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Wednesday, December 16, 2015
I get excited when I am talking about science, it's process, and the power it bestows. I am supremely passionate about the importance of critical thinking skills and the pivotal role scientific skepticism plays in making any endeavor successful. What draws me to both science and scientific skepticism, is how they can both be useful to everyone at any level. Kids, young adults, and up to professionals in any field.
How does science and skepticism tie into your life?
I grew up hearing all kinds of stories from different cultures and as a kid I was a fan of reading scary camp fire tales. I was always a pretty avid reader and amongst the collection I consumed were books on the paranormal and supernatural. My cultural beliefs were full of the supernatural, so I already had a foundation in me for things like psychic, ghosts, and monsters like Bigfoot. Not too far removed from that, was new age mysticism. After I started getting into martial arts, I entered a world of eastern philosophy that is filled with energy charts and acupressure points. At some point, I just realized there must be a way to discern what is real and what is the truth as best as it can be defined.
Being such a heavy reader as a child helped with my writing as I got older. The philosophy of martial arts from Bruce Lee lead me into studying Taoism, which prepared me for abstract thinking when I got to ethics and philosophy courses. I feel that my journey on the outside fringes of science ultimately lead me to where I am now. So, I speak from a place of personal knowledge on things I once believed whole heartedly. I make it a point to not dismiss the things I know nothing about. I usually only give my opinion on the things I have experience with and researched myself.
After I got to college, my writing progressed from doing so many essays, technical papers, and projects. After college, I used those skills and combined them with a newfound love for science. Once I discovered how poor the general understanding of science was amongst the public, I quickly identified myself as being one of those people. Science literacy became my new interest.
Why do I care? And why should others?
Carl Sagan was one of the most famous scientists to promote this brand of scientific skepticism. A large part of his work was in informing the public about the dangers of pseudoscience and the importance of being able to differentiate the good from the bad. "Our world is built upon science and technology that people do not understand." If people are not informed, who will make the important decisions that affect the future of where science will take us? That decision should be left to the people. With all of the misinformation on the Internet and the fact that some beliefs can have harmful consequences like those concerning health, the question should be, why doesn't everyone care? Why don't you?