Science Under Attack
mp3 | wma | wav

Facts matter!Since you're reading this, we'd guess you're a fan of science and its exciting discoveries. Yet the challenges to scientific evidence have rarely been more ominous.  When we trained to be scientists, we were taught the scientific method, which tests a theory through experimentation. But before about 1600, nature was viewed as a product of something supernatural.

After 1600, people began to observe nature and develop hypotheses and experiments to test those ideas, leading to the scientific method. Thinkers of the time questioned traditional authority and sought truth, which led to an explosion of scientific advances.

Yet today there's growing anti-science sentiment with long-lasting effects.  For example, in 1998, Andrew Wakefield published a paper linking the MMR or Measles vaccine to autism. It got a lot of attention, to say the least. But he was later exposed for taking money from lawyers suing manufacturers of the vaccine and for falsifying data.  Unfortunately, people still believe his thoroughly discredited claims, and vaccination rates continue to fall, causing preventable diseases to re-emerge.

Other science deniers include the South African president who refused to believe that HIV causes AIDS and the Canadian administration led by Stephen Harper, who forbade talk about climate change.  America has its own climate change deniers in its political leaders.  Yet, the start of the twenty-first century has been the hottest on record. 

Regardless of politics and our personal beliefs, we need to push back against deniers of scientific evidence.  We're accountable to one another and future generations depend on us. Science is based on evidence, not anecdotes or personal feelings. Learn to love the scientific method and, correctly applied, it won't steer you wrong.

For more information…

The Crash and Burn of an Autism Guru
Andrew Wakefield has become one of the most reviled doctors of his generation, blamed directly and indirectly, depending on the accuser, for irresponsibly starting a panic with tragic repercussions: vaccination rates so low that childhood diseases once all but eradicated here — whooping cough and measles, among them — have re-emerged, endangering young lives...

The Scientific Method
The scientific method is used in all sciences—including chemistry, physics, geology, and psychology. The scientists in these fields ask different questions and perform different tests. However, they use the same core approach to find answers that are logical and supported by evidence...

7 Ways to Improve Your Critical Thinking Skills
Critical thinking is just deliberately and systematically processing information so that you can make better decisions and generally understand things better. The above definition includes so many words because critical thinking requires you to apply diverse intellectual tools to diverse information...