Interesting article on Forbes "A Brief History Of Darwin Bashing". Here is my favorite quote form that article:
"The basic pattern most of these pieces follow is simple: Ignore the science; don’t bother talking to working specialists in the field; selectively quote long-dead sources (or emeritus scholars in unrelated fields); enthusiastically cite the work of self-described revolutionaries without critically examining the scientific merit of their work; and impugn the character of the theory’s founder."
What I have noticed is that this disregard for expertise seems to be of the cherry-picking variety. For example anti-vaxxers whine about science, yet use the Internet for their whines. Vaccinations and the Internet share the same scientific methodology . . . yet one is bad and the other is useful. People still take their cars to mechanics. While I see holistic foolishness for people's health, I have yet to see a holistic car repair place.
I feel foolish for having to defend expertise, the most often heard argument is that experts are defending their territory because funding would dry up and they would be unemployed. In a recent conversation with a climate-change denier I attempted to address this point, but he wasn't listening. My point is that I find it funny is that, according to him, the whole reason climate scientists support climate-change it because of their funding. How does he know this? Well that's what he hears on Fox News. So . . . as I tried to tell him . . . climate scientists, whose average annual salary is $95K a year are arguing the reality of climate change and you [he] is getting his science from a political pundit who makes millions each year . . . and it's the $95K a year scientists whose expertise is getting ignored because that's how they make a living, yet the millionaire pundit with no expertise is telling you the truth? (source) Really?
Experts shouldn't need to be defended, we rely on people's expertise every day. I work on a computer using others expertise in networking. I use still others expertise in manufacturing to help me develop the software I build. Ask any computer programmer, you might have a ton of expertise in programming, but you need subject matter experts to develop software for any industry! I rely on the people creating the food I eat, not only in restaurants, but what lines the aisles of the grocery store. I have my car maintained by several car mechanics, just recently I had the windows and doors in my home replaced. I have made more than one visit to a doctor in the past year. I do not have the expertise to do all of these things myself, so I have to rely on the expertise of others.
Why is it so hard to accept that same sort of expertise from biologists, climatologists, and the developers of vaccines?