Over on BCC, Steve P has posted a nice summary of an article in New Scientist which attributes the decline in scientific literacy in the US to three factors: relativism in the academy, unserious journalism, and the illiteracy of Congress.
Amen to the third one! In fact, amen to all of them! However, speaking as someone who has taught both science and religion at the undergraduate level, there is at least one discipline in which student ignorance exceeds that of science: religion. Just sayin’ that when we’re passin’ round the cryin’ towels, I want one… Not really. I get paid for this, and I quite like it, except when I have to grade essay questions.
Anyway, as I prepping for my science and religion class next week, it occurred to me that some rejection of science arises specifically from religious venues and if Steve’s article mentioned that, he didn’t bring it up. Unfortunately, some scientists must themselves accept some level of responsibility for the ease with which their results can be ignored or downplayed by those who do not wish to engage them in a meaningful manner.