Many people fear that science is answering too many questions too quickly. What can be said about this idea? Mythology often finds a greater degree of popularity than scientific conclusions do. Is there a reason for this?
Despite the fact that it offers reasonable explanations for complex questions, modern science is often the subject of derision. Can this be explained?
Whether they should be rooted in theism or politics, various ideologies often attract droves of willing participants searching for a universal truth of some kind. In the long run, what does this do to any given society?
Michael Shermer is one of our time’s foremost scientific skeptics, as well as the founder of Skeptic Magazine. He has devoted much of his career to raising public awareness about the human condition; specifically how many of its more puzzling aspects can be explained through rational means.
In this first part of our discussion, Dr. Shermer answers the questions mentioned above.
Joseph F. Cotto: Scientific skepticism is a well-known concept. Why, in your view, is it so important during this day and age?
Dr. Michael Shermer: Because it is better to live in a reality-based worldview than a faith-based (or superstition-based) worldview. Plus, for a liberal democracy to work we need informed voters, but not just informed—they need to know how to think critically. That is, not just what to think, but HOW to think. That is what scientific skepticism is all about—knowing how to think about claims, how to test hypotheses, how to challenge ideas fairly and objectively.