Sunday, August 9, 2015

Why don't people believe science?

This is the monologue for the most recent episode of Why? Radio. The topic was “Why don't people believe science?" with guest Dan. M. Kahan. You can hear the episode here

For most of human history, people have believed that if we could only reveal the truth about things, agreement would quickly follow. This has been the case for religion; Paul on the road to Damascus, Mohammad in the Cave of Hira, and Moses on Mount Sinai all believed that everyone should and would be moved by revelation. But this has also been true for what used to be called natural philosophy, what we now call science. This kind of knowledge was supposed to replace superstition with fact, it was supposed to improve everyone, regardless of who they were or what they believed.

Nature—physis, in Greek (as in the word 'physics')—is the object science seeks to uncover. By discovering the principles that govern matter and energy, the laws of motion that move the stars and planets, and the innumerable forces that direct agriculture, natural scientists aimed to expose the reality behind the curtain of everyday experience. This, they argued, would allow us to predict and harness nature, and to cultivate health and goodness. It would make humans a stronger, healthier, dominant, and more ethical race. If we only followed the dictates of discovery, we would finally be in control of our own destiny because we would understand how the universe actually operated. It is not a coincidence that both Buddha and Kant wanted people to reach enlightenment. Unfortunately, human history had other plans.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Why? Radio is live this Sunday: "Why don’t people believe in science?" with guest Dan M. Kahan

Why? Radio is live this Sunday at 5 p.m. central.
Send us your comments now or during the show.

"Why don’t people believe in science?"

Guest: Dan M. Kahan
Sunday, August 9 at 5 p.m. central.

Listen live from anywhere in the world at and in North Dakota at 89.3 (Grand Forks), 91.9 (Fargo), 90.5 (Bismarck), and on Prairie Public radio stations across the state.