Fairy tales for adults (long)

Steve Bougerolle steveb at creek-and-cowley.com
Fri Feb 14 09:17:24 PST 2003

On Sat, 2003-02-15 at 01:03, Björn Lindberg wrote:

> It is true that we didn't define well-educated, but since your "line
> of defense" was to use your comparatively vast knowledge of science I
> assumed that that is what you meant. After all, for a person to be
> able to find the questionable parts of science like you have been
> doing, that person would have to be quite knowledgeable in science.

Are you fishing, Björn? :)

> Let me know if I have misunderstood you in any way.

I answer with the examples I do because they come to mind first, or
because they are related to the discussion at hand.  I never meant to
suggest that the average person should know all those things (for
example, that radioactive decay rates have been observed to be constant
in all the time we have known about them).

On Sat, 2003-02-15 at 00:34, Ian Molton wrote:
> Not necessarily know THAT much science, but they should at least have a
> passing knowledge of scientific method.

I agree that a well-educated person should have at least a passing
knowledge of the scientific method, but this is a far cry from knowing
enough about science to appreciate that the universe seems to be more
than 6000 years old.  I think you guys are underestimating how much
science you have learned compared to the average joe.

I once had a silly dispute (with someone I won't identify) who wouldn't believe
that if you drank a litre of water you must gain a kilogram in weight.  This
person was neither ignorant nor particularly irrational.  She just wasn't
interested in the question so refused to spend time thinking about it.  I
think much the same process must happen in many people who believe the world
is 6000 years old.

Steve Bougerolle
Creek & Cowley Consulting


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