Scientific literacy critic to nation’s well-being

Let’s hold ourselves and others to higher standards of truth-seeking.

Scientific literacy critic to nation’s well-being

I want to thank letter-writer David Slade for his call to listen to science. The COVID-19 and climate crises demonstrate that scientific literacy is critical to a nation’s well-being.

Regarding the challenges facing my own country, Arizona State University science professor Thomas Martin asserts: “In the present cultural climate, altering one’s beliefs in response to anything (facts included) is considered a sign of weakness. Students must be convinced that changing one’s mind in light of the evidence is not weakness: Changing one’s mind is the essence of intellectual growth…The responsibility for fostering scientific literacy of this sort — that is, literacy construed as an ongoing commitment to evidence over preconception — falls upon all of us in our discussions both formal and informal, both public and private.”

Observing the bias and animosity common in political debate, the Irish philosopher John O’Donohue stated that we need more legislators, media, etc. who are not already loyal to one side or the other. It has been said that to practice philosophy, and also science, is to follow the question wherever it leads. This was the important loyalty for O’Donohue, which he called “loyalty to the voyage of the question.”

Let’s hold ourselves and others to higher standards of truth-seeking.

References:

Thomas Martin biography: https://isearch.asu.edu/profile/744548

Thomas Martin quote (Section on evidence blindness, par. 12; value in criticizing ideas section, par. 2): https://www.csmonitor.com/Commentary/Opinion/2008/0103/p09s01-coop.html

John O’Donohue quote (His response to the 8th question): https://www.thesunmagazine.org/issues/376/the-unseen-life-that-dreams-us

Terry Hansen

Hales Corners, Wisconsin

Letters

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Comments are closed

Just Posted

Chemainus artist’s painting of a front-line worker a powerful image

Chemainus artist puts her creative touch to COVID Angel

Drivesmart column: Traffic calming in your neighbourhood

Since the police are only part of the solution, what are the alternatives?

COVID-19 means different graduations for Cowichan students in 2020

At Lake Cowichan students did the traditional hat toss

Mary Lowther column: Pre-sprouting corn in paper towels

My new packet of spinach didn’t grow when I put the seeds directly into potting soil

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

List of cancelled Cowichan Valley community events

An ongoing list of events that have been cancelled in the Cowichan Valley due to COVID-19

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Annual music event in Comox Valley celebrates online instead

Vancouver Island MusicFest holds virtual celebration set for July 10

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

Most Read