It takes longer for the American public to accept scientific theories than the scientific community. It has been suggested that the problem lies in America’s supposed “long history” of “politicizing science,” but there are a few problems with that argument.
The theories of evolution and global warming are called theories for a reason. In fact, they are called theories because they cannot be proven, scientifically or otherwise. No one — not even scientists — can prove beyond a shadow of a doubt evolution ever happened or that global climate change is actually occurring because of all the evidence that disproves both theories (i.e. the lack of evolutionary development as prescribed by Darwin and the fact that the global climate temperature has only increased approximately one degree Fahrenheit in the past century due singularly to natural trends).
There always remains some doubt about these theories, and to continue to believe these theories are true without actual scientific evidence is to have a faith even Christians could envy.
Science is not politicized by Americans. Politicians politicize science to get re-elected or gain popularity. Americans respect the field of science for what it is: science. However, Americans are critical of science, just as we are critical of our government, elected officials, etc. It would be foolhardy to accept everything we hear as being true, so why should Americans be expected to believe theories like evolution and global warming without question? As Americans we should be critical of everything we hear and seek to discover the facts. After all, true science is about skepticism and seeking the truth through what we can see, feel, hear, taste and touch — not through what we believe.
It is outrageous to suggest that many Americans and right-wingers are anti-science. How is it anti-science to question the theories of evolution and global warming? Is it also anti-science to question Albert Einstein’s theory of relativity or Newton’s laws of physics? Is science not to be questioned at all? Evolution and global warming are theories and meant to be questioned so that the truth may be found out. Again, that is what science is all about.
Science is about finding the truth about the world and universe around us, not blindly following people like Darwin without question. It is the people who believe in evolution and global warming without question who are anti-science.
It has been said that we should encourage our children to become scientists to move this country forward, but the only way this can be achieved is through constant questioning of the status quo, which includes theories and beliefs that humankind holds to be true.
Teaching our children that the theories of evolution and global warming are true and not to question them is, in itself, an exercise in anti-intellectualism. But, hey, isn’t that better than having our children be like other extremists who also questioned the status quo? You know, extremists like Martin Luther King, Jr., George Washington, Frederick Douglas, Albert Einstein, Galileo, Christopher Columbus, Martin Luther, Thomas Jefferson, Jesus Christ ….
Andrew Jenson can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org