Main Question or Discussion Point
Continue reading...In a previous article, I discussed why scientists (among others) are almost never interested in considering a new theory proposed by a non-scientist: because it’s so unlikely that a person who is not familiar with our best current knowledge in a given area of science would be able to come up with a useful new theory in that area of science. In this article, I’m going to turn around and look at things from the non-scientist’s viewpoint, and ask: how should non-scientists view public pronouncements from scientists about a particular area of science?
In that previous article, I wrote:
[P]rofessional scientists, when talking to nonscientists, often fail to distinguish the varying levels of confidence we have in different parts of science, and often present science in a way that encourages people to say “Oh, wow!” and accept whatever they are told on the authority of the scientist, rather than to think critically...