Science is passion. Also, it is prone to controversy. In the first article of this series, I talked about how the way science is taught in schools must change. Particularly, science should be presented as a dynamic process of constant self evaluation, rather than a collection of sterile trivia. Then, in the second article, the trend changed to illustrate how technology is, many times, confused with science, terribly misleading the design of policies worldwide. In this article, I will dissertate about how scientific information tends to lose strength as an argument in solving day-to-day problems as a consequence of the misunderstanding of the data and facts in discussion.
The vast amount of information and development in our times are, to a certain extent, beyond our understanding or capacity to understand the phenomenon we are able to undertake. The constant manipulations of data by the press, politicians and out-spoken scientists overwhelm and confuse the general public everyday. Many times, when there are different tendencies to explain a single phenomenon, the actual answer is a middle ground between all the explanations. One example of this kind of phenomenon is Global Warming (GW).
When listening to the most ferocious advocate of human-made GW, you can hear how GW is the consequence of our irresponsible way to utilize resources, the constant destruction of forest and our highly-pollution-generating life style. Basically, we are burning the planet down. On the other hand, when listening to those who defend the idea that GW is a natural process, you deal with arguments explaining how GW is just part of a changing planetary temperature cycle who claim that this happened in the past, and now it is happening again. Just as it did and terminated the last Glacial Era, etc… etc… etc… The divergence between these two tendencies is clearly apparent. It is important to remember that what we call “scientific fact” is just our interpretation of empirical results from experiments or observations. In addition, it is fundamental to point out that those experiments are designed based on our understanding of the subject in question.
There is a cyclical change in the temperature of the planet, which is related to the changes in precession. In addition, there are great amounts of gases being poured in the atmosphere. Also, big cities are full of glass-walled buildings reflecting radiation down to the ground. Furthermore, entire forests are being annihilated for lumber. In other words, both groups are right. So, it is clear, that future generations must be instructed properly to avoid falling in these sterile controversies, instead of focusing on fixing the problems.