If you have talked with a left-wing person who is against food science, vaccines or energy, or a right-wing person who is against climate science or evolution, you may have thought they learned just enough science to be wrong. They seem to bookmark talking points that affirm their confirmation bias and just rehash them over and over.

But in business, the saying goes that the best way to learn about the flaws of your product is to find out what competitors say about it. So skeptical claims have some value, they tell scientists what weaknesses in context are involved in their results discussions.

Science fans are going to believe anything while people obsessed with the precautionary principle are going to always preach that the science has not been proved safe enough and never will be - but the real problem in getting acceptance for science and technology is the disengaged. Risk averse people are easy enough to assuage, just stress more rules and regulations and centralized government.

But the disengaged are another problem - they know nothing and are just afraid of anything different. So anti-science environmentalists and politicians can scare them easily, just by saying that some science is new.

Alex Berezow at Real Clear Science has the story: The Scientifically Unengaged Drive Biotechnology Debates