You are here

Why do people reject good science? Reflections on the evolution and climate science wars

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Eugenie C. Scott

Time: 
4:30pm
Date: 
May 18, 2014
Location: 

Coast Kamloops Hotel & Conference Centre
1250 Rogers Way
Kamloops, British Columbia

 

 

Scientists are often puzzled when members of the public reject what we consider to be well-founded explanations. They can’t understand why the presentation of scientific data and theory doesn’t suffice to convince others of the validity of “controversial” topics like evolution and climate change. Recent research highlights the importance of ideology in shaping what scientific conclusions are considered reliable and acceptable. This research is quite relevant to both the evolution wars and the public’s opposition to climate change.

Presentation at the
Imagine No Religion Conference
sponsored by the
Kamloops Centre for Rational Thought

For more information: 

Call from White House with Mark McCaffrey (NCSE), Frank Niepold (NOAA), et al.

Featuring: 
Mark McCaffrey (NCSE)

Mark McCaffrey

Time: 
2:00pm
21:00 UTC / 5pm Eastern
Date: 
May 5, 2014
Location: 

Call-in number: 1-702-589-8300
Participant ID: 7705706#

Join the conference call on: NCAnet Education affiliate group efforts on implications and potential of NCA as educational tool

NCSE Webinar: Using the National Climate Assessment in Classrooms and Communities

Featuring: 
Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.

Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.

Time: 
11:00am
18:00 UTC / 2pm Eastern
Date: 
April 30, 2014
Location: 

This is a free webinar.

Register HERE

How will climate change affect our communities? How can we evaluate news stories about the effects of climate change in your area? What can you do to reach out to your local media and educators, to encourage them to explore the local impacts of climate change?

It can be hard for teachers and others seeking to inform the public about climate change to stay on top of the best science. Not only are climate change deniers invested in obscuring that science, but the science itself is advancing rapidly, making it hard for non-specialists to stay up to date. Fortunately, help is on the way through the National Climate Assessment.

This report from the US government—due in May—evaluates, integrates and assesses observed and projected impacts of climate change across the country, examining how climate change will affect different communities and regions. It will be a tremendous resource for teachers, for parents, and for anyone trying to connect global climate change to local concerns.

To learn how we can make the best use of this tool, join us for a discussion with a panel of climate change specialists. These specialists will address how you can use the report to learn how climate change is already affecting your community, how to bring climate change to the forefront of local media coverage, and how teachers can use the report to bring climate change into classrooms.

Panelists will include: Emily Cloyd, Public Participation and Engagement Coordinator for the National Climate Assessment at USGCRP, the federal agency developing the National Climate Assessment; Paige Knappenberger, media relations associate at Climate Nexus, who tracks media coverage and helps communities connect with media outlets to address climate change; Amanda Rycerz, research officer at Habitat 7, website developers of for NCA. Moderator Minda Berbeco is a Programs and Policy Director at NCSE specializing in climate change, working with parents and educators to support the good teaching of climate change science in public schools.

Global Changes, Local Impacts

Featuring: 
Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.

Minda Berbeco, Ph.D.

Time: 
4:30pm
23:30 UTC / 7:30pm Eastern
Date: 
April 16, 2014
Location: 

This is a free webinar.

Register HERE

How can educators teach children about local impacts of climate change? Where can they find good resources for activities and up-to-date scientific information from reputable sources? Minda Berbeco will be talking about the newly released National Climate Assessment, a scientific and governmental resource that demonstrates the local impacts on climate change and projections for the future. She will present on how to bring the NCA into the classroom, and what vetted resources are available. We will focus on resources to make climate change local and relevant.

This webinar is hosted by the

Will Steger Foundation

For more information: 

Everything Evolves – including Creationism

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Eugenie C. Scott

Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
March 28, 2014
Location: 

University of the Fraser Valley
Abbotsford Campus
British Columbia, Canada

 

Evolution is the inference that living things have descended with modification from common ancestors, and it infuses and informs all of biology. But the antievolutionists – young-Earth creationists, University of the Fraser Valleyintelligent design supporters, and the like – have also “descended with modification” from common ancestors, as demonstrated at the Kitzmiller vs. Dover trial over the legality of teaching intelligent design. Clearly, creationists have adapted to a hostile legal environment by modifying their form!

Why do people reject good science? Reflections on the evolution and climate science wars

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Eugenie C. Scott

Time: 
6:00pm
Date: 
March 27, 2014
Location: 

10908 IRMACS
Simon Fraser University
Burnaby, British Columbia

Scientists are often puzzled when members of the public reject what we consider to be well-founded explanations. They can’t understand why the presentation of scientific data and theory Simon Fraser University logodoesn’t suffice to convince others of the validity of “controversial” topics like evolution and climate change. Recent research highlights the importance of ideology in shaping what scientific conclusions are considered reliable and acceptable. This research is quite relevant to both the evolution wars and the public’s opposition to climate change.

Déjà vu all over again: Denialism of climate change and of evolution

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Eugenie C. Scott
 

Time: 
7:00pm
Date: 
March 12, 2014
Location: 

Mathematical Sciences Research Institute
17 Gauss Way
Berkeley, CA 94720-5070
 

Both evolution and global warming are “controversial issues” in education, but are not controversial in the world of science. There is remarkable similarity in the techniques that are used by both camps to promote their views. The scientific issues are presented as “not being settled”, or that there is considerable debate among scientists over the validity of claims. Both camps practice “anomaly mongering”, in which a small detail seemingly incompatible with either evolution or global warming is held up as dispositive of either evolution or of climate science. Although in both cases, reputable, established science is under attack for ideological reasons, the underlying ideology differs: for denying evolution, the ideology of course is religious; for denying global warming, the ideology is political and/or economic.

 

A presentation for the
Mathematical Sciences Research Institute

 

For more information: 

The Ethics of Sustainable Agriculture for 7+ Billion

Featuring: 
Peter M.J. Hess, Ph.D.

Peter Hess

Time: 
2:00pm
Date: 
March 7, 2014
Location: 

Room o210
Bell Memorial Union
California Sate University Chico
Chico, California

The challenge of keeping seven billion people alive may well reach crisis proportions, with chronic food shortages and spasms of overpopulation-induced genocide taking their toll. Two converging factors exacerbate this: (1) The inexorable decline of the fossil fuels that enabled this temporary population spike (2) Global climate change caused by the burning of these fuels. CSU Chico logoSea level rise and episodic agricultural failures will create famines and ecological refugeeism on an unprecedented scale. Here is our ethical dilemma: Do we revert to past low-yield farming practices or do we employ the latest in agricultural technology to feed our existing population until through encouraging replacement-sized families we have reduced our population to a sustainable level? Using the most advanced scientific tools and an intercultural, interreligious, and intergenerational ethic, we must strive for an agriculture that (1) maximizes genetic diversity of plants and animals, (2) is ecologically rich and sustainable, and (3) is respectful of local autonomy and agricultural customs.

Is Climate Change a Hoax? Not According to Scientists

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.

Eugenie C. Scott

Time: 
6:30pm
Date: 
March 5, 2014
Location: 

Nahm Auditorium
W.C. Morris Building
University of Central Missouri
Warrensburg, Missouri

Scientists in general and especially climate researchers are convinced by the evidence that the Earth has been warming since the Industrial Revolution, and that the rate of change in the last 30 years has been unusually rapid. There is similar agreement that human activities are a primary driver of this change. Yet a substantial proportion of citizens deny this consensus, although they don't deny other scientific conclusions. Research suggests that the primary motivation for such science denial isn't the perceived quality of the science, but rather ideological views that conflict with perceived consequences that would occur if climate change truly is occurring.

Equipping Scientists to Better Understand and Converse with Religious Communities

Featuring: 
Eugenie C. Scott, Ph.D.
Eugenie C. Scott
Time: 
8:30am to 11:30am
Date: 
February 16, 2014
Location: 
AAAS Annual Meeting
Room: Regency B
Hyatt Regency Chicago
151 E. Wacker Drive
Chicago, Illinois

 

Survey research shows that fewer scientists believe in God or a higher power than members of the general public, but by no means does scientist equate to atheist. Scientists, like bricklayers or ballet dancers, can be religious, non-religious, anti-religious, or religiously indifferent. Scientists who are nonbelievers sometimes generalize their views to all scientists, which can miscommunicate to religious communities and the public in general that science is incompatible with religion. Although some religious views clearly are incompatible with the discoveries of science, and certain religious perspectives clash with the evidence-based method science uses to derive conclusions, most religious perspectives found among Americans do not reject either the methods or the conclusions of science. This in itself, though a simple idea, is also one that scientists need to communicate to the public. Conservative Christians, in particular, often reject science because they believe that in accepting science, they will be forced to accept materialist philosophy. Distinguishing between the methodological materialism of science and the philosophical materialism of humanism and other non-theistic views frees science for acceptance on its own terms. Scientists also must realize that the presentation of science, though necessary, is not sufficient in itself. For topics such as religion or climate change, where there may be religiously-based opposition, “mere” science will not be persuasive on its own. Research shows that ideological orientation trumps empiricism: liberals are more likely to accept information if they believe the position originates from a fellow liberal, conservatives are more likely to accept the identical information if they believe the position originates from a fellow conservative, and so on. To overcome ideological barriers to the acceptance of science requires establishing a relationship of trust and respect. This relationship is most easily established by individuals of the same ideology, but it is not impossible for “outsiders” to do so. Otherwise, an adversarial relationship is the default, to the detriment of the public understanding of science.

A talk for the Symposium on
Religious Communities, Science, Scientists and Perceptions:
A comprehensive Survey

Pages