Animals & Wildlife Magazine

Americans’ Increasing Distrust of Science — and Not Just on Climate Change

By Garry Rogers @Garry_Rogers

Americans’ increasing distrust of science — and not just on climate change

By Aaron Blake.  “It’s also not just Republicans.

“Eight in 10 Americans believe science has made life better for most people, but they still don’t trust scientists — and/or aren’t aware of their consensus — on many of the most important science-related issues of the day.

“And that goes for far more than just climate change. And it includes plenty of Democrats too.

“A new Pew study comparing the attitudes of scientists and the public shows wide gaps between the two when it comes to climate, food that uses genetically modified organisms and pesticides, research using animals, and also the threat posed by the fast-growing world population.”  Source: www.washingtonpost.com

GR:  School-aged children and adults often hear conflicting views on important issues.  Young people I know often ask my opinion on interesting ideas or arguments they’ve heard.  Often, I find the arguments are obvious fallacies.  There are many ways to argue for unsound conclusions, even that science itself is faulty or dangerous.

A fallacious argument in logic or rhetoric is one that is invalid.  Wikipedia defines more than 100 fallacies that people often use to make unsound arguments.  Some of the fallacies are difficult to spot without prior knowledge.  Learning to recognize the long lists of fallacies takes time and that’s why I suggest schoolwork.

Schools should include middle-grade units and high-school courses on fallacy and debate. Otherwise, choosing what to believe is like choosing foods without taste buds.


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