simply perceived as a threat to their preconceived notions and ego!
That being said, I am not claiming pointing out the logical fallacies in a belief system is out of the question, by all means proceed with pointing out the obvious. What I am saying is perhaps more of an educational approach is called for, as noted in the case of Bill Nye (See Bill Nye’s debate with Ken Ham). Instead of simply attacking the system itself, I think that an explanation of why it is flawed is a much more effective method.
The truth of the matter is that in most cases, these people aren’t willfully choosing to deny, even if it appears so at first glance it is much more likely that they simply do not understand the concepts in question, and so they cling to what is simple for them to comprehend.
The only way we will ever accomplish true freedom from the shackles of empty belief is through bring objectivity and the beauty of objectivity to the masses in a non-defensive fun way (like Carl Sagan did with the Cosmos series). Only through education, not dogma will we ever vanquish blind faith from our society.
To this point, I think that the debates though entertaining are futile for the most part. We as science oriented individuals should concentrate on simply furthering the education of the obvious, obvious because we have the evidence and research to back up our claims. Debating the obvious only gives credibility to the implausible, and we should by all means attempt to avoid doing so at all costs.


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