How do we cure scientific illiteracy?
"Scientist are attacked by conspiracy theorists, religious fundamentalists, and even politicians. "
The work of scientists often deserves to be attacked. Just because something used the scientific method doesn't mean it isn't flawed, or that it shows what it purports to show. Criticism and evaluation of studies and theories is absolutely necessary to scientific progress. If one hasn't the intelligence to read both the criticism and the source material (and this is the case for most people), that is the issue. As such, teaching people to be critical of everything (not just things they don't believe, and people do ignorantly believe scientific theories) is the solution.
For example, 200 studies may have been done on a given subject yet a news outlet may run a story on but one study and misrepresent the body of literature. Alternatively, 200 studies may have been done on a subject which all have the same flaw(s), while several studies without such flaws suggest the opposite. It's difficult and time consuming to properly read the body of literature. I think that way too many people deem themselves scientifically literate simply because they have taken someone else's reading of the literature as fact. In addition, it's even more difficult to be particularly scientifically literate of anything outside one's own field.
The work of scientists often deserves to be attacked. Just because something used the scientific method doesn't mean it isn't flawed, or that it shows what it purports to show. Criticism and evaluation of studies and theories is absolutely necessary to scientific progress.
Evaluation is not the same thing as attack. Attack is when you stick your fingers in your ears and scream that Al Gore invented climate change. Evaluation is when a qualified scientist assesses the work, as they already do during the peer review process.
Consider this... What is the cause of scientific illiteracy? Is it primarily
a) Simply a lack of exposure, lack of education itself? or
b) That they do get exposed but conclude it's worthless and BS?, or
c) That they think it conflicts with their beliefs, particularly religious beliefs?
I will argue maybe 20% is "a" (because indeed there are some bad school experiences and/or problem students out there), and that "b" is almost always because of "c" (because there's really no motivation otherwise to resist the technological innovations or knowledge science brings to us), which means about 80% is "c" - religion.
The only way to counter religion is to enforce separation of church and state, as well as to be vigilante against religious right candidates who want to wield political power to slap science and education and hand gifts to their churches.
I love science. I've usually found Atheists many times don't know as much as I do and make ignorant statements about it. I've had to explain macro vs micro evolution more times than I can count, so obviously science isn't the central theme of their actual Atheism. Nevertheless, it doesn't do anything for or against my religious beliefs. Showing me how God could have done something is meaningless white noise to me. Showing me how a car manufacturer makes cars doesn't explain away the car manufacturer.
I've had to explain macro vs micro evolution more times than I can count
I'm not going to claim credit for someone else's writing or try and paraphrase, but this sums up what I'm trying to say.
For biologists, there is no relevant difference between microevolution and macroevolution. Both happen in the same way and for the same reasons, so there is no real reason to differentiate them. When biologists do use different terms, it is simply for descriptive reasons.
When creationists use the terms, however, it is for ontological reasons —- this means that they are trying to describe two fundamentally different processes. The essence of what constitutes microevolution is, for creationists, different from the essence of what constitutes macroevolution. Creationists act as if there is some magic line between microevolution and macroevolution, but no such line exists as far as science is concerned. Macroevolution is merely the result of a lot of microevolution over a long period of time.
Therefore the terms, "macro" and "micro" evolution are overwhelmingly used by creationists to refute one type of evolution or both.
So shall we post Richard Dawkins' statement that we don't have all of these intermediaries because becoming fossilized is like hitting the lottery, or shall we post a picture of 20 straight intermediaries, which would contradict Dawkins' statement... Shall we post the claims of scientists that are lumpers, or shall we post the claims of scientists that are splitters... There are a lot of problems with your proposal. The scientific community's own divisions would cause quite a war on what goes up on the billboard.
My friend, you never replied to my argument on "Did Jesus Hide Dinosaur Bones in the Ground to Test Our Faith"?
For your reference, here it is:
Fossilization takes an improbable event that has less chance of happening than winning the lottery.
Yes, this is true. However it is only true for each individual organism. If you take into account the number of organisms that have died, you will end up with a lot of fossils. However, there is no guarantee you will be able to find a sample of everything.
This is why we haven't got a complete fossil record.
At least that was Richard Dawkins answer for why the fossil record lacks all of these intermediaries theists demand.
The fossil record that we do have is full of transitional fossils (I'm assuming this is what you meant by intermediaries?)
Here are a few examples. I'll link the article for you at the end.
-Most fossil giraffes have short necks and today's have long necks, but anatomist Nikos Solounias of the New York Institute of Technology's New York College of Osteopathic Medicine is preparing a description of a giraffe fossil, Bohlinia, with a neck that is intermediate in length.
-Tiktaalik, aka the fishibian or the fishapod, is a large scaled fish that shows a perfect transition between fins and feet, aquatic and land animals. It had fish-like scales, as well as fish-like fin rays and jaw and mouth elements, but it had a shortened skull roof and mobile neck to catch prey, an ear that could hear in both land and water, and a wrist joint that is like those seen in land animals.
-Scientists know that mastodons, mammoths and elephants all share a common ancestor, but it gets hard to tell apart some of the earliest members of this group, called proboscideans, going back to fossils from the Oligocene epoch (33.7 million years ago to 23.8 million years ago). The primitive members of this group can be traced back to what Prothero calls "the ultimate transitional fossil," Moeritherium, from the late Eocene of Egypt. It looked more like a small hippo than an elephant and probably lacked a long trunk, but it had short upper and lower tusks, the teeth of a primitive mastodon and ear features found only in other proboscideans.
And then we magically see 10 intermediaries on a chart.
The intermediaries we cannot find can still be charted using educated guesswork. We have the start point and the end point, and we often have at least one transitional fossil. So, scientists can normally make a good guess, which may or may not be disproven when the rest of the fossils are unearthed.
becoming fossilized is like hitting the lottery
That's the second time I've seen you use the same stupid fallacy. Becoming fossilized might be like "winning the lottery", with the exception that, since there are billions of animals, there are billions of chances to win. Most weeks people win the lottery. Most weeks animals are fossilized. What is difficult to understand about that?
When you say we must be respectful in the case of religion why would you think that ?
Religion keeps people fearful, disregards intelligence, curtails liberty and creativity and celebrates death. Religion has polluted our earth more than coal or nuclear waste ever could. Religion does not deserve any respect , where I'm from religion demonised those who were different and deliberately censored and punished free thinkers , it had influence from the top down and yielded its power with a fist of iron ; thankfully now this is in the past and the church no longer holds powers like it once did .
Scientific illiteracy continues unabated in Muslim dominated countries and such ignorance is fully supposrted by the rulers of some of these dreadfully backward countries .
Religion offers no respect because it goes against our human nature by telling us we are worthless, unclean and deserve punishment for having done nothing wrong.
It offers no proof. With religion evidence is undesirable because it would remove the need for faith.
Try to use your noggin, Dermot...you are arguing against your own life, demanding your own death. Somebody has you working against yourself, fooling you into thinking you are protecting yourself...and that somebody is not God. God wants you to come into agreement with Him regarding your sins, to admit your guilt, to know His offer of mercy so you can be saved and have eternal life. All your foaming at the mouth getting mad at me and insulting God is only keeping you separated from God who loves you and is the only one who can save you.
Religion is one of the main causes of such gross ignorance from the restriction of stem cell research to keeping women from basic healthcare due to these wildly irresponsible "personhood" bills, all because some imaginary supernatural being might get offended.
Schools that teach children that creationism over what is scientific fact as in Evolution all because they refuse to acknowledge that they may be wrong because of their religious beliefs .
Irresponsible religious loudmouths take up air time bashing science and all it stands for thus impeding progress to force their narrow world view .
How do we cure it ? I don't know we are in the year 2017 and people still believe in pusedoscience as in crystal healing , aura reading , astrology, astral projection , aromatherapy and the sad list goes on and on
Yes indeed ban and burn all books .... wait except the bible which claims that a man and a woman lived in a magical garden 🌳🌳🌳🌳 and the bold woman devoured an apple 🍎 after being tempted by a talking serpent 🐍 this so enraged a ghost 👻 called god 🦄 that he sent his son😇 down to earth by impregnating a Palestinian virgin 💃so that he could be born ⚡️ so that he could die on a cross ➕ for our sins before we were born so we could live with him in heaven 👻☁️☁️☁️☁️
Absolutely brilliant plan 😂😂😂😂😂😂😂
Evolution is a belief which is totally unnecessary for true science. It's a waste of time, the time spent promoting evolution could be much better spent conducting true scientific research and application.
You have to be retarded if you think you cannot be a scientist without believing in evolution. Bill Nye pushes that garbage propaganda on children and Bill Nye should be completely banned from any public school or publicly supported work.
First, remove evolution from all courses of science. It's a waste of time, counterproductive to scientific endeavor and detrimental to society.
But it's factual. The evidence is absolutely overwhelming. Why would it be "counterproductive" to teach people truth instead of fantasy?
Change the education system from mere memorization exercises and political/corporate propaganda to one that teaches reason and logic and critical thinking. Blow up the kabbah and raid the vatican and destroy all religion. Stop brain damaging everyone with high fructose corn syrup and aluminum. Fly around the world in an aircraft carrier full of books written by Richard Dawkins and drop them in the middle of cities.
Change the education system from mere memorization exercises and political/corporate propaganda to one that teaches reason and logic and critical thinking.
The huge difficulty with this is that the number of stupid/ignorant/stubborn people vastly outnumber the amount of reasonable people. So, changing the education system (which absolutely needs to happen) is much easier said than done considering the overwhelming majority of the people who teach the next generations in society through public education are imbeciles, and the parents of the children themselves are overwhelmingly imbeciles (this is how the current system is in place to begin with). Also, the majority of adults are so attached to their infantile superstitious beliefs that they think learning science is "dry", "scary", "cold", "devoid of any deep meaning/feeling" and don't want their kids to learn it either for these reasons. Furthermore, the leaders of the business world and governments (the powerful classes) have a vested interested in keeping the populace misinformed, uneducated, unintelligent, conditioned toward obedience, ect.
As of right now, the education system is so bad and the adults are so stupid/ignorant/arrogant that they can't even let the kids come in to school and watch credible lectures, documentaries, OpenCourseware or point them in the right direction with people to look up, book recommendations, the fundamental questions that any given topic is exploring , ect. The kids would be naturally drawn to this information if they were exposed to it, they simply are not exposed to it because there is an obscurantism at work that is pervasive in our society (and world wide). Instead, in the current system, children growing up through their teenage years into young adulthood are subjected to a perpetual firehose of bullshit through the "education" system and the "mature" adults in our societies.
the number of stupid/ignorant/stubborn people vastly outnumber the amount of reasonable people
I know, how are we ever going to make it?
the majority of adults are so attached to their infantile superstitious beliefs that they think learning science is "dry", "scary", "cold", "devoid of any deep meaning/feeling" and don't want their kids to learn it
The reason for this is because they don't even know what science is, what it's for or how to use it, which is almost laughably because they where taught by a majority of parents who are programmed with the same superstitions and are scientifically illiterate. We are in difficult times because we cannot allow people to program their children with this primitive mindset but we cannot force them to teach their children a certain way either without becoming giant sacks of tyrannical intestinal discharge. The only way to deal with this is to blast emissions of intelligence waves in every direction and hope it reaches as many people as possible.
the leaders of the business world and governments (the powerful classes) have a vested interested in keeping the populace misinformed, uneducated, unintelligent, conditioned toward obedience, ect
For these institutions to exist in the first place requires a scientifically illiterate populace.
The kids would be naturally drawn to this information if they were exposed to it
The types of things kids and people in general are drawn to is a double edged sword, there are plenty of footholds for things such as consumerism, superstition, and conformity as well as things such as curiosity, social and environmental awareness, and rational thought.
perpetual firehose of bullshit
This is one of the biggest problems on earth, how do we silence the perpetual firehose of bullshit and replace it with a constant down pouring rain of logic? The firehose of bullshit is a man made implement designed to saturate those who are exposed to it with ignorance, it can spray you much harder than the rain usually can, and there can be many replicas spraying many different people in the face, and someone will always be working behind the hose trying to spray you in just the right places. But unlike the firehose of bullshit the rain of reason and truth is not man made, it can rain on everyone from every direction because it is a tangible reality of nature just like the clouds above us, and it is all around is, so once everyone gets rained on they will not fear the firehose of bullshit, because they will already be soaking wet with something that follows naturally from the universe around them rather than something that weaseled it's way into their brain through constant reinforcement and was designed to hose them down every time they formed a thought that was outside the culturally reinforced paradigm
Discoveries in science should be taken with a pinch of salt. When I started medical school (and subsequently dropped out) I was told that 95% of what we learn in the first year will be false by the 6th. What percentage would that be after 100 years? 1000? million? Despite that, I agree with you that believing scientific theory "makes the most sense". However, one has to recognise that in the scheme of the insight it gives us into our reality, it could be only marginally less false than whatever a religious fanatic spews.
Scientific literacy isn't going to save anyone from becoming slaves to technology.
It isn't going to stop people from herded by the robots and exploited like cattle by the technocratic elites.
There is a lot of really nefarious things that go along with technology. Things that have already been planned and are being executed. I think most people would be shocked if they knew the intended purpose of the internet.
Well, lets focus on the good anyway. Probably the greatest advancement in the history of the free press.
Really though, scientific literacy is a good thing. What that means to me is being educated on the scientific method, and how to tell the difference between performing scientific experimentation and simply believing what you read because the people who wrote it claim to have performed science.
It isn't science or knowledge really until you know. Isn't that what science is?
People argue about basic things, like whether or not the Earth is round or flat. I've always heard that the world is round. Then you get all these people making convincing sounding arguments about how the Earth is flat.
You know, to be honest? I never really knew whether the Earth was round or flat. I have not personally performed the necessary science to make that assessment. I DON'T KNOW.
Guess its time to build a giant rocket. We're gonna find out if the moon really is made of cheese, and whether the Earth is round or flat!
Science can be expensive....