Why don’t jurors follow science?

Why don’t jurors follow empirical thought and science to the logical result? The denial of science is nothing new. It has been around for as long as science has. In fact, as a species, we have only expressed scientific thought for a very small part of our existence.

From The Evolution Deniers, we get examples of science deniers that are abundant in history:

  • The theory of gravitation was opposed by 17th century flat-earthers and also by hollow-earthers. Such alternative views are still held by some people today.
  • The laws of thermodnamics are not accepted by those who believe that it’s possible to make perpetual motion machines, and even machines that put out more work than required to run them.
  • Many individuals flatly reject the theory of relativity, and some try valiantly to construct alternative theories. To my knowledge none of these people have formed an organized opposition.
  • Likewise there are individuals who reject quantum mechanics. They are even less unified—mostly lone individuals self-publishing books that attract very few readers.
  • The cosmological picture of the evolution of the universe from the time of the “big bang” is strongly opposed by many, usually on religious grounds.
  • The theory of evolution has had opposition since the time of Darwin, and in recent decades several religiously motivated groups are waging a war against what they see as the materialism of science. Creationists and proponents of intelligent design theory are foremost among these, but not the only ones.
  • Outside of the natural sciences are those who deny historical events. Examples include holocaust deniers and those who contend that Shakespeare did not write the works attributed to him.

There is danger in denying science. I offer you this clip from TED.

Charles Darwin once wrote:

False facts are highly injurious to the progress of science, for they often endure long; but false views, if supported by some evidence, do little harm, for every one takes a salutary pleasure in proving their falseness.

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