Science Can Never Be a Democracy

Like any legitimate scientific study, this title alone is a fact thanks to an article from Forbes.

When it comes to a wide variety of issues — the safety of GMOs, the efficacy of vaccines, the veracity of human-caused climate change, air and water pollution, or nuclear power — many of us have opinions that are based on fear or ideology, rather than on what the science says. In many cases, we even vote (or ask our representatives to vote) on not just policy but on the science of these issues, such as the senate did on the issue of climate change in 2015. This strikes me as the epitome of silliness, not merely because the idea of voting on science is completely antithetical to the entire enterprise of science itself, but because debate in science isn’t about achieving consensus, but rather is about raising the issues that need to be clarified to determine the answer. And once those issues are clarified, the conclusion is no longer a matter of opinion, but becomes scientifically robust and validated.

This is a disturbing reality indeed. We live in the 21st century full of American citizens that feel a scientific fact is similar to any opinionated conclusion that welcomes others to have an open opinion about it or challenge the idea. In other words, part of the workings of a democracy. It is obvious that a scientific theory can only be challenged by any peer-reviewed critique approved by a group of scientists. There is no need to debate something that has already been tested and challenged by the laws of nature like the theory of evolution.


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