Sunday, March 13, 2011

Science Illiteracy – it’s just depressing

Scientific illiteracy is depressing. It is one of the reasons that creationism, intelligent design (ID) and a plethora of pseudoscience are accepted by so many. It seems that scientific illiteracy and the mistrust of science is on the rise. The media is replete with discussions of intelligent design (IDiocy) and climate change denial ostriches. Many people nowadays cannot address even the simplest scientific question.

How many adults understand what molecules are, and how many can identify DNA as a key to heredity or that the Earth is 4.56 billion years old and not 6000 years old. The lack of a basic understanding of how the earth works is also obvious whenever large earthquakes such as the occurrence 9.0 magnitude quake in Japan last week is covered in the news. The news anchors always ask the same dumb questions of geophysicists ….. how do earthquakes occur, are they on the rise and can we predict them? I am willing to bet that there are still people that believe that the Sun revolves around the Earth! No wonder people confuse scientific research with obsolete religious dogma or far-rightwing political discussions.