Belief and Doubt

“Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts” – Richard Feynman, 1918-88

TOK LINKING QUESTION: To what extent should we accept knowledge by authority?

How do you know what to believe when there is so much propaganda? How can we trust what scientists claim, if the science itself is baffling? How can we trust any claim which may be instigated by special interest groups or political parties?

Edward Harrison, prof. of Physics and Astronomy at U. of Massachusetts, 1987

Download this file

Provide a reaction paragraph about this article, including addressing the line: “The creative mind fashions the world in which we live”


“If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can’t be done” – Peter Ustinov, 1921-2004

Although this is a PSA told from a biased stance, check out this video on climate change. On your blog, record your thoughts regarding this piece. To see some humorous but poignant animated videos also produced by Climate Reality Project, click here


DOUBT from The Climate Reality Project on Vimeo.


on YouTube or the Internet

1. Advertisers sometimes appeal to the authority of “experts” and/or “science” to sell products. Find an example (think foods, drugs, other products) and post on your blog with a brief description. You will definitely want to check out “106 Science Claims and a Truckful of Baloney” – a Popular Science Magazine article which asked a reporter to analyze the “scientific” claims he encountered on a typical day (1 every 10 minutes!)


On Twitter…

2. I typed in “climate change” on Twitter and found some interesting tweets, like this one:


Try doing this yourself with climate change OR another controversial hot topic (pun intended)

Here’s another:


Be sure to post to your blog post with a brief analysis (for example- check out the author’s creds)


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