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Odetotheoterprincess's avatar

Distinct Gaian

Vannak
You, as I'm sure you're going to find out more and more, lived in a bubble. In general the generation in college does not really take science super seriously. Perhaps its by effort of the new atheism movement, against especially ridiculous religious practices, that there is this kind of wave.

However, at the same time I often find it's these general kind of people who make the most frustrating claims, and tend to think opinions that involve scientific ideas are inherently scientific and objective... sweatdrop
The thing is science doesn't actually propose a policy to us, we make arguments who's veracity may or may not be scientifically testable at the time the claim is made. But never, is policy strictly based on what science wants unfortunately policy is based ultimately on what people want. if science had the answer to policy choices I could run a perfect government at home, it would be like having a benevolent yet indifferent god... who is in all ways perfect because the universe says so setting of a ball to an ever better and better society unfortunately, better and etter are value laden terms which are so often the antithesis of objectivity rolleyes if they are appropriate or necessary.
That said science does gives us to answers to why's and hows, but we can't tell people intentions we can only guess their probable intentions.
Astrophiliac's avatar

Dangerous Lunatic

I find the real answer to this is the fact that kids aren't shown passion for their subjects, they're handed a text book and they do good, teachers even make the subjects "boring" because they don't show how wonderful it really can be. We focus far too much on the actual grades than really learning anything and people drop out of school because of how the teachers are.
Odetotheoterprincess's avatar

Distinct Gaian

Astrophiliac
I find the real answer to this is the fact that kids aren't shown passion for their subjects, they're handed a text book and they do good, teachers even make the subjects "boring" because they don't show how wonderful it really can be. We focus far too much on the actual grades than really learning anything and people drop out of school because of how the teachers are.

and this thread is giving more and more high brow answers.
pretty much it, also the part that in primary arithmatic is thought in a boring way.
Tobuketsu
America has a serious shortage of scientists and engineers.
So they say. But we also have a shortage of jobs, so it kinda balances out.

Tobuketsu
What is this? With the way everyone in our age bracket wants to act that "empiricism is everything" and "Rationality is law" WHY is this the case?
Because there's a lot more to science than just empiricism. It's learning what is a good test in science. What is statistical significance? How do I apply tests?

While most people realize that evidence is good and science provides it, these things I listed above (as well as much more) means that science is hard. There's very high standards for those classes and most people don't have the tenacity to meet them.

AquaDivinity
Education systems are crap and rather than teaching us how to know, they try to teach us what to know. Science has nothing to do with being attentive during lectures, it's about inspiration and interest in it =3
There's a very good reason that they teach you things as fact without teaching you critical thinking: It's because you have to have facts before you can make an informed opinion. Basic knowledge (the "what" to know) makes up the base of the educational pyramid. Critical thinking comes later and honestly, far too many students don't do a good enough job with basic facts to really get to that stage.

lenon01
Where I am (New York, not the city) it still seems as if everyone is still under the impression that 'Everyone's opinion is right, blah blah blah, oh science? That's for smart people/for nerds/all stupid people with ego problems who think they're so much better than us."
This is very true too. There has been a huge movement since the 60's/70's that you can't really know anything to 100% so any opinion is equally valid. I run into this a lot.

The reality is that even without having infinite knowledge/proof, some evidence is better than none.
VoijaRisa

AquaDivinity
Education systems are crap and rather than teaching us how to know, they try to teach us what to know. Science has nothing to do with being attentive during lectures, it's about inspiration and interest in it =3


There's a very good reason that they teach you things as fact without teaching you critical thinking: It's because you have to have facts before you can make an informed opinion. Basic knowledge (the "what" to know) makes up the base of the educational pyramid. Critical thinking comes later and honestly, far too many students don't do a good enough job with basic facts to really get to that stage.


I'm just 17. I came to 'understand' critical thinking last summer. In these few months I can say I've learned way more than I have in about 15 years of wasted lessons. The basic knowledge can be acquired in a few months, I had no scientific backbone, I knew nothing about sciences, and now I'm going to enter medical school in 2 years time. Sure, knowledge is needed, but without wisdom, knowledge is useless.

In case you're wondering how I got to 'trigger' such an altered state of mind, no, it had nothing to do with education. As funny/pathetic as it is, it happened because of the show Grey's Anatomy xD It got me interested in surgery and before it, I used to think that studying was for nerds, knowledge was instrumental back then.
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I have to disagree that people are so scientifically minded. Just take climate change for example. For years, there was confusion and serious denial that it was happening, even though there was scientific consensus, meaning at least 90% of scientists agreed that it was occuring and driven by human causes.
AquaDivinity
I'm just 17. I came to 'understand' critical thinking last summer. In these few months I can say I've learned way more than I have in about 15 years of wasted lessons. The basic knowledge can be acquired in a few months, I had no scientific backbone, I knew nothing about sciences, and now I'm going to enter medical school in 2 years time. Sure, knowledge is needed, but without wisdom, knowledge is useless.

In case you're wondering how I got to 'trigger' such an altered state of mind, no, it had nothing to do with education. As funny/pathetic as it is, it happened because of the show Grey's Anatomy xD It got me interested in surgery and before it, I used to think that studying was for nerds, knowledge was instrumental back then.
Here's the thing, you may have thought you've learned more this past few months than in the previous 15 years, but one of the things you'll realize as you age, is that you really didn't get things as well as you thought.

Let me give an example of needing to master the basic facts first: I have a lot of friends that are great critical thinkers and absolutely love science. Unfortunately, there's some topics that are just so esoteric, they don't have enough of the basics to draw intelligent conclusions. Their basis for topics like quantum mechanics is largely drawn from pop-sci books. These books hardly mention the fundamentals of the field, like the properties of a wave function, and as such, their ideas are entirely unconstrained. They had fun, completely logical, internally consistent mental constructs, but they weren't grounded by understanding that wave functions are highly localized meaning that QM is pretty rubbish for actions at a distance.

Critical thinking and logic falls apart when you don't have enough facts to critically analyze. Consider how often science has had to revise its position when new facts become available. This is the reason that we spend more time on making sure students have those facts.
Odetotheoterprincess
Vannak
You, as I'm sure you're going to find out more and more, lived in a bubble. In general the generation in college does not really take science super seriously. Perhaps its by effort of the new atheism movement, against especially ridiculous religious practices, that there is this kind of wave.

However, at the same time I often find it's these general kind of people who make the most frustrating claims, and tend to think opinions that involve scientific ideas are inherently scientific and objective... sweatdrop
The thing is science doesn't actually propose a policy to us, we make arguments who's veracity may or may not be scientifically testable at the time the claim is made. But never, is policy strictly based on what science wants unfortunately policy is based ultimately on what people want. if science had the answer to policy choices I could run a perfect government at home, it would be like having a benevolent yet indifferent god... who is in all ways perfect because the universe says so setting of a ball to an ever better and better society unfortunately, better and etter are value laden terms which are so often the antithesis of objectivity rolleyes if they are appropriate or necessary.
That said science does gives us to answers to why's and hows, but we can't tell people intentions we can only guess their probable intentions.

Science isn't much in the process of creating the "right answer" as much as it's in the business of identifying wrong answers. This is exactly what happens when you have everyone agreeing on what's wanted and what metrics of success are.

This is more or less exactly how science works and in the domain that it works in. You don't get good electronics built using science when you disagree on what electrons are, and you don't get good policy based on science when you disagree on values.

Science: A process. Not a body of facts or knowledge.
VoijaRisa
AquaDivinity
I'm just 17. I came to 'understand' critical thinking last summer. In these few months I can say I've learned way more than I have in about 15 years of wasted lessons. The basic knowledge can be acquired in a few months, I had no scientific backbone, I knew nothing about sciences, and now I'm going to enter medical school in 2 years time. Sure, knowledge is needed, but without wisdom, knowledge is useless.

In case you're wondering how I got to 'trigger' such an altered state of mind, no, it had nothing to do with education. As funny/pathetic as it is, it happened because of the show Grey's Anatomy xD It got me interested in surgery and before it, I used to think that studying was for nerds, knowledge was instrumental back then.
Here's the thing, you may have thought you've learned more this past few months than in the previous 15 years, but one of the things you'll realize as you age, is that you really didn't get things as well as you thought.

Let me give an example of needing to master the basic facts first: I have a lot of friends that are great critical thinkers and absolutely love science. Unfortunately, there's some topics that are just so esoteric, they don't have enough of the basics to draw intelligent conclusions. Their basis for topics like quantum mechanics is largely drawn from pop-sci books. These books hardly mention the fundamentals of the field, like the properties of a wave function, and as such, their ideas are entirely unconstrained. They had fun, completely logical, internally consistent mental constructs, but they weren't grounded by understanding that wave functions are highly localized meaning that QM is pretty rubbish for actions at a distance.

Critical thinking and logic falls apart when you don't have enough facts to critically analyze. Consider how often science has had to revise its position when new facts become available. This is the reason that we spend more time on making sure students have those facts.


I gave science as an example, I barely understood anything you just said about the waves but the more practical side of critical thinking comes when discussing philosophical/social arguments.
Another thing to consider is the prevalence of guest worker visas, which are often abused by corporations looking to hire high-skilled workers (engineers, analysts, programmers) for less money than it would cost to legally hire an American citizen or permanent resident - sometimes for less than they`re legally obliged to pay to the visa-holder. Long story short, the prevalence of labor abuse and white collar crime means that young people are less likely to believe that STEM careers will be financially viable. (There's also perfectly legal off-shoring to consider.)
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Actually, science is the new religion. So-called "facts" change with every new discovery, and every new discovery means that everyone else needs to wrap their minds around a new set of premises, laws, and conclusions.

Take the 70's, for example - everyone was terrified that we were headed into a new ice age. There was talk of spreading soot on glaciers, in the hope of making these huge encroaching ice sheets melt before they could creep south and wipe out the northern human populations. Then it was all "global warming" and "el nino" (remember that?) in the 90's and early 00's, where we were convinced that New York was going to be underwater within the next five years. And then la nina hit, followed by some of the coldest winter temperatures on record (about three or four years ago now), and suddenly "global warming" disappeared in favor of the more esoteric "climate change." Now, don't get me wrong, the world's climate definitely isn't what it was ten years ago... but the climate ten years ago wasn't the same as it was forty years ago, either. I have to honestly wonder what the new ecological scare will be in thirty years' time, after we've cleaned up our factories and our cars and our polluting ways. Do we actually have that much impact? I kind of have to wonder.

My point is that science changes all the time. We react to what we know, and what we know constantly changes. It isn't stable. It is, to use geek-speak, "a brave new world" every time you venture out in it. The mistake people make is assuming that it is, always will be, and always has been constant.
Linkin Burrows's avatar

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As to why more young people don't get into it, well, I blame the school system. Teachers make science and scientists this out-of-reach thing, which is boring, full of lists, and unintelligible to the uninitiated mind.

Actually, I've mostly found that if teachers don't understand a subject (or part of a subject) that they are required to teach, they wind up making it as complicated as possible, and then discourage asking questions about it. Students don't understand it, get discouraged, and never pursue the subject again, thinking that they have no talent in that direction. There were three Anatomy and Physiology teachers at my university when I went there: two who were middling and one who was a former scientist who really understood his subject literally from the molecular level up and loved to teach. He took complicated subjects and broke them down into simple analogies that anyone could understand - and people love him for it. (Hardest tests you'll ever take, but he prepped us for them, and there was absolutely no excuse to not get a passing grade.) So while the other two teachers have blocks and blocks of classes that are open for enrollment, with a 25% attrition rate over the semester, Prof H. had waiting lists that were 20+ students long. Seriously, though, do you know how rare it is to get a teacher who loves learning and loves teaching and is happy to pass that along to his students? If there were more capable teachers out there, there would be more budding scientists ready and willing to take on the new challenges of this new age.
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Tobuketsu
America has a serious shortage of scientists and engineers. I learned this while applying to the Mechanical engineering Program at ASU for next year and doing a lot of research on the Major and engineering in general before I did.

What is this? With the way everyone in our age bracket wants to act that "empiricism is everything" and "Rationality is law" WHY is this the case?

In personal reflection all of my super Atheist ( a topic for another time ) rationally minded "scientifically" inclined friends are all in liberal arts majors. I'm not suggesting that the major is useless,( I have a BS in Criminal Justice myself) but I'm just wondering, why are we fronting so much? Is it the ONE philosophy class we take that inclines us pretend that we're so much better then previous generations?


You don't seem to grasp the fact that there's multiple generations, and many age groups on Gaia.
Tobuketsu
America has a serious shortage of scientists and engineers. I learned this while applying to the Mechanical engineering Program at ASU for next year and doing a lot of research on the Major and engineering in general before I did.

What is this? With the way everyone in our age bracket wants to act that "empiricism is everything" and "Rationality is law" WHY is this the case?

In personal reflection all of my super Atheist ( a topic for another time ) rationally minded "scientifically" inclined friends are all in liberal arts majors. I'm not suggesting that the major is useless,( I have a BS in Criminal Justice myself) but I'm just wondering, why are we fronting so much? Is it the ONE philosophy class we take that inclines us pretend that we're so much better then previous generations?


It's because people are merely sceptics. There is no scientific-mindedness of the kid you refer to, no culture of falling in love with knowledge, no culture of the kind of discipline necessary to see studies through to their finish, no culture of passion for exploration.

It is just a dull, dour, introverted scepticism, and - when it has any spark at all - it's more often a spark of resentment against religious belief than a spark of adventure at seeking out fresh developments.
Invictus_88
Tobuketsu
America has a serious shortage of scientists and engineers. I learned this while applying to the Mechanical engineering Program at ASU for next year and doing a lot of research on the Major and engineering in general before I did.

What is this? With the way everyone in our age bracket wants to act that "empiricism is everything" and "Rationality is law" WHY is this the case?

In personal reflection all of my super Atheist ( a topic for another time ) rationally minded "scientifically" inclined friends are all in liberal arts majors. I'm not suggesting that the major is useless,( I have a BS in Criminal Justice myself) but I'm just wondering, why are we fronting so much? Is it the ONE philosophy class we take that inclines us pretend that we're so much better then previous generations?


It's because people are merely sceptics. There is no scientific-mindedness of the kid you refer to, no culture of falling in love with knowledge, no culture of the kind of discipline necessary to see studies through to their finish, no culture of passion for exploration.

It is just a dull, dour, introverted scepticism, and - when it has any sprak at all - it's more often a spark of resentment against religious belief than a spark of adventure at seeking out fresh developments.
I have to agree. People think skepticism means to only be skeptical of what one hears, or from authority (most often religious). They forget it includes your own beliefs and thoughts.

Here's a tip to try and identify these individuals. Question a belief of theirs. If they use the word "obvious" or start getting defensive then you've got a Skeptic In Name Only.

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