Trust

I think as an educator, I can help train your mind how to think about information and how to arrive at conclusions. Then you’re empowered, and then you can make whatever politically leaning decisions you must, but have them anchor on objectively verifiable science—that’s my goal.

Neil deGrasse Tyson in Talking in Public with Sam Harris

No one is perfectly trustworthy — no book, no scholar, and no scientist. This is why science seeks truth only by the findings and confirmation of many. In science, the incentives are aligned so, that claims are checked by others, and experiments are repeated.

This technique has been successful! Not only has science helped us understand many parts of reality, but the trueness of its findings can be proven: What we observe in medicine, astronomy, and physics can often be predicted with the findings that science has produced over time. Science is, therefore, a suitable method for finding real truths. If any other way existed to make accurate predictions, it would quickly prove its value and rival science. If anything were better at making predictions than science, scientists would convert to it, as they are looking for truth.

We must abandon the idea that science is distinct from the rest of human rationality. When you are adhering to the highest standards of logic and evidence, you are thinking scientifically. And when you’re not, you’re not.

Sam Harris in Our Narrow Definition of "Science"

That distinction is why I am presenting scientific facts as facts and why I am condemning anyone who makes truth claims that are incongruous with science. I feel responsible for making a public service announcement about some truths.

There are objective truths out there that you oughta know about! And as an educator, I have a duty to alert you of those objective truths. What you do politically, in the face of those objective truths, is your business, not my business.

Neil deGrasse Tyson in Talking in Public with Sam Harris

With this essay, I hope to create the right context for the information I am otherwise presenting. I do not use the word truth lightly, and the public's changing understanding of trust and truth is raising the bar for reasoning:

We're really bad at educating ourselves about these larger issues; we're bad at helping people understand them, and even proving, in some cases, that they're real. Yes, we have generations of data, examples of butterflies flapping their wings at one side of the planet, which causes a tsunami a thousand miles away. But when large junks of the population don't even believe in the scientific process, or believe that wanting something really badly will magically make it happen for them, or that heavily tested and heavily regulated vaccines are in any way linked to autism — we have a problem that goes beyond simply disseminating information so that people have access to it. We have a problem with putting information into the proper context.

Colin Wright in Colossal & Connected