Maybe even more than scientific thinking, scientists desperately want the public to appreciate and be engaged with science and technology. Which makes me wonder why we brand people as “anti-science” when they don’t believe in evolution. We almost certainly will not convince creationists to change their beliefs. Attacking them for disagreeing with a single theory makes it harder to engage them in fields outside biology. Given how much we care about public engagement, we must tread carefully here. It doesn’t mean that evolution is not important (it is), or that it should be avoided (it shouldn’t). But a strident, narrow defense of evolution may undermine scientific literacy writ-large. We may detract from our own goals and marginalize people we want to reach. Do we really want to tell people that they are unwelcome in physics and chemistry if they don’t believe in evolution? And do we have to do it so angrily? In evolution and in politics, I wish we could all just try a little tenderness. This with-us-or-against-us mentality does not serve any noble purpose. Dick Cheney should not be our role model.
Summary, scientific thinking and Dick Cheney | Do I Need Evolution?. Praj Kulkarni on his fine new blog.