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Re: [humanism-174] Neanderthal cloning chatter highlights scientific illiteracy

From: Mark R. O.
Sent on: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 4:38 AM
I agree, like who would believe that Satanists would rally to
support Rick Scott?  

Though that is more a cognitive bias.  We believe what we want,
and expect to believe.  Just as a curiosity, did P. Z. Myers post it
as fact?   

M. Orel
On[masked]:59, Randy Pelton wrote:
Sadly, God-belief seems to have evolved an incredibly successful
means of shielding itself from skeptical critique. We all know about cognitive dissonance. We all fall victim to it to one degree or another. But cognitive dissonance goes into overdrive and gets supercharged where it concerns God-belief.


From: Mark Tiborsky <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Monday, January 28,[masked]:04 AM
Subject: Re: [humanism-174] Neanderthal cloning chatter highlights scientific illiteracy

"The public should be able to detect cases where things seem implausible:.."
Amen not only with regards to scientific literacy, but ideally the same principle would be applied to, say, a story about a deity sending himself to Earth in the form of its "Son", sacrificing itself/its son to wash away all the bad stuff that people do, then resurrecting itself from the dead to reign over the universe.
But of course, around 2 billion people would disagree :)
On Jan 25, [masked]:46 PM, "Joanna" <[address removed]> wrote:

Neanderthal cloning chatter highlights scientific illiteracy

BOSTON (Reuters) - After spending the weekend reading blog posts claiming that he was seeking an "extremely adventurous female human" to bear a cloned Neanderthal baby - which was news to him - Harvard geneticist George Church said it may be time for society to give some thought to scientific literacy.
"The public should be able to detect cases where things seem implausible," Church said in an interview at his office at Harvard Medical School in Boston. "Everybody's fib detector should have been going off. They should have said, ‘What? Who would believe this?' ... This really indicates that we should have scientific literacy."
"We really should get the public of the entire world to be able to detect the difference between a fact and a complete fantasy that has been created by the Internet," he said.

In defense of laypeople everywhere, there have been a few times that I read something and thought it was a complete joke, something from The Onion, but it ended up being true. People do crazy things all the time, and having an imagination is usually not a bad thing. Double-checking a rumor is always a good idea, though, and it would be awesome to focus on critical thinking in the early years of education.


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