Why science is so hard to believe

I found this to be an interesting read.
http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-science-is-so-hard-to-believe/2015/02/12/2ff8f064-b0a0-11e4-886b-c22184f27c35_story.html?hpid=z3
For anyone with the time and patience to read through it, I’d be interested in your thoughts. Especially ways to solve this problem.
PS - It seems to me there is some sort of shortcut way to insert a link, but if I knew it once, I have since forgotten. If someone could point it out to me, I would be most appreciate.

Science is not about BELIEVING.
Curious that the word PROBABILITY does not appear in the article.
psik

Or PLAUSIBLE as in science has a plausible answer to the question [re: evolution or climate change] vs. implausible answers [as in “Cuz the Bible tells me so”].

They did say “provisional” and “uncertain”, possibly trying to avoid the word “probability”. I’m seeing more and more articles like this, where global warming and GMOs are mentioned in the same light was heliocentrism. Hopefully it’s a trend and pseudo-science will be treated like prejudice in the future.

I found this to be an interesting read. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-science-is-so-hard-to-believe/2015/02/12/2ff8f064-b0a0-11e4-886b-c22184f27c35_story.html?hpid=z3 For anyone with the time and patience to read through it, I'd be interested in your thoughts. Especially ways to solve this problem. PS - It seems to me there is some sort of shortcut way to insert a link, but if I knew it once, I have since forgotten. If someone could point it out to me, I would be most appreciate.
If there is objective evidence belief isn't necessary. Science is always provisional in its assessments. This is why so many theists have a problem with it, they can't accept provisional statements, they demand absolutes. Lois

I’m not sure there is an easy way to solve this problem. As the article pointed out, people want to fit in with their peers, and if that means rejecting rational thinking they will do so. Perhaps if we taught children critical thinking skills early in their school years we could chip away at the problem, but we don’t have enough time to make that an effective solution in the climate change debate. compounding the problem is conservative opposition to teaching critical thinking skills.

I don’t think it is a problem, as long as scientists themselves keep practicing the scientific method the right way.
Regarding the general public, people have differing (biologically based) capacities for critical thinking, curiosity about the world, tolerance for unpopular ideas etc. It’s a waste of time trying to reshape people intellectually.

You’re right, MA, but I keep tilting at windmills on FaceBook anyway. On a current thread one of my cousins applauded Utah for reinstating firing squads. I challenged him to explain by what ethical theory he supports the death penalty. He and some of his friends replied with anecdotes about ex-cons killing people and unsubstantiated claims that the death penalty prevents murders. Not one of them discussed ethics or peer-reviewed studies.

You’re right, MA, but I keep tilting at windmills on FaceBook anyway. On a current thread one of my cousins applauded Utah for reinstating firing squads. I challenged him to explain by what ethical theory he supports the death penalty. He and some of his friends replied with anecdotes about ex-cons killing people and unsubstantiated claims that the death penalty prevents murders. Not one of them discussed ethics or peer-reviewed studies.
One of the main reasons they don't discuss either ethics or peer reviewed papers is that they haven't been exposed to the concept. Most science classes, both middle school and high school teach only the basic requirements e.g. cognitive knowledge, what is an atom and how does it work, not specifically how scientists arrived at that conclusion. It is improving with new state standards however. Common core, which most teachers despise demands more detailed instruction but even that falls short of the need to teach critical thinking skills. And teaching ethics or any philosophy for that matter is often left to religious institutions and is rarely discussed save for a sprinkling in liberal arts classes. All too often those in power such as state and local boards are conservatives with a specific agenda geared to the job market. They're more interested in pumping out workers and managers than philosophers. I totally agree with Stephen Law's recent discussion here. Cap't Jack

On the one hand, I believe it will be nothing less than a slow, evolutionary process to ween mankind away from the teat of religion. Whether it takes 1,000 years or 10,000 years, it will happen.
In the short term I liken it to telling a three-year old that there is no Santa Claus. You’re only going to make them cry and scream “I hate you!” Telling a fundamentalist or evangelist that there is no god elicits the same reaction and response as the three-year old.
So I am in agreement that there is a lot in the way scientists communicate their evidence and what it means.

I found this to be an interesting read. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/why-science-is-so-hard-to-believe/2015/02/12/2ff8f064-b0a0-11e4-886b-c22184f27c35_story.html?hpid=z3 For anyone with the time and patience to read through it, I'd be interested in your thoughts. Especially ways to solve this problem.
Intriguing article. From the concluding paragraph of the article:
It’s their very detachment, what you might call the cold-bloodedness of science, that makes science the killer app. It’s the way science tells us the truth rather than what we’d like the truth to be. Scientists can be as dogmatic as anyone else — but their dogma is always wilting in the hot glare of new research. In science it’s not a sin to change your mind when the evidence demands it. For some people, the tribe is more important than the truth; for the best scientists, the truth is more important than the tribe.
The problem with us humans is, unless the evidence is compelling, if it is non-intuitive, we prefer to believe what we experience as intuitive and correct. For example: 1. We on the earth see the sun rise and set every day. Intuitively, it appears that the sun is rotating around the earth. It is non-intuitive to propose the vice versa. 2. However, if we are on the sun, it appears that the earth and all the planets are rotating around it. 3. OTOH, if we are in space observing the solar system, it is obvious that the earth and all the planets rotate around the sun. In reality, many issues are not so clearcut.
PS - It seems to me there is some sort of shortcut way to insert a link, but if I knew it once, I have since forgotten. If someone could point it out to me, I would be most appreciate.
The shortcut is to use . Copy the website link, then click at the top of the CFI message window. Delete http://, paste the link but delete http:// from the link. Click OK. Type here in the new window and click OK. Example of the article you cited here]
then click
Ah, the . Thank you for the tip as well as your observations.

I’ve probably posed this link in these forums before, but it seems appropriate in this thread because it illuminates what we’re up against.
Texas GOP opposes critical thinking]
Yup. Can’t reach kids to think for themselves or you might undermine their parents’ indoctrination.

There are two points I would like to raise: about believe and about the role of the media.
People act based on what they believe is true. In this respect there is no difference between any ideology, religion or science. For those who do not see the inherent difference between these, there is no problem to prefer a ‘fact’ from one domain, e.g. a religious one like ‘The earth is 6000 years old’ above the scientific fact that the earth is about 4.5 billion years old.
I once read an essay about journalism about scientific subjects. One of the advises stroke me as stupid, if followed consequently: do not tell your article from the viewpoint of just one researcher (or group), always involve somebody with another view on the subject; it makes the article a more interesting read. Since then I noticed that in nearly every newspaper, in nearly all articles in the New Scientist, and even many in the Scientific American follow these guidelines. But applied to established scientific facts this is a ridiculous strategy. One finds only idiots or people paid by Koch industries. It also gives the impression that scientists are always discussing everything and do not agree on anything. If one writes an article about some frontier in science, this makes sense, and of course the most interesting articles are from the frontiers of science.
Global Warming is an established scientific fact for a pretty long time (I would say since the 1930s). The problem is that it is difficult to say how this exactly will work out: where will occur more droughts, where will fall more rain, where might it even get colder etc etc. Weather and climate are extremely complex and this makes predictions very difficult. The discussions about these predictions might give the impression that Global Warming itself is still not the established fact that it in reality is.

Ah, the great state of Texas. Thanks for the link, Darron. Since I haven’t been around these parts for a while I did not see it if you posted it earlier. I know a teacher in Texas who showed me a button with the following:
Those who can, teach. Those who cannot, pass laws about teaching.
While perusing Netflix for something interesting to watch this past weekend, I found the documentary about the Texas school board infecting the science and social studies text books with conservative Christian views. Although it was certainly appalling, it presented an interesting indirect strategy on the part of the creationists that was insidious but perhaps worthy of replication.

This is exactly what Mike Huckaby meant by a nation of “bubbas”. He even outlines it in his latest book about god, guns gravy and , hell I forgot the other one (Rick Perry syndrome). And if the Republican dominated Texas legis. Doesn’t get their way there’s always the deregulation of homeschooling where parents have the unbridled option of dressing their kids in anachronistic clothing and pumping them full of religious BS and made up history, e.g. Washington rode his dinosaur into battle against the godless Yankees at the Battle of Gettysburg and defeated Adolf Hitler and his pagan NAZIS while Jesus and Moses wrote the Constitution giving Israel back to the Jews so we could all go to heaven. But don’t quote me, the Reps. Might include that statement in the next textbook.
Cap’t Jack

dressing their kids in anachronistic clothing
We have some patterns they could borrow in my neighborhood (along the "Amish corridor" that stretches from Pennsylvania out to Iowa).
dressing their kids in anachronistic clothing We have some patterns they could borrow in my neighborhood (along the “Amish corridor" that stretches from Pennsylvania out to Iowa).
Yeah, that corridor goes right through the middle of Ohio; there's even a small community of them living here at the bottom and they hire themselves to build and renovate houses. Distinct clothing and beards. They also speak Deitsch. Cap't Jack
...Although it was certainly appalling, it presented an interesting indirect strategy on the part of the creationists that was insidious but perhaps worthy of replication.
And there lies the problem. The Right operates on a strictly Ends Justify The Means mentality. If Abortion is wrong then it's ok to kill the doctor. If lying through your teeth gets the desired effect, so be it. No Liberal would feel comfortable with that way of going about things. So we end up with a bunch of ignorant bullies with weapons (real and metaphorical) versus a bunch of principled, thoughtful, weaponless wimps. I.e. Idiocracy.
If Abortion is wrong then it’s ok to kill the doctor.
On the contrary, at least in this case, their strategy was far more subtle. They did not "attack" Evolution, nor did they support Creationism. Rather they hammered away at inserting wording that inferred Evolution as a yet to be disproved Theory, rather than as the most plausible explanation. A mere chink in the armor but sufficient to give one pause to think that Creationism could still be considered viable. The Texas School Board did not even get the wording they were shooting for, but they got close enough to consider it a victory. They were less subtle in there all out attack on the social studies text where they virtually got Thomas Aquinas and John Calvin to be included among America's Founding Fathers (and thus certification as a Christian Nation). :roll: