Why do we need to see to believe?

I have been reading Dr David Marlin’s posts about cooling horses and dogs. For anyone interested you can find him on Facebook (click here). Dr David Marlin is an esteemed scientist, he knows his stuff! Yet there are endless comments from people who say they don’t believe him because they haven’t seen it happen.

Why do we feel the need to see things with our eyes before we believe them? Why do we assume we know best because we had dogs or horses for years? Why do we feel our anecdotal evidence has more weight than scientifically proven facts? I don’t know, there must be some psychological reason.

People forget simple laws of physics, or perhaps were never taught them. Maybe the blame should be placed with the schools! The rise of the internet has made everyone a keyboard expert, and drowned out the voices of the genuine trained and qualified experts. Think of all those certificates you can buy over the internet, giving you all manner of qualifications for things, after a few emails and video.

Whatever you want to know you can google it, which is great, but runs the risk that the information you are reading has been written by someone with a misguided view. In the old days you went to library and looked something up in a book that someone had painstakingly written. I’m not saying everything in books is true, but the chances were that if you had sat down to type out a whole book on over-heating in horses and dogs, the chances would be that you knew your stuff!

The internet can be a minefield, check your sources, and remember science exists even if we can’t see it. We can’t see gravity. We can’t always see the equal and opposing reaction to every action. It doesn’t mean they are not there. In general people are not trying to misinform, they believe the myths they are passing on. Don’t be one of them!

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