Eighth Deadly Sin: Denying Science
Science is a cold-hearted bitch, isn’t she? She doesn’t care about our sense of political correctness or our convenience. She doesn’t care about our religions or our cultures. The electron dances around the nucleus irrespective of what the mullah says, the bible commands, or the culture demands.
Tell a mutating DNA that you don’t believe in evolution, and see if it gives a fraction of a fuck. Nature is so selfish, so inconsiderate of our desires, necessities and beliefs. And that’s why science, a quest to find out how nature works, is every bit as ruthless.
We have deluded ourselves with an idea that science is simply an opinion, that can be embraced or rejected based on our own convenience. Evolution not compatible with your faith? Deny evolution. It would be too costly or inconvenient to slow down human-induced climate change? Deny climate-change.
Here are a few questions and concerns I regularly get to hear from our cardinal sinners:
Questioning the scientific experts makes me a free-thinker.
Yes, if “free-thinker” is the Oxford dictionary’s newly approved synonym for “ignorant moron“.
If you’re ever having a minor surgery, say vasectomy under local anaesthesia, you don’t question the doctor’s procedure. “No, no, doc! Cut deeper into the root of my penis. Oh, I don’t believe in anaesthetics. I think that incision needs to be a few inches wider. No need for stitches, I’ll just glue it up when I get back home.”
For the sake of your own genitalia, you remain silent and admit that you, as a non-doctor, are not as skilled or knowledgeable as the doctor who spent many years studying the human anatomy, and performing these procedures. The only exception where you may challenge and debate this medical expert, is if you’re a doctor yourself and have the same kind of knowledge and experience as he does.
You think scientists are wrong about evolution, global warming, female orgasm, butter or any of the other things you believe aren’t real? Fine. Get a degree in that field of science, procure evidence to support your hypothesis, publish a paper, get it peer reviewed, and once your findings have been confirmed, earn the right to say: “Evolution/Global warming isn’t real!”.
So what if I don’t believe in evolution? Why does it bother you?
What bothers me is this silly idea that you’ve latched on to, that your belief is just as worthy as my scientific evidence. That it’s okay to deny scientific information if it’s not appealing to us.
Evolution is the glue that holds all of biology together. What connects microbiology to zoology, and zoology to anthropology. Without it, it all scatters into discrete packets of information. To put it simply, evolution is to biology what gravity is to physics. If you think denying gravity is stupid and worth making fun of, then you understand why denying evolution is stupid and worth making fun of.
Why trust science? It keeps changing everyday!
It’s not a weakness that science is consistently refining and updating itself.
Do you deny Earth’s rounded shape because “science changes everyday?” Why not? Have you seen the planet from space yourself? Maybe the physicists are all wrong. Heck, they’ve been wrong before about the Earth’s shape, haven’t they?
Actually, science does not jump randomly from one theory to another. It becomes progressively more accurate with time. For instance, scientists first believed that the Earth was flat, then they said it was perfectly spherical, and finally arrived on the correct oblate spheroid model. Both the flat Earth and spherical Earth theories were false, but not equally so. The spherical earth theory was much more accurate than the flat earth theory. So the scientists did lead the public closer to the truth with it, if not exactly to the truth.
It is possible that with future data, scientists may change their position about the finer details concerning evolution and climate change, just like the original Newtonian dynamics were replaced by Modified Newtonian Dynamics (MOND) by Milgrom. But if you’re hanging on to the hope that these theories themselves will disappear in the future, that’s as likely as the physicists realizing that gravity doesn’t really exist. If you’re rational, you wouldn’t bet on it.