As I was thinking of relevant topics to write about, I figured this is one of the most controversial as it is so necessary, yet it is not used to the degree we need to. Of course, one could claim that as I am someone studying the sciences; I have a bias and what I say in this article should be taken with a grain of sand. In an effort to show that evidence really is an unbiased issue, I will provide real life examples.
Within the last year and a half or so, during Trump’s presidency, Kellyanne Conway referenced “Alternative Facts” while discussing a topic of importance. This quickly became a fast spreading joke as people recognized the foolishness that is no two opposing statements can really be true in light of facts. This was laughed off, but it really shows the state of where we are as a society. Regardless of the evidence that provides truth, people still hold on to their beliefs. They even cite examples of exceptions as a reason to disprove an entire argument. Let me provide a crystal clear example of why that is not an acceptable retort. Gravity is something we experience all the time. It is what keeps us on the ground and ensures that we will not float into space where we would simultaneously freeze and burn at the same time. However, one of the most well known exceptions to the rule is helium. Helium is less dense than air and because of that, it floats to the top of the substance that is more dense - air. Now, because the balloon filled helium does not mean that the entire law of gravity is wrong. It simply means that other scientific forces create that exception to the law. This same logic, for example, applies to the immigrant/DACA/Dreamer issue today. Now, I am not going to go into explicit detail, but I will provide references below. Broadly speaking, those part of the Republican party and the President believe that immigrants simply come into the country to kill, steal, and “mooch” off of our welfare system. Data shows the opposite of those claims, however. Those in the DACA program, for example, actually contribute quite a bit to the economy. Greater than 90% in the program actually have jobs and there are immigrants that have become military members to fight for the country they seek refuge in. Now I am sure there are exceptions to those rules such as Mexicans who are part of the drug cartel or even people who come from countries of muslim origin who commit terrorist attacks. The reality is much different in that there have been significantly more domestic terror attacks by whites in this country than people of color. A person is actually more likely to be killed by a falling vending machine, shark, or even falling down stairs than being killed in a foreign terror attack. This relates back to the Law of Gravity example because even though there are exceptions to the reasons to the (primarily democrat) effort to keep immigrants safe in the country, that is not a viable reason to enact such radical policies to keep them out. Now of course, the issue of illegal immigrants is certainly prominent but arguably that is more a problem with the system itself and many of those people have been proving immigration policies futile. I am not saying I think illegal immigration is justified, but I think the data needs to be looked at and incorporated into any future improved policies.
The real point of this article is to tell people of this country that before you decide to get into a debate over a controversial topic, think about the facts first before letting your emotions guide your argument. Evidence has done wonders for the field of science ( science, engineering, mathematics, astronomy, etc.) and has gotten us where we are today. Try using it in your everyday life instead of reacting with emotion to something. Who knows, you may just change your position on an issue.