This is a very plain blog with quotes from and links to articles I found interesting, thought-provoking, or relevant to the times. Linking is neither endorsement nor condemnation. Run by http://willslack.com
In general, people use experts all the time, and most of us don’t spend a lot of time second-guessing experts on most issues. There are some definite exceptions to that. If we have reason to believe that people are dishonest or incompetent, then we may be skeptical. But, when it comes to science, the big exception has to do with what I’ve written about, which is implicatory denial. That is to say, we reject scientific findings because we don’t like their implications.
All of the major areas where we see resistance to scientific findings in contemporary life fall into this category. So if you ask yourself, Why do people reject the evidence of evolution? It’s not because evolutionary theory is a bad theory, or a weak theory scientifically, or that we don’t have good evidence for it. It’s because some people think that it implies that there’s no God, or that it implies that life is meaningless and has no purpose, or that it’s all just random and nihilistic. If we think about vaccinations, it’s a similar sort of thing. It’s not that the science of immunology is a bad science or a weak science. It’s not that the people who reject immunization really understand immunology and have an intellectual critique. It’s a matter of, if their children are autistic, they feel upset that their children have a quite devastating disease and modern medical science doesn’t have an explanation for it. So they feel upset and they want an explanation, and so they turn to something like vaccinations, and they say, “Well, that’s the cause.” And so on and so forth with climate change, et cetera.