We have a really dangerous anti-science problem in America and it involves short-term, pressing issues that can harm people right now - food and medicine. In America, those beliefs are primarily among rich, educated progressives: as Seth Mnookin recounted at NPR and I mentioned in Science Left Behind, you can draw a circle around a Whole Foods and find a whole host of crazy notions about supplements, homeopathy, vaccines and organic food.
But in Asia it's everyone. It's gotten better, in the 21st century not everything is demons and ghosts, but pseudoscientists and charlatans are still able to exploit public distrust of government and experts by adopting a mantle of 'scientific dissent' about chemicals, GMOs and claiming everything causes cancer.
We gave Afghanistan democracy but they want to keep their polio - because they trust voodoo more than medicine and the Islamic fundamentalist claim vaccines are a Western plot to sterilize Muslims.
Sorry, that is not dissent, nor is embracing pediatric chiropractic weirdness or homeopathy or the weird Joe Mercola claims that more vitamin A will prevent vector-borne diseases.
Pseudoscience And Shamanism Are Actually Not Scientific Dissent
- Why Do More Environmentalists And Organic Food Shoppers Believe Vaccines Cause Autism?
- Mnookin's The Panic Virus, Offit's Deadly Choices And Vaccine Epidemic: One Of These Is Not Like The Others
- Olympic And Paralympic Games, Risks To Public Health
- Arianna Huffington Can Save Science
- Dengue Fever And Mosquito Aedes Aegypti