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Wednesday
Aug052009

Does the Public Trust Scientists?

Joe (He doesn't give his last name) from over at Atheist Point tweeted me this morning about an article he had written on August 3. It's a good article, very well written, as all of Joe's work appears to be. In this article called "The General Public and Science" he illustrates the many disconnects between the beliefs of scientists and non-scientists.

In the middle of his article, he says this:

The Pew Research Center's July 9 poll, conducted in collaboration with the American Association for the Advancement of Science, surveyed scientists and the public on several issues regarding science and it's relationship to society. But scientists have a dim view of the public’s understanding of science, with an overwhelming 85 percent of scientists agreeing that the general public doesn’t know much about science.

Looking at only two crucial issues, it’s not hard to see why. Among the scientists polled, 87 percent think evolution is true and 84 percent agree that human activity is the cause of global warming, whereas the corresponding numbers among the public are 32 and 49, respectively.

The first question I have is about the statistics. The one thing I've learned since I've been blogging is you can find statistics that will say anything. I used them once on here and it created a bit of a fire storm. Barack Obama, who I strongly disagree with on pretty much everything, made a very astute remark about statistics in an interview with Bill O'reilly. He said, "There are lies, d$%@ lies, and statistics." I thought this was a clever, and very true statement. Truth is many statisticians are trying to mold public opinion with their statistics, and not just simply give statistics.

A great example of bad statistics is polling data used in elections. A month before our last Presidential election, Obama was shown by many polls to have double-digit lead. In a country as politically divided as America, it's almost impossible for a politician on either side to have that kind of a lead nationally. Which is the reason the polls tightened so much right before the election, because then it became more important to correctly predict the election results, than to shape election results.

I also think it's safe to say the general public doesn't like that the scientific intelligentsia believes them to be completely ignorant of science. It's come across as arrogant, and I believe it is arrogance that makes scientists feel this way. I've been amazed at the level of hubris shown on this site when someone feels they have high level of scientific understanding. Simply put, this turns people off.

Which segways nicely into my next point which I made in my previous article; I don't think scientists are trusted, generally speaking. Most people understand that scientists have agendas just like anybody else does. And the more scientists and wannabe scientists who continue to declare the infallibility of the scientific mechanisms which declare the credibility of scientific theories, the more it looks like the scientific agenda trumps scientific discovery.(which I whole-heartedly believe)

Joe also wrote this:

These findings are evidence of a dangerous disconnect between science and everyday people. It is clear that people need to pay closer attention to what science is telling us about the world, because now, more than ever, science and technology are at the heart of pressing social issues.

This is just something I completely disagree with.  Instead of paying attention to science, people need to start reading the Bible.  I know that atheists will laugh, but it's true.  The Bible possess the answers to all the problems we face in America, and across the world.

Here's the HardTruth.

Atheists simply have a problem of miss-placed faith.  You think you are putting your faith in science, but you're actually putting it in men.  Scientists are nothing but men, who as I've said before, are capable of the same wicked deeds as anyone else.  So put your faith in God, he has no hidden agendas, and that's the HardTruth.

P.S.

I highly recommend you go to Atheist Point and read the entire article.

Oops, Joe from AtheistPoint just alerted me to the fact that he didn't write this article.  It was written by Raghu Kainkaryam in the Michigan Daily.

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