Stop trying to link those that doubt the science of Global Warming to Anti-vaccers, flat earthers, anti fluoridation (ers) and any other group of idiots you may disagree with. I am a skeptical person by nature and have always tried to reach my own conclusions based on gathering all the info I can find and using my BS detector to help weed out the nonsense. Climate Change is a tough one. Until we find Another Earth where an identical population has refrained from using fossil fuels, we are not going to have a control group to weigh the validity of climate change assumptions. James Randi once said.. ” Scientists have a habit of finding what they are looking for, even when it’s not there.”
Many view a belief in an objective reality, independent of perception, as the absence of faith. This fails to acknowledge the fact that at some level, even a belief in objective reality, no matter how much evidence it may be based upon, is still based on faith. I believe that there is no magic in the universe – that everything has the potential to be explained, it’s just a matter of discovery. But I do not KNOW that to be true. It’s simply the only way the world makes sense to me. Someone else may believe that there’s magic out there somewhere. That not everything can be explained according to the natural laws of an objective reality. And that may be the only way that the world makes sense to them. Both of those beliefs are exactly that – beliefs.
The scientific community has done a great deal to improve the quality of life here on planet earth. I hope that continues to be the case. But as this article warns, science can only improve society if society trusts the scientific community and welcomes new discoveries. The fatal flaw of the scientific community at the moment is one of great hubris – the idea that they understand THE objective reality and those who doubt them are simply living in fantasy world. The scientific community is frustrated, and understandably so. But simply shouting at the rest of the world that they are wrong and we are right is not only not going to improve the quality of life here on earth, it is going to damage it. The relationship between the scientific community in the world will decay and science will no longer be able to contribute to society.
Aesop’s fable – The North Wind and The Sun – can offer a great deal of wisdom to those in the scientific community right now. Kindness and gentle persuasion win where force and bluster fail. No amount of shouting at the outside world will help the scientific community persuade the rest of society that their ideas are correct, or even that their ideas can be useful or helpful in some way. What the scientific community needs is patience, humility, and maybe most of all – to take a class in rhetoric and persuasion.
“What the scientific community needs is patience, humility, and maybe most of all – to take a class in rhetoric and persuasion.”
Of course scientists need patience and humility. That has always been true. But rhetoric and persuasion is not the job of scientists. A constant struggle for a scientist is to remain objective. Asking scientists to take classes in and practice the arts of persuasion is asking them to become subjective – merely for the purpose of somehow making humanity less ignorant and destructive. Rhetoric and persuasion are the jobs of community leaders, politicians, and theologians.
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