Hardly seems like a fair fight right?
On the one hand, we have evidence, rigorous mathematics, detailed experimental methods, a 500 year history of logical reasoning and critical thinking.
On the other hand, we have a marketing machine fueled by money, politicians and celebrities bought and paid for with money and power, and a culture that deifies Honey-boo-boo and hates people like Bill Nye.
Yes, it is totally unfair and science is losing big time.
Galileo was convinced by the evidence he gathered that the Earth was not the center of the universe. The Church did not agree because that would disrupt their all controlling power (or they felt that it would, which is the same thing). Only a few hundred years later did the Church finally admit to their mistake.
Climate change is rejected by big oil companies. And they pay for people to produce papers that reject it. Here, the industry knows that the science is correct, but is taking steps to confuse the public.
The dangers of tobacco is rejected by (shockingly) tobacco companies.Let’s be clear, the industry knew that the science was correct, but took steps to cause the public to reject it.
Do you see a pattern?
Money and control.
That’s it. All of the rejection of science, since Galileo and before, has been about power and control (money). And the people with poor reasoning skills and who make no effort to understand a topic (no, reading peer-review in order to find quotes to discredit the same paper is not “studying”) are letting all the science deniers get away with it.
Scientists have a hard time competing with marketing, media, and the politicians. Science doesn’t pay well, despite what you might think. Science is hard, a 15 second sound bite is easy. Refuting points with evidence is hard, throwing out a thousand false points hoping no one will notice is easy.
History is repeating itself. Everyone is well aware of the dangers of tobacco and the vast majority of people on the planet accept that the Earth is not the center of the universe (the observable universe, yes, but that’s a totally different thing).
In 200 years, no one left will doubt evolution or GMOs. Indeed, it is likely that the people left alive will be so dependent on GMOs for food that they can’t imagine anyone rejecting them. This will be because they are trying to feed 15 billion people with half the crop land we have today due to rising sea level and global warming. They will call us fools, just as we call the Church that attacked Galileo fools for rejecting basic science.
This reminds me of technology. What is impossible for one generation is a challenge for the next and commonplace for the third. Think about computers or air conditioners or TVs or X-rays (my son’s dentist has a hand-held X-ray gun). All these things were unimaginable to the previous generations, but we don’t even think about the SCIENCE that brought them to us.
It’s rather depressing to watch history repeat itself again and again. To watch the same ignorant crowds that burned witches in the 1700s burning fields of crops today for the same reasons… fear. A fear promoted by people in control who feel threatened by the knowledge of science and advances of technology.