Sunday, February 22, 2015

NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC hits nerves with new cover

The people who believe in evolution are also typically those who don't like GMO food. And those who don't like GMO food are also wealthier and are more apt to refuse vaccinations.  NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC is slamming them with its new cover story--and lumping other conspiracy theorists in with them, including people who don't believe in the moon landing.

The story is titled "Why do many reasonable people doubt science?" It is written by Joel Achenbach. The cover story and subsequent article fired up an intense conversation on REDDIT.

You can read the article for itself and judge accordingly. It names a number of heavy hitting topics, even touches on fluoride in the water,  and reports that there's no dangers and science has yet to find a reason to worry.

The is an applause of science, and a denunking of the myths that often perpetrate long after they are started.. Such as Ebola, and the fear that the disease could go airborne (though there was scientific and historic precedent, NAT GEO is not impressed.) They are equally not impressed with claims of GMOs being less healthy than regular food, or vaccines having much danger.  Of course the true and real Vaccine Injury Fund is  not mentioned in the article.  The woman everyone suddenly loves to hate is though, Jenny McCarthy makes a big appearance.

Climate change comes up. Achenbach, again, asserts that science is near 100% in agreement that climate change is happening. I agree with it.. But if Achenbach wants to truly figure out why people doubt such claims, then look no further than the email scandal from only a few years back where it showed scientists were conceiving some information and creating data as a way to further scare the public. Do real scientists REALLY do that?

On fluoride, Achenbach says,
Actually fluoride is a natural mineral that, in the weak concentrations used in public drinking water systems, hardens tooth enamel and prevents tooth decay—a cheap and safe way to improve dental health for everyone, rich or poor, conscientious brusher or not. That’s the scientific and medical consensus.

Not mentioned, however, is that Adolf Hitler actively used sodium fluoride in water supplies in Nazi Germany and there have been studies which have aimed to poke holes in the 'safe' campaign on the chemical additive to water. Even more, other figures released in various studies also would bring into question whether better health overall has led to a decrease in tooth decay or if it's been all due to fluoride. 

The article is fine and factual. Science and the answers it gives us should be celebrated. But I don't think veneration of science as a new religion does any good for society, and scientists who want fame and fortune also don't do science justice.

There are real reasons that good people doubt science. After all.. now many times have good people been told that coffee was either good or bad and that cholesterol was fine or not?

Science is a living and breathing institution.

And really... is the case EVER closed on anything anyway?

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