Saturday, July 22, 2006

George Vs Science

On talk back radio recently (on the subject of science, its parlous state, its lessening attraction to students, and cutbacks to the national science organisation CSIRO) one of the callers was George who epitomised the misunderstanding of science. George's argument was that science has never done any good for us, and scientists only cut up mice (EoR is not joking, that was the whole of his argument). The interviewer suggested that, at least in the realm of health, science has done some good. No! responded George, citing the US where it is common knowledge that science is killing people. It's only because of better shelter and warmth that we're living longer, and nothing to do with science.

Easy as it would be to make fun of George's misunderstanding, it's clear that many people have absolutely no idea what science is and what it has contributed, seeing 'science' only as the atomic bomb (in George's case). George (nor the host, sadly) didn't seem to realise that he was making his complaint on a mobile phone. Nor that the whole of Australia was listening to him through radio. Nor, sadly, that neither of these would exist without science.

EoR wanted to know whether George had a computer. Whether he drove a car. Whether he had a microwave. Whether he ever flew in an aeroplane. Whether he ever took antibiotics. Did he use the internet. Did he eat products produced through modern plant breeding and agricultural practises? And so on. None of which, in George's eyes, had even a vague smattering of science.


  1. Holy Hell! How ignorant and ill-informed do you have to be to believe that BS?

  2. Reminds me of hammy on the JREF forums. Evolution isn't evolution! How dare you use an example of evolution as an example of evolution!


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.