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Galileo stood against the accepted viewpoint of his day. The Church had decided that Earth was the center of our solar system. Galileo proved that the view was untrue; in fact, our planet revolves around the sun. The Church of Galileo’s day tried to suppress his views. Galileo, like other great individuals, stood against the crowd and refused to believe the accepted scientific narrative of the day.
I had a student last year writing on climate change. The design of the paper mandated that students find at least two sources disagreeing with their own perspective. The point of the assignment is to learn how to respond to the best sources and arguments from an opposing position. My student was seeking scientific research that went against the accepted narrative. Knowing I am a theologian, she said, “I don’t want any religious people’s research.” My response was simple, “Everyone’s research is religious because everyone’s research depends on assumptions.” She said, “But I can’t find any scientists who disagree with my view. Why is that?”
I went to the whiteboard and wrote “Misinformation.” I explained, “There are those who want to dismiss alternative viewpoints. They do this on social media platforms by simply eliminating research that disagrees with their own.” Looking perplexed, my brilliant STEM student responded, “Then how will I find the two sources I need?” I smiled and said, “I’ll show you. I’ve been keeping a record of some scientists whose research has been classified as “misinformation.” And they have published their work in scientific, peer-reviewed research journals.” You can find some of these scientists at the end of this Truth in Two. You see, when “misinformation” is used to sideline alternative scientific sources, science becomes nothing more than propaganda.