The first time I was frustrated by an anti-science stance

It was either in preschool or kindergarten that I first learned that the earth was spinning while constantly revolving around the sun. I remember being absolutely fascinated by this. The earth was spinning? It seemed so counter-intuitive. But I had been presented with the facts so convincingly that I never once doubted it to be true. The fact that is also made sense with how night and day, and then seasons, occur iced it for me.

I gleefully took this information home with me. I had a friend living next door and I really couldn’t wait to convey this new information. I had long had a children’s Bible, complete with fun animations, that showed lions and deer and elephants and dogs on an Ark, but that had never excited me. This was different. This was true. I was too young to sift many facts from fiction at that age, but someone had least made a case for a spinning earth; they showed how what they were saying was consistent with real world observations. No one ever bothered to do this for the Ark. Pretty pictures can only go so far.

I finally got home and started telling my friend David all about how earth was spinning and how it rotated around the sun, not the other way around. He was a year younger than I was, so he had apparently yet to come to this lesson. He found my story too incredible to be true. He disputed my account, astutely asking, “If the earth is spinning, why are all the trees standing still? Why aren’t they spinning too?”

I really had no response to this. I had basically been told some facts which were consistent with observation. I didn’t have a full grasp (nay, nary a tenuous grasp) on gravity or anything that would have helped me explain to David why he was wrong. I was only able to repeat what I was convinced was true. This was the first time I had been frustrated by someone taking an anti-science stance. I didn’t know his position was in opposition to science since I was about 5 or 6, but that’s what it was. Fortunately, his position can be excused since he was about the same age. But this raises an interesting question.

What is everyone else’s excuse?

Neil DeGrasse Tyson

Here Neil DeGrasse Tyson gives an excellent account of why science is so personally important to him. For those too lazy to watch, load the video and go to around 6:55.

Carl

I posted this not too long ago. It’s still good.

The simplest thought like the concept of the number one
Has an elaborate logical underpinning
The brain has its own language
For testing the structure and consistency of the world