Huffington Post - What the Candidates Should Know
Seth Shostak on what our candidates should know when it comes to science.*
“The CDC is well aware that vaccines cause autism,” the young woman told me. “They cover it up because of the money.”
It’s a lament as perennial as the grass: The level of science literacy of the American public is subterranean. People believe strange and irrational things. But the puzzling thing is, this seems to be an immutable fact — one that resists every effort at change. The strength of the beliefs is more worrisome than the beliefs themselves.
Whether the issue is climate, the safety of vaccines, or biological evolution, significant numbers of people routinely consider the word of science neither wise nor right. There are deeper truths, these people aver, that are repressed by government or the science practitioners because of greed, social control, or simple malevolence. The government, according to the disbelievers, is fully capable of doing more than merely hiding the specs of military aircraft or the names of operatives in sand-blown countries. They are concealing important facts germane to everyone.
*By the way, this is also another excellent argument against anyone voting for Donald Trump, as if his extreme bigotry wasn’t enough.