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Old February 27th, 2013 (12:47 PM).
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Esper Esper is offline
Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: California
Posts: 10,761
Maybe it's partly to do with how we live in a world where everything seems to have two sides now.

I have vague memories of school were we talked about how at some point (the 70s? the 80s?) it started to become a thing in public discourse to view two opposing points of view as equal even when one side was supported by 90+% of scientists, or women, or whoever. You could say "Well, the debate isn't settled" and things like that and make it seem like both sides were equally valid. Today it's even easier because you can always find someone who seems knowledgeable about whatever the topic is with a counter view, like a meteorologist who doesn't believe in climate change.

That kind of atmosphere (haha) makes it hard for less discerning, less scientifically minded people to know what's what. You kind of fall back into a skeptical stance on everything you hear. Added to that, I think we cynically expect everyone to have ulterior motives. Corporations only care about money so they would have reason to lie when they tell you GMOs are safe, and so on. I don't think we're ultimately critical of science, but that we're having more fundamental arguments and science is one of the mediums we do it through. Religious fundamentalists, for example, want everyone to follow their rules, but it's not very persuasive to just go out and say that. Discredit someone's science and you discredit them and what they stand for.
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