Last month we received an email from the science editor at The Manitoban, the University of Manitoba’s student newspaper. (You may remember The Manitoban as the paper that printed the hilarious “Keep Christ in Christmas” article that we discussed in the War on Christmas episode of Life, the Universe & Everything Else.) He asked us if we were interested in putting together a short article about the importance of science and critical thinking.
The editors at The Manitoban made minimal changes to the article that I submitted, which they titled “A bit of skepticism never hurt anyone”:
I graduated from the University of Manitoba Computer Science department in 2007. Despite what my degree says, I’m not a scientist. I think of myself more as a “science cheerleader.” Science needs cheerleaders, because science is so important.
We humans tend to pay much more attention to those things that confirm our preconceived notions than to those details that don’t fit our theories. We have a marked tendency to remember the hits and forget the misses—presumably why Sylvia Browne remains so popular.