REVERB: The War on Science

REVERB is a new documentary series from CBSN originals. The latest episode, The War on Science , shows how teachers are fighting the pseudo-science. It’s not just creationism anymore. They now have to fight climate change denial flat-earthers.

The creationist teachers remark’s about Star Wars are hilarious!!!

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I read that article recently but didn’t see the part about the documentary… thanks for sharing! It must be a tough time to be a teacher.

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That was a well-done set of interviews! Kudos to Adam.

I thought the last statement given by the individual right at the end of the video was a fitting concluding thought to have about all this …

Our society relies on a cognitive division of labor; we ‘outsource’ a lot of that knowledge and that skill … I have no idea how to change the oil in my car, so I take my car to a mechanic, and I trust that the mechanic is going to do that; and without that … If we can’t rely completely on one another and if trust breaks down … we are sort of scared and nervous and responsible for everything on our own; and that’s just not sustainable as a society.

I would add that this kind of social capital is extremely essential to so much that we value; and we need to do a much better job of promoting how valuable such social capital is.

One question I raise here regarding the concept of “echo chambers” on social media or in our various sub-cultures: I can anticipate this response from some who would hear this criticism and would turn it back on their critics by claiming: “well, you too have your own echo chambers, and when you search for various conspiracy-theory-debunking videos, you too are simply engaging in an echo chamber exercise.” So what would be the best way to respond to that?

How about this: Yes - I am vulnerable just to seeking out confirmation bias just like you are, but I prefer to have the much, much larger “chamber” of the world of consensus science (and indeed the world itself) which does include all sorts of opposing voices - and obliges those voices to actually muster evidence for their opposition. Those are the voices that I want to heed and give much more credence to rather than the voices promoting only motivated doubt and selective skepticism.

It was interesting and rather refreshing (along with all the depressing things) to see him interview the Oklahoma science teacher who, while not going so far as to believe in evolution herself, nonetheless feels the weight of responsibility to make sure her students become more savvy consumers of information. The world is not black and white in all these regards. Effective people will inevitably, by virtue of living there, be aware of the community and culture they live among, and work to “move the needle” in positive directions from wherever it currently is. And that may involve opposing those who want to move the needle in harmful directions.

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