Think up a short list of the world’s biggest problems. Now identify the one that gets the least attention. My pick is weak skepticism, something that most people fail to consider. But this daily disaster punishes humankind with consistent severity while getting virtually no mention from popular culture. And it’s not only the weak skeptics who suffer. It’s a planet-wide plague that slows human progress. Regardless of status or location, you have a stake in this. A primary reason our species is far behind where it could be socially and technologically is because we invest so much time, effort and wealth into things that are almost certainly not real or true.
Weak skepticism goes unnoticed because it is so pervasive and has been a normal part of the landscape for so long. Some of it may seem harmless (14 percent of Americans think Bigfoot is out there somewhere). Some of it may frustrate science literates (Nearly half of American adults believe the Earth is less than 10,000 years old.) And some of it is just plain weird (several million Americans may believe that "lizard people" run the country). But it’s all symptomatic of a huge problem that costs us dearly. Take a close look and the scale comes into focus.
Even during economically challenging times humankind doesn’t flinch at squandering trillions of dollars on pseudoscience and superstition. Every day, unknown numbers of people in every society suffer because they trust medical quackery over evidence-based medicine. Some of them die.
Written By: Guy P. Harrison
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