Are You Smarter Than a Scientist?

The U.S. is devolving and becoming increasingly insular.

One presidential candidate wants to build a wall around Mexico to keep out immigrants (Trump); another posits that evolution is “satanic”, the Big Bang Theory is a “fairy tale”, and that a Muslim shouldn’t serve as a U.S. president (Carson); another (who’s a physician) didn’t debunk the myth of a link between vaccines and autism in a recent debate (Rand); and yet another (who’s a woman) supports a government shutdown to defund Planned Parenthood’s mammograms and AIDS screenings (Fiorina).

This while Germany and other nations took in thousands of Syrian migrants and refugees, with few questions asked. And this while the Pope visited U.S. shores, respectfully asking us to see the bigger picture and accept our responsibility to help humanity and protect our Earth. Tackling climate change head on and ensuring the health of our most vulnerable with vaccines were imbued in the Pope’s entreaty. Seems Europeans are more compassionate and scientifically enlightened than Americans.

In Mashable this week, Dan Rather wrote an incisive article saying, “Ignoring science isn’t just a Republican problem. It’s an American problem.” It’s true, many Americans are science deniers, questioning the latest scientific consensus on evolution, climate change, vaccines and many other critical issues. Remember when NASA shuttle landings warranted ducking out of school or work to watch on a restaurant TV because they were so exciting? How did we lose our love of scientific inquiry and exploration? In part it’s because Americans no longer respect experts, let alone scientific ones. It’s also because we don’t understand and appreciate the brilliance of the scientific method.

As an organic and self-correcting collective, science mostly gets it right. Scientists are constantly evaluating science and its contributing data. That’s why science —> Read More