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Science Is Not Fake News

6 Dec 2018, 15:01 UTC
Science Is Not Fake News
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Earth energy budget diagram, with incoming and outgoing radiation (Values are shown in W/m²). Satellite instruments (CERES) measure the reflected solar, and emitted infrared radiation fluxes. The energy balance determines Earth’s climate. (NASA)Having ‘high levels of intelligence’ is no excuse for rejecting quality scientific information.You think of yourself as a generally intelligent person, don’t you? Someone who’s good at deducing fact from fiction; someone who doesn’t get the wool pulled over their eyes very often. Someone who can reason their way out of a difficult situation, and can spot a con artist a mile away. Your intuition is great at discerning when someone’s twisting the rules to reach their desired conclusion, rather than the one that the evidence supports.There’s just one problem: when you’re not a bona fide expert at something, you lack the very skills necessary to evaluate the evidence and determine what it actually supports. The set of information we have as individuals is often limited and biased. And if you’ve made up your mind based on an incomplete set of evidence, it’s going to be harder to change your mind. This is why we have the enterprise of science, and why you must never equate its findings ...

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