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Decidedly unenlightened humanity…

January 10, 2011

One of the primary assumptions behind the Age of Enlightenment – and the scientific revolution it helped inspire – is that once you teach the scientific method and enlighten humanity with education, superstition and emotionalism will die out. From Bill Frezza (Real Clear Markets)

Skepticism may be a school of philosophy that dates back to the ancient Greeks but it can rarely restrain the passion of true believers.

The scientific method emerged as a rational antidote to human credulity. Slowly gaining stature over time, the practice of conducting controlled experiments that test falsifiable hypotheses led to an explosion of knowledge that created the modern world

I once had a co-worker tell me “after 20 years of trying to deny it, I now can accept that evolution has made me so that I need to believe in God”

Uh-huh. Go read that 3 times slowly and see if you think it’s clear as mud. Maybe it’s just me.

I don’t know what or how the genetics snuck into my system, but I’ve always had a ‘question everything’ bone – particularly with irrational hysteria or fits of emotional drama among the people around me. I’ve always wondered about the vaccination scare – you know, where some study links lead in vaccinations to potentially causing autism, so many parents chose to not get their kids vaccinated?

….the alarming plunge in vaccination rates that has allowed once vanquished diseases to return with a vengeance. It’s easy to forget that hundreds of millions of people once died from mumps and measles.

Yeah, that’s an unintended consequence. My mother-in-law has a saying for the “everyone RUN FOR THE HILLS” types of programs at the end of news programs that they try to lure you in with. She calls them “how to wash your cat” stories. So, the news media fan the flames of the grieving parents and their friends (who are scared they might have children with autism during pregnancy. Fear is a normal part of pregnancy…).

Now that the media has successfully alarmed and miseducated millions, do you think they will devote the same amount of ink to set the record straight? You are more likely to hear the words mea culpa from a tort lawyer.

I sort of understand the drama queen local anchors attempting to use fear to sell TV advertising – hooking you into the program to watch what killer might be lurking behind your kitchen faucet isn’t a PSA (public service announcement). It’s a way to keep your butt on the couch so their station can sell ads & stay in business – then paying the salary of said drama queen journalist. What I don’t get are people who are purported experts in one thing (say, economics) becoming drama queens on…well, everything else besides their area of expertise.

I won’t even read it – but his last shred of dignity is gone. Very soon we’ll see him selling “limited edition T-Bills printed in full color with a historic raised scene depicted on the back” during a late night TV rerun.

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