No. 118 (essentialsaltes) wrote,
No. 118

Source analysis

Yes, yes, Todd Akin said something incredibly stupid and factually wrong.

But a more fundamental problem that's cancerously eating away at rational debate in our society is that there are organizations explicitly designed to spout crap that agrees with your personal biases. And the well-established principle of confirmation bias shows that people tend to believe things that agree with their positions (and discount conflicting information).

The firehose of information that is the internet is great. If used correctly. Sadly, it also enables people who only want to confirm their own biases rather than evaluate the evidence.

#1: this goes for everybody, regardless of position. So nobody gets to be smug without doing his or her homework.

#2: if you think it's funny when people think the universe is 6,000 years old, it may seem less funny when people, like Paul Ryan, disregard climate science because it's inconvenient for the almighty dollar, or, like Todd Akin, disregard junior high health class because it's inconvenient for his position on abortion.

Education has failed in a very serious way to convey the most important lesson science can teach: skepticism.
David Suzuki
Tags: politics, science, skepticism

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