Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Life, The Universe, and Everything

This is gonna be a rant so for everyone who doesn't care/is too lazy to read a TL;DR is sitting at the bottom just for you.

If there's one thing in this world that is unassailable it is the 'institution' (/ideal/philosophy/etc) of science. Countless experts having spent thousands upon thousands of hours learning, studying, and perfecting their field give, almost freely, the secrets the universe holds. None of these would be found without the mind-bending, back-breaking labor suffered by scientists around the world and throughout time. Work to which we owe everything we know and take for granted. I don't feel I have to go into too much detail on this point but it is suffice to say that there isn't a moment that goes by for most westerners that isn't directly influenced by the products of science.

Now, as these truths are readily evident for anyone who cares to look the question remains: Why do people think they know better than the experts in any given field?

If you're not a physicist then you wouldn't proclaim a physicist to be wrong when they make a claim such as "Radioactive decay might not be as immutable as we thought. Turns out neutrinos (or maybe even a yet undiscovered particle) may have a slight effect on decay rates based on solar output and perhaps even CMEs." not only because you may not understand what it is they are talking about but because they are fucking experts who spent their lives learning this shit.

Why, then, do people think they know better than climatologists? Why, then, do people think they know better then evolutionary biologists? Geographers? Palaeontologists? The simple fact of the matter is: if you did not go to school to study this particular field so that you could gain knowledge inside and out, spending 4+ years studying your ass off, then YOU ARE NOT QUALIFIED TO ARGUE WITH THE EXPERTS! This is a plague here in America (I'd imagine it is elsewhere) especially when it comes to things such as anthropogenic climate change (global warming due to human involvement), evolution, and vaccines. Droves of herp-derps foaming at the mouth about shit they have never studied or researched in any serious depth, just spewing the propaganda that comes out of Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, and other political commentators that have axes to grind. Not only is this an easy fix, it's one that must happen before the drooling masses try to drag us back into a new dark-age.

The reasons such thinking is dangerous are too obvious to necessitate my explanation. The solution, however simple, may not be as obvious. Education is the key to solving this insidious problem. Our dollars are being spent everywhere but where they need to be spent the most. We need to start contacting our representatives demanding that more money be spent on education.

It's not just the governments duty. It's also the duty of each and every parent out there. Stressing things like skepticism, critical thinking, and the importance of education is something every parent must do if they are concerned with the future of our country, species, and their own progeny. I am not hopeful in this regard. I firmly believe that most people who have children should not have children and that our culture in general is stifling the idea of intelligence being a good thing. I'll dive in more depth on these in future posts, dawg.

TL;DR If you're not an expert in a scientific field then you have no right to argue with said experts. Education is the key.