This is going to be the post, when I hurt way to many people. Or offend. That is a more fashionable term. But I’ve read a panel somewhere that “You have the right to be offended and I have the right to offend”.
And you can see that on more and more platforms that just because you offend people, that doesn’t mean you cannot express yourself. But just because you say something, people does not have to accept that.
And yes, that lead us to the anti-science movements. What are usually lead by people who does not understand science.
I am sorry, but that is the harsh truth. Every single time someone tries to convince me about something utterly ridiculous and they bring up their reasoning, the only sentence in my mind is the “This is not how this works. This is not how any of this works.”. And I am the open minded person for new information. Adjusting my knowledge to something new. If it is proven. And accurate. And does not controversial with itself. Because this is usually the problem with these, that the information is contradict with itself sentence by sentence.
The problem’s root is usually the science illiteracy. Like it or not, most of the society does not understand science. In my opinion, that roots in the bad education. Learning life sciences should NOT be a choice. It should be mandatory. History and literature is important, but life sciences are more in my opinion. Because otherwise, this is where we end up. People believing that the gravity is a toxin and weed cures everything.
Self-appointed leaders spread misinformation, because they lack of basic knowledge. (Yes, I am that naive. I do believe that most of the time, this is due to the lack of knowledge, not intentional.)
Whenever I teach, I always tell the audience, that unfortunately life science are not the easy to learn and understand type. The more you learn, the more you realize that the reality is much more complex than you thought and how much you still don’t know. Scratching the surface is not the same as having deep and detailed knowledge. I still have paragraphs and chapters in my Biochemistry book – which is published recently concluding the latest discoveries -, which says “unfortunately we do not know more about this topic at the moment”.
“Taking a sentence out of context.”
You know how annoying it is, when you say something and someone just quotes one sentence which alone means completely different than what you said. You can see that a lot in celebrity news. And we know, they are twisting the original meaning.
Well, this is exactly what people do with scientific papers. Those papers are usually 10+ pages long, for a reason. Explaining the background, the results and the conclusion. Taking out one sentence will twist the whole meaning.
(It is another thing, that many people do this for fear mongering.)
So, yes. A 5-minutes or half an hour google search does not make up for years of study and research. It doesn’t matter how hard you try. If that is not your field, you won’t understand, you will misunderstand due to the lack of basic knowledge which is essential for understanding. And you will just make people upset, angry for making their life’s work pointless and useless and waste of time.
So please, ask. You can argue, if you understand the basic concept and you have the background knowledge. Otherwise, you will just make a fool of yourself in front of others.
Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance. (George Bernard Shaw)