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Has the culture of denying science gone too far to stop?

Rubik

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We live in a world where "alternative science" and psuedo-science have platforms to reach wide audiences.

Is it too late to stop the flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, essential oil sellers, and the like from giving themselves false legitimacy and causing the very idea of objective knowledge to become the subject of debate? Does this frustrate you? Is an internet Zelda forum a healthy place to try to process that frustration?

Please share your thoughts below. :)
 

Castle

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Why do they need to be stopped? Contrary to reports, there just aren't that many of these kinds of people. Mankind is in no danger from backsliding into some dark age of ignorance any time soon.

Even if there were a significant number of flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers and the like, what possible danger can they pose? Those people will never need to understand science because they will never use it in their daily lives. Of the examples listed, only anti-vaxxers pose any real threat because of the danger of unvaccinated people spreading disease, but that's not a problem now or for the foreseeable future. There's even so much that climate "deniers" can really do about climate change one way or another either, unless you count not wanting to revert society back to per-industrial living standards and bankrupt entire developed nations in the process as problematic somehow.

Honestly, it shouldn't frustrate anyone because there's just not much of an effect - if any - that these alleged ignoramuses have on anything.
unless you are the sort who just absolutely positively must force everyone into your line of thinking, that is. then you're likely to be very frustrated.

So what danger can their ignorance possible pose? Why is there a need to correct them? Even if they did believe the 'truth' would that knowledge even make a difference when it wouldn't be of any use to them or others anyway?

And on that matter, what's to say that people shouldn't be questioning science anyway? I mean, mankind's understanding of science is constantly changing, constantly being challenged and tested. The whole point of science is to ask questions and perform tests to answer them. Personally, I'd be concerned if people weren't questioning these things. Some of these matters are legitimately up for debate. Objective science performed to conclusion by following the scientific method to the tee may be exact (although not always as exact as people let on), but scientists are only human. Scientists can be mistaken. Scientists can lie.

So it is right to question what is considered to be "settled" science. Any honest scientist will tell you that few things in science are ever settled. Many established truths in science once thought to have been long settled have been debunked and resettled multiple times. It's as it should be. As people's understanding of science grows we're constantly relearning what we've come to understand.
 

ExLight

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Those people will never need to understand science because they will never use it in their daily lives.
That's not completely true. While people with those beliefs are the minority, some are also present in the scientific community and they're often used as leading "evidence" by these groups of alt-believers.

Take climate change deniers, per example. According to NASA, 3% of climate experts don't believe human actions are the responsible for global warming/climate change; so basically, if you put 34 scientists in a room, at least one of them should believe that it's all a hoax.
Another example is how Wakefield's study that vaccines cause Autism became one of, if not the most famous, arguments Anti-vaxxers believers use.

Small cases like those are enough for people to embrace their personal belief and believe they have part of the scientific community voicing them. And when popular opinion starts differentiating from the scientific consensus things get a bit dangerous, because the former is usually more influential despite being more irrational. So yes, not only these pseudo-sciences might affect their daily lives but everyone's as they get more and more spread across every kind of places.

EDIT: Hmm, I think my point here wasn't too clear.
What I meant, was like; there are deniers everywhere, and the facts they are a thing can influence multiple people's lives. This ends up affecting how science is used on everyday (e.g. education professionals, "doctors", scientists with alternative beliefs, etc.). Even though the majority of people doesn't work with science directly, the ones that do can affect larger groups and influence the environments they represent.

And on that matter, what's to say that people shouldn't be questioning science anyway?
We should and we do, but the whole idea of science is it debating itself with factual evidence.
Pseudo-sciences make stuff up/deny existing proof so they can impose themselves. I'm not sure why we should risk sacrificing a space that allows everyone to argue their ideas as long as they're coherent for one where people just use baseless conjecture based on superstitions, personal beliefs, or half-truths to assert their points.

Scientists can lie.
Lol, if you think they're lying you can just go and test their theories. That's the whole point of science, scientists with different opinions on all kinds of subjects testing to see which one is the most fitting to explain the events of nature/how it works.

We live in a world where "alternative science" and psuedo-science have platforms to reach wide audiences.

Is it too late to stop the flat-earthers, anti-vaxxers, climate change deniers, essential oil sellers, and the like from giving themselves false legitimacy and causing the very idea of objective knowledge to become the subject of debate? Does this frustrate you? Is an internet Zelda forum a healthy place to try to process that frustration?

Please share your thoughts below. :)
As for the OG question, no, it's not impossible.

While these have always existed, the actual beliefs do feel like a step back.
It's a bit hard to know if the easy access to these ideas via the internet are actually spreading the word or just making it easier for their followers to meet each other and make more noise. I feel like it's something that should be addressed in a civilized manner, and that it should be something to be called out publicly more so the next generations are a bit more aware of it.
 
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Kirino

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USA
It depends on the type of denial or pseudoscience. Some, like essential oils and flat-earthers, are mostly harmless. Others, like anti-vaxxing and climate denial, have much more damaging real-world effects. It does frustrate me, but I think there's little to be done, although activists and educators who try to inform people are doing important and necessary work.
 

Emma

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I honestly do not think it's really ever going to get to the "too far to stop" point. There have been many cases in human history where people feared, and tried to stop, what they did not understand, what threatened to change their lives. And even in cases where it looked like change was going to be stopped, history inevitably marches on.
That's not to say that we shouldn't worry about these people or that you shouldn't oppose them. But it does mean you need no be concerned about them getting their way in the long term.

And regarding any problems we are facing now, never, ever be concerned about a doomsday scenario occurring. First and foremost, doomsdays are inevitably attractive. People are drawn to the idea and have been throughout history. The idea of the end coming is seen as being irresistible. And wanting that doomsday is inevitably going to cloud your judgement. It'll make you cherry-pick your information. Make you see what you want to see. If you want a doomsday, you'll see one coming, your mind will automatically dismiss whatever contradicts that whether you like it or not.

In terms of real threats to humanity, that's a scientific matter. And you should never underestimate science. Literally everyone ever in the history of science who has ever made a prediction on what the limits of what science can do have all been wrong. Every last one of them. So don't repeat history by making their mistake. Any problem we're faced with, we will find a way to deal with it. Necessity is the mother of invention. There is no such thing as a problem we cannot deal with, one that has gone "past a point of no return." There is always a way. And you fail at the fundemental heart of sicence if you immediately decide on your conclusion before you've actually done the work. That's precisely what these anti-science people we're talking about have done. Don't be like them.
 
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No. Because there have always been folks denying something.

They simply have a means to tell the whole world what they think now. Plus science is ever changing and evolving and sometimes wrong because it is still learning. Or because people's egos get in the way.
 

NintendoCN

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Common Sense is in low supply, I wouldn't be surprised to see tomatoes in fruit salad at this point. With all this information at our fingertips it's surprising that people but into thing that have been proven time and time again to be untrue, or just plain wrong. One instance does not make it a fact. Only with at least 40 cases with different circumstances but the same result can be called a study or pattern. The phrase. "You make the data fit the subject." Comes to mind. If you think science is wrong, prove it. Bet you can't.
 

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