Trump Can't Grasp Common Facts, Much Less Scientific Facts
It almost seems like a luxury to be concerned about scientific knowledge and advancement when Trump and his associates seem unable to distinguish between the true and the false in everyday matters, much less scientific ones. For a man who couldn't determine if Obama was from the US, it will be nearly impossible for him to grasp the issues surrounding the question of global warming and whether or not it's anthropomorphic. He probably doesn't even know what anthropomorphic means...and I'm not trying to be dismissive. I'm serious. His degree of understanding about the world and his level of interest and/or curiosity in critical topics is frighteningly low. So, while I would de delighted if Mr. Trump would address scientific issues in a serious manner, his previous 70 years of behavior would indicate that that is an empty wish and that he will not address even non-scientific issues in a serious manner. I'm afraid that science and scientific matters will have to take a step back while we try to raise this new President's level of critical thinking skill to at least a basic level. Once he has demonstrated an ability to discern fact from fiction regarding less complex issues, then, perhaps, we can hope that he can graduate to the consideration of higher order problems. I just wouldn't hold my breath for that day to come. And his running mate, Mr. Pence, appears to have -- if this is even possible -- even less of an ability to grasp scientific matters and, instead, relies on mystical beliefs unmoored from any data or facts. I believe that he even questions the bedrock scientific fact of evolution. Such men are a bit beyond recovery. We may just need to wait until more capable individuals are in office. In the meantime, we need to concentrate on making sure that our state and local officials -- Democrat or Republican -- are able to deal with scientific problems and understand the scientific method. These will be dark years, but we must try to keep our heads above water until rescuers arrive.
Robert Benedetti commented
The problem is the ordinary citizen can't understand the importance of using science to assure our future.. Example, GMO plants and animal, nuclear power. Most people would like a cure for what ails them even if it requires genetic engineering, don't want their food and power from the best source..
I honestly think he has a capacity to understand, at least at a basic level. I think the issue is he has no attention span or desire to expend the effort. "I believe" takes so little effort and is appealing to so many just on that basis. "I can prove" is much more demanding both in time and effort spent cerebrating. Of the two, truth resides only in the latter which, of course, is too inconvenient for the President elect. We must do two things; make our presence felt without relenting and make that presence known to our Senators and Representatives.
Very true. He seems to lack any ability to use any method to distinguish truth from nonsense, and not to care, and a large number of people in America share his contempt for evidence. The death of evidence... that's the big concern.
Excellent observations and well stated. Hopefully the Trump presidency will pass without too much serious damage to our scientific community and our hope as a nation. Unfortunately, his transition team does not appear to be focusing on competence.