Delivering American University's news and views since 1925. | Monday, May 20, 2019

Opinion: You can’t only believe in science when it fits your viewpoint

It’s hypocritical to reject certain sciences because they run against your personal views

Opinion: You can’t only believe in science when it fits your viewpoint

It all started late November around Thanksgiving time. There was a breakout of the E-coli virus in Romaine lettuce. Thirty-two people died from the outbreak across 11 different states. Immediately, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) implemented a ban on all romaine lettuce, calling for it to be removed from the shelves of stores. Across the United States, people observed the ban and steered clear of romaine lettuce. 

However, if America will obediently give up their romaine lettuce because 32 people have died, why won’t they give up their guns when there have been over 300 mass shootings in 2018? Americans need to realize that picking and choosing to believe in certain scientific evidence that only cater to one’s personal viewpoint is hypocritical. 

For example, when being selective about whether to believe science, disbelief ranges from not believing that consuming unmoderated amounts of sugar is detrimental to your diet to believing that vaccinations cause autism (for the record, they don’t). 

The study suggesting that autism might be linked to vaccines came out in 1997 in the medical journal The Lancet. The study and the journal have since been completely discredited. Further, more studies have come out to say that autism develops in utero

The study that found that autism develops in utero (when the mother is still pregnant) was performed by the CDC. It is then interesting to see how people will believe the CDC sometimes, but then reject other data from the same source. Another fun fact: When the CDC was in the process of studying gun violence as a public health issue, Congress, under pressure from the National Rifle Association, took away the CDC’s ability to use their funding for it. 

It’s morally wrong for people to pick and choose the sciences they believe in, just for the sheer reason that they don’t like what the science is telling them. For example, there has been a strong backlash against the claims that climate change is real. In reality, there has been an enormous amount of scientific data showing that the world is, in fact, dying; it also shows that humans are to blame

People are reluctant to accept data on climate change and mass shootings because they are not willing to accept something that would inconvenience them. In order to prevent climate change from causing more damage than it’s already done, humans need to make major lifestyle changes

If accredited environmental organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation are saying that humans are the cause of climate change, then I see no reason for people to continue the climate change isn’t a real argument. Also, if people are looking towards the government for answers, NASA says climate change is real too and humans are the primary cause. 

People are so resistant to conduct further research into mass shootings because they’re scared of having tighter regulations on guns. If the United States were to have common sense gun laws, though, wouldn’t it be worth it if it were to put a stop to mass shootings? 

We have formed a society built upon hypocrisy. I know that I don’t want my children growing up and believing that it is okay to only believe in a thing that's beneficial for them. I want future generations to grow up and save the world, not continue to make the same mistakes and contribute more to the mess that has been made.

Emma Greenberg is a freshman in the School of Communication and a columnist for The Eagle.

egreenberg@theeeagleonline.com 


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