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Probable causes of a distrust in science
I see, on a fairly regular basis, reports that a general distrust of science exists in the public-at-large. This is typically in reference to issues like evolution and anthropogenic global warming, the distrust of which is a barrier for more widespread acceptance of the ideas put forth by the scientific consensus.
If I may, I would suggest that the origin of this distrust is very simple. It is likely the result of a very vocal segment in modern science attempting to assert itself in areas that it has no place, primarily in the realms of philosophy, ethics and religion. These attempted incursions involve a 'leap of faith' into a discipline in which natural science has no clout, little experience and an embarrasing lack of knowledge and understanding. The general public is smarter than this faction of the scientific community gives due credit, and for the most part, I believe the the average person can clearly see when an atheist/naturalist scientist steps 'out of bounds' in this way. After all, if a scientist is so clearly uninformed about critical matters of faith, why should this person be trusted or even given an ear in other matters of perceived lesser importance and relevance?
This is evident in many debates between Christian apologists and the top figures in New Atheism, which are available on the internet for all to see (Google or Youtube search for Hitchens, Lennox, Dawkins, Craig, Harris, Habermas, Licona, etc). I also see it constantly on blogs, social media and viral images. Most New Atheist scientists/writers/public figures and their followers have great confidence in their abysmally poor grasp on why people believe in God, the Bible and Christianity. This is something that is clearly evident to most people of faith, but invisible and undetectable among the ranks of New Atheism. It is truly an 'emperor with no clothes' situation.
I'll give one example. Most New Atheists are unwilling to entertain (either deliberately or unwittingly) to see something as simple as that the supernatural is capable of 'overriding' a natural process - so that the natural explanation, while mathematically/geologically/biologically correct, might not be telling us the whole story of what happened in the past. This is something that most people of faith understand well. The discovery of a solid scientific explanation of a natural process doesn't rule out that a supernatural element could have been involved at its creation. This type of thing is a matter of faith that is beyond the ability of natural science to speak about, much less give a final word. True, science cannot prove the supernatural, but it certainly cannot disprove it (By the way - I wrote an entire other blog post on this very subject).
If this vocal segment of scientists would stick to science and stop using their platform to assert themselves into matters of philosophy and faith that are clearly "out of their league", I believe they would find that it would go a long way to gaining the trust of the public at large in whatever consensus they may reach.
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