I found this interesting. It is science and technology journalist Micheal Specter at TED where he is blasting “science denial”:
I may be wrong, but I suspect that Specter’s political and perhaps, economic, views, are to the left of my own. That’s ok – he has a scientific-empirical-rational epistemology, which means there’s an intellectual common ground where debates can actually be resolved or final conclusions arrived at that can be recognized as sensible, even if disagreement based on value choices remained.
More and more, I run across people on the Left and Right using magical, tribalistic, emotionally atavistic or other variations of irrational thinking to justify their positions. Worse, this intellectual equivalent of grunting tends to be coupled with a churlishly defiant refusal to honestly consider the costs (monetary or opportunity) involved or the logical, and still less, the unintended, consequences. Am I just getting old, or is this social phenomena getting rapidly worse?
Ignorance is nothing to be ashamed of because we are all, in varying degrees, ignorant about many things. The important choice as individuals and as a society is adopting an epistemology of rational-scientific-empiricism that, if steadily applied, allows us to chip away at our ignorance and become aware of our errors and solve problems. On the other hand, adopting a posture of belligerent, stubborn, defense of our own ignorance by evading facts, logic and the conclusions drawn from the evidence of experience is the road to certain disaster.
Our epistemic worldview matters.