Sunday, February 14, 2010

Trusting Science

While it is hardly surprising to me that the bulk of the public opinion isn't on board with scientific fact, I also wouldn't find it surprising if within the next few years Team Science's numbers increased.  The fact that only 32% of the public believes in natural evolution alone can almost pinpoint the exact nexus of these public opinions; religion.  The same thing could be said for the percentage of the public that believes in stem cell research.  It is no doubt that religion is a force to be reckoned with, even in this day and age, and boy, do people love their creation myths.  However, this is just one example, but the reluctancy to trust in science partially stems from that.   People don't like being wrong, and when science challenges their beliefs, well, they tend to hold grudges.  It may also be because science is coming from an unfamiliar party, such as the news or other media outlets.   This is where certain biases come into play as well.  Another reason for science being so untrusted in today's world, is that the public seems to have a hard time accepting change and science and technology are always making strides to improve our world.  However, despite all this, with new religions and more and more advances being made in science, it is my personal opinion that science will eventually overwrite the power of religious beliefs and follow the anthropological time line.  First there was magic, which evolved into religion and the next logical step forward is science.

1 comment:

  1. I agree that religion and media play into the public’s portrayal of science. I feel a large part of this is the fact that it would force people to question the very basis of what they hold to be true. If one was to question their religion in regard to one facet, they would be forced to reexamine its teachings as a whole, and that is something that not many people are willing to do. I feel that even though the scientific findings seem rational, there are many people who will still dismiss them, if only to save themselves from having to question their entire belief system. The fact that the media doesn’t usually provide the public with the entire picture when reporting scientific findings also makes them easier to dismiss. On the other hand, it seems to me that the loose portrayal of scientific findings on the news makes it just as easy to believe them to be true. That is until you see them presented in a different angle two days later. The interpretation of scientific findings by the media only serve as a stepping off point for individuals to investigate them further on their own, which is something not many people do. Essentially, I feel that the media sends conflicting views of scientific findings that can potentially harm the field in respect to public opinion.