I find myself wondering why the aversion to education from so many. It has become a popular thing to say “Well, such-and-such told me this about Subject X, so I’m not really interested in learning about it.” Well, that isn’t a good reason, is it? It’s no more than an Appeal to Authority. Basically, a person who is held in some modicum of respect declares this or that to be true and so others take it to be true and worthwhile.
I specifically want to take this down the road of science (of course). There is a massive aversion to this subject, almost to the point where it’s popular to play up one’s ignorance of this powerful, powerful tool. It’s a shame. A big, fucking shame. What’s tragically ironic is that many of these same people fully embrace their Internet, cars, toilet paper, inexpensive food, iPods, mass-produced (and inexpensive) clothing, and so many other things which are the result of science and technology. Science is within nearly every moment of our lives, yet few realize this because it is applied science, not research or theoretical science. Instead, we embrace the pseudosciences of acupuncture, intelligent design, and astrology.
To bring this to my favorite subject, it is of course important to wonder aloud why so many people have been taught that it is okay to be told by a pastor, priest, minister or other authority figure that evolution is untrue and that that person’s opinion on such a topic is worth its weight in salt. It isn’t. In fact, most Appeals to Authority are useless. It seems to me that if one is actually, genuinely interested in a topic that there would be a certain level of necessary inquiry that would be taken. That is, so many people reject evolution on the flimsy basis that because it contradicts their pre-held beliefs, it must be wrong. In other words, they recognize that if evolution is true, at best they can become theistic evolutionists, but even then they must recognize that such a god is superfluous. That means whether evolution is true or not is wholly central to the belief system of anyone that realizes the importance of the issue. If we can agree that this is the case, then shouldn’t we also agree that an aversion to education about evolution comes across as rather silly?