I CANNOT begin to describe how much my blood boiled when I saw what I would call a most cursed comment earlier today. I’ll spare you the details, but it was an incredibly lengthy comment in disdain of lockdown and quarantine protocols in a certain part of Cordillera. And the part of it that stood out to me was a line to the effect of “we are not scientists but this is our common sense.”
This is hardly the first comment to this effect that I’ve seen, and it boils my blood every single time.
It has never been a secret that many people distrust science, which is one of the saddest truths I am privy to. Especially now in the time of pandemic, where conspiracy abounds left and right about how the entire global disease is just the work of some shadowy cabal in a ploy to dominate the world with mind manipulating microchips in the coming vaccines.
If I have to explain to you why that is, to put it kindly, chutzpah, you are exactly the person who should be reading this, but I doubt I have to explain that.
On some level, a certain amount of distrust in science is to be expected, and even necessary. We naturally fear and distrust that which we do not understand. But science necessitates taking the next step, which is to study until the doubt is replaced by understanding.
Or at least, this is how it should be. Many no longer follow through to the next step. This is disheartening, but where it turns to enraging is when people are proud to not take the next step. I see people proudly making fun of research, of experts offering their opinion.
It is acceptable and natural to be ignorant on certain matters. Omniscience is an impossibility. But do not be proud and willfully ignorant.
That is the bit I don’t understand – that people are proud to proclaim their disbelief in science, to attest with pride that they don’t understand, and to reject the truth gleaned by experts through rigorous study because they personally disagree.
The interesting thing about scientific fact is that regardless of opinion, fact is fact. Facts do not care about feelings and will remain to be fact.
On its surface, science is unapproachable because of its very nature. Let us take vaccination for example. To the uninitiated, it is an act of putting science juice into a person through stabbery.
But we no longer have the luxury of pleading ignorance, not now in the age of information, when the once-arcane sciences have been digested and explained in great detail for perusal of the common man.
It all boils down now to a lack of critical thought among many. Critical thinking is a sorely needed skill nowadays more than ever, where misinformation and misguided opinion have so much power and reach due to the incidence of technology.
To understand science is to be critical, to think and to analyze. To look beyond the knee-jerk reaction of rejection of that which is not understood, and to endeavor to understand the truth, and to know how to not be tripped up in falsehoods and lies. Be not proud of not knowing, not understanding such important matters.
A mind is a terrible thing to waste.