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Dwight Stewart writes;

>        "anti science".  I now no longer bother.  It's just too stressful
>attempting to pry a closed mind open.  So, I do my job, which does not
>involve public relations in any way and I take public perceptions about
>science & scientists with a grain of sodium chloride the size of a

A few thoughts...

Even the most closed mind can be affected by a reasonable discussion.  I have 
had a few run-ins with anti-science/creationist types.  While those talks have 
not been enjoyable, and I haven't "converted" anyone, I have noticed a few 
trends.  One of them is that some of my observations/comments seem to make 
sense to them, rattling their whole phyche.  While they didn't back off from 
their position, the memory of what was said will remain with them.

A part of the problem is that the anti-science people are rigidly conservative. 
 To see scientists in a new light they would have to move away from their 
political position and accept another point of view; accepting scientists would 
force them to accept other "unwanted" people.  Since our arguments are based on 
documentable observations and other facts, what we say makes the most sense and 
is very compelling; we can defend our position in a way that no one else can.  
Because of this, we become scapegoats; we are a symbol of all that seems rotten 
in their world.  If they destroy us, then they have won a victory for the "good 
guys."  This is why it is so depressing to be cornered by one of them.

Our best bet is to stay visible and vocal.  The anti-science leaders can say 
anything they want, and any lies will be unchallenged if we hide in our 
labrotories and offices.  Treat them as you would treat a schoolyard bully: 
Stand up to them.  If we are not intimidated into silence, then we can continue 
talking about what we have learned.  It is ultimately a question of exposure; 
what is seen is hard to ignore.  Don't let their attacks become depressing and 
never take their comments personally.  Also, don't insult them; they have as 
much brainpower as the rest of us.  Find that balance and there is nothing to 


Rob Meyerson

"Listen to the music, not the words."
              - Ambassador Kosh