I say this straight up, knowing I’ll offend more people than I could ever hope to enlighten, but to disparage, insult, or threaten anyone because their values and opinions are contrary to your own, is to contribute to the divisiveness and polarization that nearly everyone is complaining about today.

That’s not my opinion by the way, it’s been studied, peer reviewed, and published — multiple times by multiple groups and institutions. It’s based on experiment and observation, and supported with data. It’s inarguable, because it’s science.

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All the name-calling, hate speech, and threatening toward those we may disagree with contributes to the widening of, the heightening of, and the fortification of the walls that exist between two sides of any position, argument, or set of values. End of story.

I get it, it feels good to hate. It feels good to insult. It feels good to have the upper hand in argument. It feels good to belittle. It feels good to be right, and in many cases we can almost say that these behaviors are justified — except that they work against the values they’re supposed to support.

If one believe in the sciences — the science of physics, the science of climate change, the science that explains and cures disease, and the science that gets men to leave the earth and safely return, it should stand to reason that they should also believe in social sciences. If one accepts all other sciences, but denies this one, they are not science-minded, they are practicing scientism.
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Some excellent books that offer data to support what I’ve suggested include the following (I have read or listened to the audio version of each one, most more than once)…

It’s Even Worse Than It Looks (2012) by Thomas Mann

The Blank Slate (2009) by Steven Pinker.

Why We’re Polarized (2020) By Ezra Klein

How To Have Impossible Conversations (2019) Boghossian & Lindsay     

Nonzero (1999) by Robert Wright

The Righteous Mind (2012) Jonathan Haidt

The Ape Who Understood The Universe (2019) Steve Stewart-Williams

Though some of these books touch just briefly on the science and study of polarization, several of them are exclusively dedicated to it.

Bottom line for me: Insults, hate speech, and threats are significant building blocks in the construction of the walls which divide opposing factions of any kind. Those who offer the insults, hate speech, and threats are the cheap, plentiful, and unwitting labor that builds those walls so well.

I’m not talking about lampooning, cartooning, or making jokes. All of those have their place in political argument and beyond. The line between humor and hate-filled ignorance is a broad one though, and very distinguishable.

I’m certain most reading this, including some very close to me, will read it with a giant eye-roll. They’ll attempt to defend name-calling, insulting, and hate speech because it feels like it’s all they have left during tumultuous times. They’ll also deny that they’re a part of the problem. Denying that they’re part of the problem will also make them science deniers, which for many of them, will be an the ultimate irony.

Insults, hate speech, and threats send nothing good into to the world — nothing. I get it, it’s hard not to take the bait when nearly everything we see, hear, and breathe is made out of bait. As soon as one takes the bait though, they become part of the problem.

This is what I think about when I ride… Jhciacb

This Week By The Numbers…

Bikes Ridden: 7

201 miles

8,850’ climbing

15.3 mph avg

11,500 calories

13 hours 06 minutes seat time

Whether you ride a bike or not, thank you for taking the time to ride along with me today. If you haven’t already, please scroll up and subscribe. If you like what you read, give it a like and a share. If not, just keep scrollin’. Oh, and there’s this from The Soundtrack Of Our Lives. Enjoy…

8 thoughts on “No Science To Ignore…

  1. Well stated, Roy! It’s a jungle out there! Not surprising, however, as we may have plenty of smart devices and thoughts telling ourselves how smart we are, but really, we are just animals with a smaller less wise brain than we think we really have. It’s amazing we do as well as we do.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. No eye rolls here. Well put and stated Roy.I spent time enough working in the world of medical science. Didn’t take the bait towards hate. Ain’t got time for that,life’s too short. Arguments and debates are one thing. I was taught when facing a problem,it was an opportunity to a solution to make it right.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. “To sin by silence, when we should protest,
    Makes cowards out of men. The human race
    Has climbed on protest. Had no voice been raised
    Against injustice, ignorance, and lust,
    The inquisition yet would serve the law,
    And guillotines decide our least disputes.
    The few who dare, must speak and speak again
    To right the wrongs of many. Speech, thank God,
    No vested power in this great day and land
    Can gag or throttle. Press and voice may cry
    Loud disapproval of existing ills;
    May criticise oppression and condemn
    The lawlessness of wealth-protecting laws
    That let the children and childbearers toil
    To purchase ease for idle millionaires.

    Therefore I do protest against the boast
    Of independence in this mighty land.
    Call no chain strong, which holds one rusted link.
    Call no land free, that holds one fettered slave.
    Until the manacled slim wrists of babes
    Are loosed to toss in childish sport and glee,
    Until the mother bears no burden, save
    The precious one beneath her heart, until
    God’s soil is rescued from the clutch of greed
    And given back to labor, let no man
    Call this the land of freedom.”

    Ella Wheeler Wilcox

    I disagree with you. If you don’t raise your voice now and then you are part of the problem. The status quo is rigged and oppresive. I did cut a friend off who wrote a comment that called me a liberal cunt. It’s too late for “can’t we all just get a long?” We can’t.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. There’s a difference between speaking truth to power and insulting it. It’s a huge difference. Though it feels good to call people names and to placate one’s superficial moral compass by saying say we need to make a lot of noise to be heard, You can be loud without being mean.To cut somebody off at the ankles is to only make them want to speak louder. The cycle escalates and that’s where we’re at. If I were wrong, we wouldn’t be here.

      Again, the scholarship is clear…

      Liked by 1 person

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