The more things change…

John is sick and tired of antievolutionists. Who can blame him? As he points out, they are utterly immune to evidence or reason:

I was wrong. Very wrong. Information isn’t what makes people change their minds. Experience is, and generally nobody has much experience of the facts of biology that underwrite evolution. The so-called “deficit model” of the public understanding of science, which assumes that all they need is more information, is false.

I could also point out that this is the very reason that alternative medicine to this day so regularly trumps scientific, evidence-based medicine in popularity. Few people have experienced a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial. To them it sounds like so much gobbledy-gook. But the do know that either they or their mom or their friend (or the dreaded “friend of a friend”) took this or that homeopathic remedy and felt better. Or they do know that they or their mom or their friend (or the dreaded “friend of a friend”) had a horrendous experience with a medicine or treatment that their doctor prescribed. Experience trumps science.

How to overcome this natural human tendency is something I’ve been wrestling with ever since I took an interest in alternative medicine and quackery and why both are so attractive to so many people. I don’t have a very good answer yet, but I plan on continuing to try to find one.