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Old 10-25-2018, 11:52 AM
Kimstu is offline
Join Date: Dec 1999
Posts: 22,864
Originally Posted by Martin Hyde View Post
Long run history will see them akin to how we see the Salem witch trial people or the Catholic Church fighting with Galileo over the motions of the planets. I.e., "people long ago believed stupid things."
I think there's a significant difference---certainly in the Salem witch trials example---based on availability of reliable information. Nowadays there is a fairly widespread social consensus that mainstream science provides largely accurate models of the physical world and predictions about it that have a very high likelihood of being true. And it is pretty easy to find out, in general terms, what mainstream science says about a particular issue.

But we have a few specific areas, such as climate change, evolution and vaccines, where a surprisingly large segment of the population selectively rejects this consensus. People who have no problem believing scientists' predictions that, say, the next meteor shower will be unusually active or that DNA testing will reveal someone's heritage or that this new bridge design will be safe are refusing to believe scientific findings about climate change.