Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article

To: highball
I apologize for my tardy reply, work sometimes interjects itself...

If I created the impression that I was suggesting that science should be poll driven I made my argument poorly.

My intention was that the "public relations" of the situation isn't being handled well.

I work in a fairly technical area (not science) and I work with clients every day that don't have a clue. They're not stupid, they're not morons, they're ignorant of the issue surronding a reasonably technical area.

Not that I would even use the word ignorant, rather I try to explain, using situations that they can relate to their lives, the reasons why they're morons (there's a bit of an attempt at humor there). If I were to simply say "hey, you guys are morons" I suspect I'd be shown the door immediately and lose a client.

For instance as a non-scientists I have an idea of what the word "theory" means: "An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.". However the scientific definition of theory is, of course, quite different.

It's not the publics fault that they go with the one they're likley to understand from their non-scientific lives. They're not morons, they've simply not been exposed to the fact.

So the point I was trying to make, perhaps poorly, is that it is incumbent on science to educate, not simply call people morons. Present a cogent argument starting with the basics and continue from there.

It may not work, but I would observe that in the last 30 years science hasn't engaged in enough education. We see junk science used to advance an agenda and fairly or unfairly, it's a big brush that the public sees as tarring all science. We also see science that has become, at least in my view, timid in challenging junk science because of tenure, funding or even being outcasts in their peer group.

Rather than education it's been more of a case of "we're real smart, we're right, you don't agree, you're an idiot".

Simply a thought.

544 posted on 12/06/2005 3:13:07 AM PST by Proud_texan ("Moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue." - Barry Goldwater)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 60 | View Replies ]


To: Proud_texan

What you say isn't unreasonable. Part of the problem that those of us on the evo side of the debate is that we see the same canards and easily refuted weak arguments for creationism/ID coming at us again and again.

Various forms of this behaviour can be very irritating, which makes us tend to post snappily.

* The same Freeper posting the same refuted argument again and again in a thread
* An evo refutes an argument, and then sees it pop up again from the same poster in a later thread as if the refutation had never happened
* Argument by lucky dip, where a Freeper posts a succession of arguments and as each one is refuted just goes back to their favourite creationist website for more, ad nauseam within the same thread. Don't they realise how stupid this makes them (and by extension their religion) look?
* Argument by continuous cheerleading for bad arguments being posted by other Freepers, without ever actually proposing any arguments of their own.
* Putting forward arguments which could only be true if 99% of professional biologists are either stupid or liars engaged in an enormous atheist conspiracy. (the classic 2LOT argument falsifies evolution is an example of this, do the posters really think that biologists are unaware of the 2LOT?)

But you are quite right. We owe it to the lurkers and newby creationist posters who have genuinely been misled to be as factual and down-to-earth as possible, and to avoid being snappy. I fail all the time myself though.


547 posted on 12/06/2005 3:38:21 AM PST by Thatcherite (F--ked in the afterlife, bullying feminized androgenous automaton euro-weenie blackguard)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 544 | View Replies ]

To: Proud_texan
We also see science that has become, at least in my view, timid in challenging junk science because of tenure, funding or even being outcasts in their peer group.

Do you have any examples of what you mean by "Junk science" in this regard. The scientists of my acquaintance are an opinionated bunch who are quick to deride any notions that they regard as fallacious, and who don't seem overly concerned with maintaining the status quo and not rocking the boat. Scientists are naturally argumentative.

In the past I've seen "junk science" used as a catch-all term that describes science whose conclusions a poster feels uncomfortable with, without regard to the actual validity of the science.

548 posted on 12/06/2005 3:43:35 AM PST by Thatcherite (F--ked in the afterlife, bullying feminized androgenous automaton euro-weenie blackguard)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 544 | View Replies ]

To: Proud_texan
Thank you for your well-articulated reply.

I respect your position, and agree wholeheartedly. Scientists should educate the public, and not let the forces of ignorance frame the debate. For example, skipping the Kansas hearings was a monumentally stupid idea. Bad strategy, and an opportunity lost.

I would take issue with one thing that you said, at least as far as it relates to conversation on these threads:

For instance as a non-scientists I have an idea of what the word "theory" means: "An assumption based on limited information or knowledge; a conjecture.". However the scientific definition of theory is, of course, quite different.

It's not the publics fault that they go with the one they're likley to understand from their non-scientific lives. They're not morons, they've simply not been exposed to the fact.

Few people on these threads are ignorant as to the scientific meaning of the word "theory." The vast majority of creationists who twist it into "guess" do so with full knowledge of their dishonesty.

Everybody gets one free pass on that mistake. Most don't seem to care about the truth so long as they can advance their agenda, and I have no problem calling out those people for it.

576 posted on 12/06/2005 6:49:32 AM PST by highball ("I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have." -- Thomas Jefferson)
[ Post Reply | Private Reply | To 544 | View Replies ]

Free Republic
Browse · Search
News/Activism
Topics · Post Article


FreeRepublic, LLC, PO BOX 9771, FRESNO, CA 93794
FreeRepublic.com is powered by software copyright 2000-2008 John Robinson