What Does ‘Scientific Consensus’ Mean?

Read the full story in Forbes.

Should we get vaccinated? Fluoridate our water? Fight global warming? Believe in evolution? The Big Bang? Dark matter? It’s difficult for many of us to base the answer to these questions on what a nameless, faceless expert tells us, since we like to think we have the capabilities of gathering the relevant information and making up our own minds. Part of having a working mind means having the confidence to gather, synthesize and draw conclusions from the information you can access yourself. To an individual with a working mind, the fact that most people — even if it’s the overwhelming majority of intelligent, informed people — believe in something shouldn’t shape your opinion at all. It’s one of the most valuable traits we possess as human beings.

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