In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Lee McIntyre argues that the West is at an intellectual crossroads, where unprecedented numbers of people and opinion leaders reject empirical truth when deciding on matters of policy and law. McIntyre largely indicts the academy itself, specifically postmodern culture and literary scholars, for unintentionally providing the armaments in a war against truth in the natural sciences, which keeps climate change a debate and puts intelligent design into textbooks.
Speaking on the difference between simple and willful ignorance, McIntyre says, “…when we choose to insulate ourselves from new ideas or evidence because we think that we already know what is true, that is when we are most likely to believe a falsehood. It is not mere disbelief that explains why truth is so often disrespected. It is one’s attitude.”
Do the hordes on the Internet add more ignorant noise to the discourse which was once responsbily cultivated by scholars and journalists, or are we on balance outgrowing our own gatekeepers to truth?